Has the local mall Santa just not cut it for you? Beard doesn’t seem quite real? Not jovial enough? Not seeing visions of sugarplums? We have great holiday news for you! Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus… right to Billings, Montana! Our local Santa has over 14 years of experience in the Santa biz, having worked from California to Radio City Music Hall, and now he is here for Christmas! A retired teacher, our Santa has always loved working with kids. It was a natural transition to a role where he could continue, but bring his skills to bear on Holiday Spirit! We are a great option for making long-lasting memories for your family with our plastic (not paper) light fast 70-year rated photos! Never forget that special Christmas with your pet, your kids, YOURSELF and Santa! We are pet friendly AND camera friendly! We have a REAL BEARD Santa, the most authentic looking around. Keep tabs on this page to learn more about us!
Welcome to Montana Santa Photos where pets are welcome and children play rather than standing in long lines for hours. We are a small local family business. Our Santa is a real beard Santa who was born in Billings where he taught psychology. That proved to be very useful in this line of work and why he is able to work so well with kids . He has 14 years experience, including Radio City Music Hall where, in his first year, he set records for Kodak, best sales in New York City and second best in the entire country. That gives some indication of how good he is. He is caring and loving and great at getting almost anyone to smile. He is especially good at dealing with scared and crying children and even getting a smile out of them sometimes if parents listen to our suggestions. One person says the reason that he does so well with kids is because he makes every child his own. Our Santa is the greatest, or so we have been told. If you don’t believe us, read the rave reviews on our facebook page, Montana Santa.
Our photographer is a skilled professional, not some amateur temp who, after a few quick days of training, is hired for only one season. He loves this work, which he is very good at, and he is one of the few who actually makes the effort to get the child to smile, which is often met with success. Because he is always attentive, he usually catches that perfect moment that others too often miss. And unlike most other Santa helpers, he can alter the photo when necessary and make it even better, taking out a pimple here and and pulling down a dress there. Once he even added an absent member to the family photo at their request. One awed parent called him a wizard and it stuck. All the kids that know him call him that now, a title well deserved. People say that he takes the best Santa pictures they have ever seen. If you don’t believe us, check out the rave reviews and the photos on our facebook page, Montana Santa, but keep in mind that the colors and lines aren’t as good on a computer as they are in a photo. Our photographer has become the photography teacher at the Career Center, but he still trains and supervises our photographers and does much of the photography himself, still. We may not be able to remove blemishes and alter photos, but may still be able to do it if you do not mind waiting to pick up your photos in a day or so.
All of the children simply adore Mrs. Claus. She is a wonderful person. She is the one who is largely responsible for the warm, friendly, cheerfulness that our place is so well known for. We have worked hard, lavishly decorating our place to make it into a cute Santa’s workshop where the children can feel warm and comfortable as can be seen in the photos on our facebook page, Montana Santa. Rather than just being a backdrop for photos, our Santa workshop is a place to play and have fun rather than having to stand in line. Our Santa’s workshop is a place in which our kids play rather than standing in line for hours on end. They have so much fun here that we have more children crying here because they don’t want to leave than children who are crying because they don’t want to come here in the first place!
Large operations have so many people to handle so quickly, it makes it impossible for them to have the intimacy and personal touch that our small place has. It enables us to have a more leisurely pace as long as parents don’t wait until the last minute so we get slammed. That allows Santa much more time to really visit with the kids to give them a wonderful and memorable experience. That is what we sell here more than a mere photo. We know we have accomplished that when a child slips off Santa’s knee, all bright eyed and bushy tailed, and happily skips over to the parents to tell them excitedly, “He’s the real Santa!” At least for the moment, that child is truly and completely happy and knows that life is good. That can help to carry them through a lot, later in life. That’s why our parents bring their child here and are willing to pay for it, even if they were to pay more for it. And that is why they come back year after year, to buy the experience. The photos are just an added bonus. If you don’t believe us that the experience is what it is all about, go look at the photos on our facebook page, Montana Santa, and see if you don’t experience some of those feelings of joy and happiness, yourself. Expect to giggle at some of them.
