How to Photograph Santa Claus in Your Home


Christmas is, without a doubt, one of the most fun times of the year for photographers. Family and friends gather together, the streets are aglow with lights and decorations, and some of you may even be lucky enough to have snow on the ground during this time of year. But… out of all of those glorious photographic opportunities, have any of you ever tried to photograph the elusive Santa Claus? If you want to catch Santa in the act of gift-giving this year, here are some things you need to know:

To deliver presents to all of the good boys and girls of the world, Santa must travel roughly 122 million kilometers on Christmas Eve. Given the time zone changes, that leaves him with approximately 31 hours to get the job done. That puts his speed in the neighbourhood of 1047 km per second. Factoring in the number of families who celebrate Christmas throughout the globe, and the number of kids who made the “Nice” vs “Naughty” list, that means Santa has to make 823 visits per second. This means he’s got about 1/1000th of a second to come down your chimney, put the gifts under your tree, grab some milk and cookies, and head back up to the reindeer.

How to Photograph Santa:

What does all this mean as a photographer? Well, he’ll be coming during the night, so your lighting is going to be low – you’ll want to use a wide aperture. Crank your Christmas tree lights up to their fullest intensity to add enough light. Your shutter speed will need to be at least 1/2000 sec since he’ll be moving about during his 1/1000th sec visit to your home. It’s all going to happen very quickly, so you may wish to have a shutter release cable and a tripod handy to avoid fatigue. Try not to blink if possible.

In all seriousness folks, myself and the whole team at PhotographyBB would like to thank you for choosing to spend a part of your day with us, reading our magazine, and participating in the forums. It’s YOU who makes this a great photographic community! I wish you all a fun, safe, warm, and very Merry Christmas!

About the author

Dave Seeram is the Editor of PhotographyBB Magazine, photographer, Canucks fan, Lostie,  fanboy, Dad, blogger, entrepreneur, and part-time superhero. Dave is the owner of this blog, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of the PhotographyBB Magazine and CLARITY: PHOTOGRAPHY BEYOND THE CAMERA
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