This year will mark the events move to the Traverse nightclub, which is decked in festive decor for the occasion.
“The change of location is great,” says Morrison. “It is wheelchair and stroller accessible, with a lot more waiting room. We are also getting to set up the day before, which is great. In years past, I’ve been tweaking the lighting as people are starting to come in.”
An animal lover himself, donating his time every year to the Revelstoke District Humane Society event is an easy decision for Morrison.
“I think anyone who thinks that much about their pets or their kids or cares that much about the society to come out, then I want to make the pictures as nice as I can.”
To do just that, in addition to set up and the day of photography itself, Morrison spends a couple days in post production. “I run everything through light-room and tweak the images. I spend a lot of time on it because you have to work quickly because you are dealing with kids and animals – I try to keep the shoot time tight but also make sure I have a couple of good images. It comes back to the people caring enough to come out, and I want them to have a good picture to show for it.”
“It’s unreal,” he says happily. “It’s also cool to see the families that come year after year.”
Morrison estimates the society has been doing Santa pictures for about twelve years.
“We’ve had some memorable shoots,” he says. “Once at the Community Centre the power went out, so we moved everyone outside and started shooting out there in the snowbank. Then the power came back on as everyone was getting come so we moved it all back in again.”
This year, Morrison is treating participants to a new theme. “For the past few years we have done the fuzzy, warm, romantic lighting with the big chair,” he says. “This year the theme is a bright winter day. It’s a full studio set up.”
While Morrison might be taking all the pictures, he is quick to point out there are a lot of volunteers who bring the event together. Pauline Hunter organizes the event, a dozen people help set it up and run it, others bake and donate goods, and Sue White commits a significant chunk of time emailing the pictures out.
Pictures with Santa is on today, November 17 from 9 am – 5 pm at the Traverse.
In addition to the Pictures with Santa event, thanks to volunteer and MyRevelstoke.ca owner Matt Stepchuk, the society is debuting a much needed, brand new website.
The new site is laid out thoughtfully- information, events and news are easy to navigate. It is so new Stepchuk hasn’t had the chance to optimize it for mobile devices, so he recommends viewing it on a computer screen.
“We’ve also gone to the city and helped them out with respect to the dog side of things by providing a form people can fill in on the site and it goes right to the bylaw officers,” explains Stepchuk.
“Community partners are also recognized, and we started a corporate hero program,” he say. “Businesses can, for a minimum donation of $50 a year, get their logo and a link to their website on the site. There is a form you can find on the Get Involved page, and it allows you to upload your logo. The new site is really functional and easy for people.”