Contact: We can be contacted at any of the following, but please bear with us. Sometimes we can be very busy in the middle of shooting or out to an activity so we can’t get to you right away, but leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as we can:
Cell Phone Number: (406) 672- 3680
Facebook Page: Montana Santa
Location: We are at located at 321 S 24th St. West right across from Starbucks, Simply.mac, and the Rimrock Mall. We also have a map on our facebook page (Montana Santa) in the About on the menu bar. Or simply just look for our giant inflated Santa as you drive down 24th. You can’t miss us. He is 12′ tall. As long as he is inflated, we are probably there if we are not gone to an activity like a day care center or something.
Shop hours:We are available for activities even before we open the store for the season, Our shop hours through Thursday, Dec 16th, are:
Closed Mondays until Dec 19
10 a.m. to 6 p.m, Tuesday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday 12 p.m.to 6 p.m. on Sundays
With extended hours after Dec.16th, which will be announced later.. However Santa is often there early and sometimes later than that. If the giant Santa is up, Santa has not left the building. – unless he’s gone on an activity during normal business hours. It is always a good idea to check our page on facebook at Montana Santa where we try to warn people in advance when he will be gone and for how long. We also post it on the door on the day of the even, telling what time we hope to return.
Schedule Our week days are broken into three basic parts:
1. Private Single Family Sessions, (formally known as “open sessions”) shooting your own photos and also any activities outside the store during store hours. This is the time between 10:00 and 3:30 before the photographer arrives. From 3:30 to 4:00 is the time for the photographer to set up, return messages, etc. That time and after business hours are good times to try calling to talk to him
2. Photographer’s Sessions, the time that the photographer has reserved to take photos from 4:00 until closing on week days and all day on weekends (and all day during the last week of of the season). He’s often in earlier than that, especially if you call and set up a time when there are no open sessions scheduled.
3. Activities and Events after closing time when Santa and/or the photographer are available for a fee. Call to see if we are available, get the specific information, and set up a time and place. Santa is also available for activities and events during the private single family sessions, or earlier, until 3:30 if no private family sessions or events are already scheduled, so call well in advance to reserve an opening. The photographer may or may not be available, depending on his schedule at his other job (so don’t call him during working hours!)
From 4 to 6 on week days and all day on week ends is reserved for our professional photographer to take photos.
10 to 3:30 on week days- private single family sessions (formally called “open sessions”), since that time is not reserved for the photography, In open open sessions when you can take photos with your own camera, You have 15 minutes minimum guaranteed for $30 (but it usually runs longer). These sessions are especially valuable for the children who is extremely shy or scared or easily distracted by the activity going on around them. You must call 672 3680 in advance schedule a session. If we are unable to come to the phone, leave us a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible to schedule you in. You can take your chances just coming in during that time frame without calling first, However, Santa may be gone to an activity or event or an open session or photo shoot with Josh may already be scheduled in for that time. If you come in and a shoot is in progress, if Mr.s Claus is not there, do not come into the studio or call for us. The open sessions and their advantages will be discussed in greater detail later.
Outside Activities an events: There is a wide range of activities from home visits to deliver presents or having photos taken at your home (especially for children too shy or scared even for open sessions) to nursing homes. Just call us at 672 – 3680 and we will discuss if it is something that Santa can do and schedule the time and place. The fee is usually $50 for a half hour and $100 for an hour, but it is negotiable. The photographer is also available with or without Santa, especially in the evenings after 6:30 or 7:30, depending on the time of season. You are going to have to contact him, though, for the fees and to make arrangements with him. His email address is “firstname.lastname@example.org” – and his phone number is 406-671-4023 – but don’t call him during business hours since he is working another job, not just here.