FotoFly Santa 2013 Edition

It’s that time of year again.  It’s time to write another post about FotoFly Santa.  This is our third year and we think we’ve figured most of this out.  We have three cameras at a single location and three sales computers.  Both are more than we’ve had before.  We’re hoping that we have the equipment and staff to make this process as fun and painless as possible.

  • How close to my appointment time will you start? We have scheduled appointments as a way to spread out customers and attempt to eliminate long wait times.  Because the times are close together, if a child is having a hard time or we have a session with a bunch of cousins, we do spend more time.  Having three cameras should help us absorb that and ensure that we are close to being on schedule.  You may have a small wait time as you get signed in and get dressed.  I’m confident that we will be able to help you quickly after you arrive.  Having said that, there may be a coincidence of issues that put us behind schedule a little.  We’re hoping for your understanding in considering that we’re taking pictures of children and they sometimes take more time than expected.
  • How many poses will we get? We are trying for two poses. We are almost always successful at this.  If your child is really struggling or it’s a large group, we may only get one good pose.  I’ve had two emails already complaining that customers have only received two poses.  This blog post is an attempt to be clear about what to expect.
  • How long will you spend with us during a session? This is an important question.  The time really varies.  If your child is a 7 year old who does exactly what we want and smiles easily, we may very well be done in two minutes with getting two completely different poses.  This doesn’t mean that you’ve been short-changed.  In fact, we are counting on that some sessions will go very quickly.  It’s important to note that this is not like our studio experience – where you are given time and we try to get as much as we can in that time.  This is not a FotoFly ‘mini session.’  Again, we are going for two good poses.  We’ve had some of our best sessions last two minutes.
  • What is the process going to be like?
    • First, you will arrive and we will sign you in at a welcome computer.  You’ll be given a number that you’ll want to give to the photographer.
    • Next, someone will help you get dressed.  We have ten costumes this year to help ensure that we are always moving.  Again, if something weird has happened, it may be that you wait a few minutes to dress.  You can also elect to use our Santa and skip this step.  Keep in mind that we have three cameras and, if you’re wanting the real Santa, it may extend your waiting time a little if the Santa is being used in another session.
    • You’ll queue up to get your pictures taken.  Generally, there will be 3-4 families in the room ahead of you.  We’ll use the numbers that you were given at the beginning to ensure that we are going in order.  You shouldn’t wait a long time in this stage.  The only reason you would is if kids are really struggling in the sessions before you.  You will literally be amazed as you watch the photographers work.
    • You’ll get your pictures taken.  This is the most impressive part of the experience.  You’ll be impressed with how good the photographers are and how sincerely interested they are in getting good pictures of you and your children.  Again, the time spent with your children will vary based on how well the session is going.  A short session is generally a very good sign…  We will give everything we have for you and your children – whatever it takes. We really, really want you to like your Santa pictures – we want the images to be legendary.
    • We will edit the pictures and get them ready for you to see them.  It doesn’t take us very long to edit the pictures.  But, there may be a wait time that may be as long as 60 minutes if we’ve had the customers ahead of you print a lot of prints.  We have THREE viewing computers and FOUR printers this year and our employees are moving quickly but taking the time to be sure that everyone gets exactly what they want.  We will TEXT you when we are ready to show you your images.  That way, you can wander around Thanksgiving Point and figure out a way to spend more money…  Please return quickly or respond to the text telling us when you’ll be back.  If you wait to come back, there may be some additional waiting.
    • We will show you a quick slide show to see your pictures to be sure that you love them before you pay us anything.  Again, the goal is to have two good poses for you to choose from.  You can just pay for your CD and leave or you can print sheets for $5 per sheet.  We’ve got a special deal if you buy three sheets where you pay only $10.
  • A couple of policies to keep in mind:
    • Santa must be in the pictures.
    • If you have a group, we will take pictures of the group.  If you’re wanting individuals of each child, pay for additional, consecutive sessions.  We are offering a discount for each session after the first one.
  • Our legendary quality.
    • Our quality level has become the thing of legend.  In the past, when people have come here after years of being at the mall Santa, the difference is astounding and people rave about what they have received.  This is all very good and we appreciate it.  Having said that, I think the legends sometimes create expectations that may be unreasonable.  Please keep in mind the nature of what we’re doing and, when compared with what you receive at other Santas, our quality is unmatched – however, this is not a situation where we are spending hours with your child and charging you hundreds of dollars.  I will promise that these will be the best Santa pictures you’ve ever seen.  :)

We’re very excited for this year’s FotoFly Santa.  We’ve learned a lot of lessons over the past two years and we think we’re closer to mastering this.  We’ve been stressed about this because we care about everyone that walks through those doors and we really want every one of those kids to be happy and get good pictures.

We are photographing a lot of sessions each day at Thanksgiving Point.  We have a large (15 people) support team who are all working hard to greet, dress, edit, present, and print as well and quickly as possible.  We commit that we will give as much effort into the last session as we did the first. Your pictures will be worth the wait.  Thanks for signing up and trusting us to create some amazing Santa images this year.

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