One way families celebrate the holidays is with an annual trip to see Santa. While some kids love the experience of talking with Santa and getting their photograph taken, others get nervous and afraid of the big guy. John Childress of J&B Childress Photography has some tips for making the experience a pleasant one for your family. John and his team take the photographs with Santa at the Enchanted Forest Festival of Trees, a benefit for Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.

Don’t make a big deal before hand

Childress recommends being low key before the photograph. Children can feel your stress. If you make a fuss about what your kids are wearing and not getting food on the clothes, kids will stress too. Make the experience fun.

Give your child time to warm up or move quickly depending on your child’s age

Every child’s personality is different. Some children are scared of people dressed up. For the little ones, Childress recommends move quickly through the photography experience. If you think your child may need more time to take in the Enchanted Forest before sitting on Santa’s lap, Childress recommend coming during the week between 1 and 5 p.m. Weekends and weekday mornings can be busy. If your child doesn’t want to sit in Santa’s lap, there is a rocking chair next to Santa. After the visit and photograph is done, each child gets a candy cane.

Remember why you’re there

Childress reminds families – The photograph is how you capture the memory. Don’t let taking the photo take over making of a sweet memory with your child.

Childress and his team are only Santa photographers who work with children year round. They’ve taken thousands of photographs of children, so they know how to make you and your children comfortable.