Our Favorite Christmastime Sanity Saver: Private Photo Sessions with Santa!
I don’t know about you, but when I think about taking a five, three, and one year old to stand in line for hours (or at least what seems like hours) at the mall just for a two second photo opportunity with Santa (that you usually have to take yourself nowadays), I just say, “No way…totally not worth it”. That’s why we don’t do it. What do we do instead? Well, today I’m going to share with you what I think is one of San Antonio’s best kept secrets: private photo sessions with Santa at Landers Photography School!
We have done this for the past three Christmases and we’re scheduled to do it again in a couple of weeks. I cannot say enough fantastic things about Jim and Robin Landers, the owners of the school. Jim is always so patient and kind with our kids and just does a wonderful job of capturing great photos even through the chaos. You’ll find Robin in the office handling the “business” side of things and she’s just a delight to chat with while waiting for your photos to download. That’s right: you get your photos the same day…while you wait. That’s a huge perk in my book, because I never get my Christmas cards out in time so I usually take the cd straight home and pick my favorite photo for the Christmas card. Then I order them online through walmart.com and get them mailed out within a day or two. I really don’t think it gets any easier than that and this busy mama loves it!
So, what about Santa? Well, he’s awesome too. As you’ll see from some of these photos, it took a bit for my middle son to warm up to him and Santa had zero problems holding him and trying his best to make him happy. My daughter loves that he usually has a book on hand, as she is such a little bookworm. Even as a much younger child, she enjoyed telling him the story!
And the photos? Well, they’re pretty amazing, if you ask me. Especially considering they’re raw images that haven’t been edited whatsoever. Honestly, I wish I could have this lighting set up in my house because it totally hides all those tell-tale signs of exhausted parents. Ha! But don’t take my word for it. Take a look!
Looks like fun, right? Well here’s all the important details:
How do you sign up?
You can do that here at www.santapicturessa.com. You just select your preferred date and time and Ms. Robin will email you back super quick to either confirm your appointment or she’ll work with you to schedule an open time slot if the one you requested is booked.
How much does it cost?
I usually purchase our session through Groupon or during the school’s Black Friday sale, so I pay $85 for the ten-minute private mini-session and the cd of images. Regular price is $150. A VERY IMPORTANT TIP: RIGHT NOW THE BLACK FRIDAY SALE IS STILL ACTIVE ON THE SITE. Go book your session before it’s gone!
What do you get?
A private meeting with Santa! Free hot cocoa or coffee in the lobby! AND you get to skip the line! And the crowd! And the fussy babies! Oh, and you also get a cd full of images…and I do mean full. We usually end up with between 60-70 images on that disc!
I honestly can’t even tell you how I originally heard about this experience, but I am so thankful for it. Our kids look forward to this every Christmas and even though I know the Landers’ have seen so many families over the years, they always make us feel like we’re old friends and we feel right at home there in that little studio. This will be something that we’ll continue to do every year for as long as we can, and I hope you’ll check it out as well!
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