The people behind the lens for pictures with Santa

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – For little boys and girls, it’s not Christmas until they tell Santa what’s on their wish list. But for their parents, the present is a photo to take home, after the toy talk. Behind every perfect picture with Santa, is a hardworking helper.

“They are lasting memories for every family. They’re on their mantels every year,” Tabitha, one of the photography professionals at Cherry Hill Photos, inside Boulevard Mall, told News 4.

“It’s a magical time of year for the children,” she said. “The expressions on their faces are so wonderful.”

Just like Santa himself, she is part of a holiday tradition for a lot of local families.

“You get to see the children grow up through the years, because a lot of the families keep coming back year after year to the same locations.”

Tabitha has been doing this for more than than 10 Christmases, and she knows what it takes to get a good shot.

“Sometimes it could take ten minutes. Sometimes it could take 5 minutes,” she explained. “Sometimes it could take 2 seconds. It depends on how you get the shot. And it depends on the child. If the child is fussing and crying, obviously it’s going to take a few more minutes.”

“Every child has a different reaction to seeing Santa for the first time. In case they need a little cheering up, Tabitha does have a go to move to solve that problem.”

“Peekaboo,” she said. “We do ‘Peekaboo Santa,’ where Santa gets up from behind the chair and comes up behind them. ‘Sleeping Santa’ is if the child is sleeping, and Santa’s looking down. It is a favorite pose with a lot of families.”

Like all of Santa’s elves, Tabitha must have a good working relationship with the big guy. They even have their own way of communicating. And they will be working around the clock until Christmas Eve.

“It’s a magical experience to work with Santa,” Tabitha said.

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