As the Canadian originators of this experience-based Fine Art portraiture the amount of planning and detail which goes into our sessions is unrivaled. Kirk learned this through studying the work and life of Norman Rockwell. Kirk's specialized painting by hand is blended with the photographic image and cannot be obtained anywhere else. The award winning artwork created during our Santa Claus Experience has received the highest honors by the P.P.O.C. When you visit the Santa Claus Experience with Tobias Portraiture you are getting much more than just a picture or photograph. You are getting memories that will last a lifetime accompanied by printed art pieces or our popular storybooks of those whom are most important in your life - your children.
Your experience starts with a personalized letter mailed to your child from Santa a few weeks (for early bookings) prior to your visit. We have pajamas and nightdresses in sizes from 2-10 in red, green or white. Also covered in the fee for your private session with Santa Claus are the wages for any helpers, photographer and, of course, our professional Santa. Also the studio rental and artist's time, props and set design, pajamas and nightgown usage (if desired), milk and cookies and a small gift from Santa. Also included is your Private Reveal with Kirk a week or so later when you get to view the images from your session projected large. This is when you complete your purchases.
Your children will have their own private appointment with Santa. You will be greeted by Mrs. Claus and when the children are dressed and ready, will escort you into the Workshop. Each session lasts approximately 30 minutes. However, we book them 60+ minutes apart. This ensures there is no line up and we have time to work with any children who may be a little overwhelmed.
To give you that timeless look we recommend solid colored Christmas Pajamas Greens look best on our set as it balances off all the other red. Nightgowns for the girls (off-white and white) are gorgeous and bare feet are preferred. But reds would be next best. Kirk had a seamstress make custom PJs and nightdresses so we now have green or red pajamas for the boys and red or off-white nightgowns for the girls in a variety of sizes. We highly recommend using these when possible.
Although we have had babies as young as 3 months old in with their older siblings it is best if your child is sitting up on their own and able to reach out without falling over. If parents are interested in being in some images please discuss with Kirk prior to booking.
Yes! We are 100% wheelchair accessible for those with physical limitations. We have also worked with autistic children. We use soft LED lighting so there are no flashes "popping" off in high intensity short bursts! Please have an open an honest discussion with Kirk prior to booking so we can ensure a great experience for your child .
You may reschedule if there is a date available. Any reschedule requests must be done 10 days prior to your appointment. The session is 100% non-refundable. We do make allowances for a winter storm. On the day of your Experience you need to be on time for your session or risk forfeiting it or having a shortened experience. We do have a short buffer of 10-12 minutes built into our sessions, but they are booked back to back all day long and we operate at full capacity.
It will be approximately 3-5 days after your Experience when you will have a private showing on a projection screen! This is because of the work involved in adding the special painting effect, golden glow and magic dust to each image. In cases where you are travelling in excess of 2 hours in each direction ask Kirk prior to booking about options.
Kirk will be there to personally review all the great images with you in our projection room. He will assist and guide you in making decisions based on the type of Art you desire.
It takes four to six weeks to receive printed Wall Art or the Italian storybooks. To ensure you have your artwork to display for the upcoming holiday season booking a July thru October date is best. Orders from early November sessions will be back just days before Christmas.
There really is no "typical" order. It very much depends on you. However, in the past eight years virtually every family has purchased at least one piece of Wall Art - many have gone with multiples. About 75% have also purchased a Storybook. Gift portraits and Greeting Cards are also popular. You could spend hundreds or you could spend thousands.
You will receive a web-ready photo of every image you order. Due to the very specialized look, and hand-painting used to prepare these images there is a large time and skill investment involved. Therefore, the printable digital negatives are not the most economical option but they are available for gift size printing. However, to guarantee the proper finished look we only use a dedicated professional print lab to get that specialized look and high quality. Prints not made by us are not guaranteed in any way.