This subject is something that is really close to my beliefs as a creator. During my 4 years of university, I've learned so much about the behind the scenes of creating good-looking content and how hard it can be to make such content. Some of the best looking photographs take so much education and practice to develop.
I took a few classes on creating branded content and that's where the story of The Jr. Claus Workshop begins.
On YouTube I started a channel where I posted videos that were part of a series called "Secrets of Being Santa Claus." The first video in that series was published on April 19th, 2019. The next semester started soon after that and I was tasked with creating and managing a brand.
After a few drafts of logos and titles, I developed a logo similar to the current one, and settled on the name The Jr. Claus Workshop (I seem to favor "Jr." as I myself am one). Since the video series already had an intro and a title, I kept these videos on brand and wrapped up that series before officially beginning this website. Hence, the videos on the YouTube channel of The Jr. Claus Workshop are "Secrets of Being Santa Claus" or "How to be a Santa." I consider that video series the "prologue" to the 2020 Season 1 videos here on the website currently.
When it comes to self branding as a Santa Claus representative, you have some traditional guidelines to follow but a lot of leeway to customize and make things unique to your portrayal.
When it comes down to it, the goal is to look realistically believable. Toss away the pieces of apparel and gear that look phony, and start developing a unique beard style and working on presentation skills. The more one works at these things the better they will become in these areas.
Photos are extremely important as part of the branded "look" of your personal Santa Claus interpretation. Not only will the type of suits, beard styling, and persona you have influence your look, but the photos that are produced of you should also capture a bit of the magic you have to offer.
Instead of working with a photographer, I've done most of my own promotional photos myself (but the same steps I took can be applied to working with any photographer). I'm going to outline 3 simple steps to help you develop photographs and other media that you will be proud of.
First, get examples of what you like.
Gather examples of photographs from off the web, create a Pinterest board, and/or find photos from Instagram. By having a bunch of the photos you find inspiration from, you can then show your photographer the vibe and style you'd like in your own photographs.
Second, make the photos your own.
You're not going to be replicating the photos exactly, but rather get something similar. Along the way you'll find things you like, set pieces you prefer, and poses that you love the most. Make these photos stand out by making them your own.
Finally, share them.
There's nothing wrong with hanging up all the photos on the wall of your own house, but you can get many more smiles, much more business, and create a bigger impact by spreading those images around. Put them on social media, your website, your business cards, Christmas cards, announcements of events etc.
Another great benefit to having photos developed that you like, it can give you something to aspire to. After a long day of gigs or when you're not feeling totally immersed in the Christmas Spirit, these photos stand as a testimony of the magic and how amazing you can look. I have found that my own photos lend encouragement to me in those down times outside of the Christmas season.
I believe that it is every Santa Claus representative's responsibility to create an air of authenticity in every aspect of representing the man himself. Developing and fostering a brilliant look will not only help the magic be felt when children are waiting in line to see you, but also help you feel the magic you felt when you were a child yourself.
Yours as always,