Sunday, December 13, 2015

Pictures With Santa Are Damn Expensive

I recently went to go check out my local mall Santa with my one year old son, and got serious sticker shock. What the hell has happened to Santa? This is all new new to me, so how long have pictures with Santa been so damn expensive?

Price Sheet for Santa Photos
My family is doing fine financially, and I do not know if I can justify the expense of a picture with our local mall Santa. Where is the harm in letting my son meet the big guy in red and allowing me to take a couple photos myself? Or even charging me a nominal fee to take my own photos? At my local mall the cheapest option is to have one photo printed for $22.

I can understand paying a good amount of money for a photo shoot with a professional photographer for your Christmas card. These people capture your family in a variety of poses and and provide a good quantity of edited pictures. But how the hell does a mall production where you sit on Santa's knee and smile end up costing up to $100?

Am I wrong here? Is this just normal and I need to get a grip, pay up, and shut up? Or is it absolutely absurd how expensive Santa photos are, especially in an age where we all can snap anything we want at anytime?

I think my son may skip meeting Santa this year. It seems like a joke to charge parents this much for what is meant to be a special and fun moment in a child's life. It's such a shame there is an expensive price tag on capturing childhood memories. I guess, in a way, there is no better metaphor for the commercialism of Christmas than the ridiculous cost of sitting on Santa's knee.

What the hell, Santa?


  1. I agree, in a society that's so accustomed to taking pictures on their phones etc , you would think they would let you take your own picture if you want.

  2. I think $22-$50 is reasonable, but I haven't actually been to a mall Santa in years. Those guys are real pros. You have an always-on improv actor making the best of every situation you can imagine, who is often a month away from his other work to participate, and (often) is living his entire year with a large white beard. Ventilation on those costume isn't the greatest, either. You get an elf/handler, a photographer, a printer, and a security guy. It's a very different setup than a couple of hours with a professional photographer who can work on the post production later, isn't particularly concerned about staging, doesn't need a costume, etc. etc. etc.

    1. You're right - The set up for this Santa was pretty impressive. Thanks for the comment Chris.