The photographs were done by a professional photographer, Jeff Pennell (here is his site) instead of a mall photographer. And Santa was awesome. Seriously, I cannot say enough nice things about this guy. (Santa's website is here) He was very authentic.
So when we got there, you couldn't see the photography area. And when it was our turn, we walked around and there was no Santa. Confused? I was too. One of the staff brought me in on the gag though. They set her up in the center of the scene and then told her to watch the far door because Santa would be coming through there.
Of course, Santa wasn't coming through that door, he was in the beach shack behind her:
After a few minutes of shots like these and Bella being TOTALLY clueless that he was behind her, we finally told her to turn around.
She looks him up and down and says, "Where are your reindeer?" So...so...funny. I think Santa told her they were outside so they wouldn't be scared. I don't really remember because I was laughing so hard. He sat down next to her and they started to chat about what she wanted for Christmas.
Luckily my hypnosis was working and she asked for a dollhouse as planned. (It may have sounded more like 'doghouse' but I trust that Santa will get it right anyway) She refused to sit on his lap, which is probably ok since asking a kid to be comfortable sitting on a stranger's lap probably isn't the best lesson anyway.
This photo cracks me up. I don't even know what she was telling him. Probably something about his reindeer, who knows. But this is so totally her. In charge, even with Santa.
And these are the others that so completely capture her:
And of course, the photo that was nationwide. (Here is the post about that if you missed it) Basically, our photographer and the Associated Press photographer got the same final shot. We even remembered last minute to ask Santa to send Bella an elf. And I will share his adventures of course. It was a really great event and a wonderful start to our holidays!