How Fresno families are taking COVID-safe photos with Santa this holiday season

A picture-perfect moment with Santa during 2020? It's easy.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- This year, local photo companies are getting creative to help families take those famous Santa Claus photos with their loved ones while still staying safe.

"Now there's a record-breaking snowstorm here at the North Pole and my reindeer are telling me it just wouldn't be safe to fly," Santa Claus said to kids through a recording inside Holiday Magic Studios.

With Santa stuck at the North Pole, the Grigorieff family of Clovis is taking their first Santa Claus photo of the holiday season.

This year, they're doing it pandemic style, smiling at Olaf, while their images pop up on the screen and the man in the red suit magically appears.

"It's different without Santa, but it's really cool because in the picture it looks like Santa is right there," said Mylah Grigorieff of Clovis.

Like many families, they were unsure about how the impacts of 2020 would affect their traditions.

"The kids want to take pictures and have Santa photos for the future. So it's a good idea to be able to come out and do this and still have memories even though they're not here," said dad Dave Grigorieff.

Holiday Magic Studios has been at River Park for many years and did not want to cancel the Christmas tradition. Instead they are using technology to create images.

"The kids and the families immediately start to see Santa come alive in the studio in every picture that is taken. He's there and you just can't see him," said Peter DeYoung, Holiday Magic Studios CEO.

Customers go online to book private appointments for five minutes, so there's no lines.

People don't have to wear masks in their pictures.

This year with the pandemic, some things have changed.

"When you arrive you will have your temperature checked by one of our elves, then you're escorted into the studio. Before you go in, you'll sanitize. You come into a studio that is highly sanitized. We have Peco filtration in there, which wipes out all bacteria, viruses," DeYoung said.

The studio is sanitized after each customer. As for the Grigorieff family, they got to see their images right away and say the experience was magical.

"I feel like he is here," said 4-year-old Livia Grigorieff.

A picture-perfect moment during 2020.

Some families say one of the positives of this year's photo shoot is that kids that were a little nervous meeting Santa don't have to worry this year.
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