Whether near or far, family close or not, I just wanted to take a moment and wish everyone a Happy Holidays. Doesn’t matter what you are celebrating, but I hope you are with family and or friends during this season’s festivities while warm and well fed. Our family celebrates Christmas actually, which has been interesting over the years as it seems every year but this year I have had some kind of interaction with Santa out in the wild…
Over the years, it was always luck of the draw though when it came to Santa as you never know which one you were going to run into at any given point. For many years I covered the circle of lights festival here in Indianapolis on the day after thanksgiving, and one time the landing of Helicopter Santa as seen above. None of my shots were particularly epic to any stretch of the imagination, but you risk that sometimes when you don’t know what’s happening or going to happen before it comes to fruition. It’s called event photography, except when working for the paper it was usually 50/50 as to if you were really told what was going to happen ahead of time or not.
A lot of times when it comes to Journalism I’m either too close or too far away it seems as can be the case when you are in a very fluid situation such as sports or in this case Santa’s walk through the crowd. Robert Kapa once said that if your photos weren’t good enough, that you weren’t close enough. Dude died stepping on a landmine as a combat photographer so I guess he knew his stuff yea? It’s finding that happy medium in real life though. In some occasions you have a front row seat to the action, which ends up being somewhat predictable. Other times as mentioned, you just never know what you’re going to get.
Not the tightest frame I’ve ever shot, I’ll give you that. But that’s ok, I think that the fact that Santa and the kids dad are getting a kick out of the fact that this was immortalized in print was good enough. Kid looks disappointed in that he wasn’t going to get what he wanted, OR he wasn’t going to get out of the radius of the Restraining order he had on poor Santa. I guess I’ll never know. I’ll never forget the year I was shooting the Helicopter Santa at the top of this post. The deal was that he was landing in the State Police Helicopter, and then would shake hands, kiss babies, and do regular schmoozing to go inside to turn on the large Indiana State Christmas Tree. Sounds like it’s got potential yes? Honestly I was expecting a big ceremonial key, or dynamite style plunger in order to turn on this 50′ Tree in the front of the State Museum?
So the newspaper never got that photo. I showed it to the powers that be, which said to burn it. Not due to the fact that it’s a crappy photo (which it is honestly), but because Santa’s grand Tree lighting was made easy work with the use of a Yellow outdoor extension cord. He bent over, and plugged that sucker in just like any ordinary person in their home lit their tree up. Come on, a yellow extension cord? This is Santa! Helicopters, sleigh’s of reindeer and sponsored cars for goodness sakes!
Had a few more encounters with the Jolly fellow over the years, but for now I’ll let you get back to your holidays; whatever they may be. Seasons greetings, and seasons wishes of the best to everyone from our family. May your camera be set correctly so that all your photos turn out beautifully. May your meals be perfectly cooked, and your relatives, children, and pets be well behaved. Happy Holidays folks, and if you see Santa keep your eye on him as you never know what he’s going to do; or how he’s going to get going again. More Soon.