Friday, December 19, 2014

Snow Land 2014--yes, snow in Costa Mesa!

Yesterday was “Snow Land 2014”, an annual event put on by Torelli Realty for the children and families of Costa Mesa.  It was the first time I’ve been there, and I was there this year as the official event photographer.  Although I don’t have a true count, there must have been easily over 1000 people there based on the number of photographs I took of children with Santa Claus! The count of smiles and laughs had to be in the tens of thousands!!

One of things I used to tell people that I enjoyed about refereeing soccer games was that I was literally out in the middle of the action, feeling the drama, and seeing up close the faces of determination, effort, and either the jubilance or disappointment of results.  I had this same sense when photographing a wedding for a niece several years ago, and I had it again yesterday when sitting up close and personal with all the children as they sat with Santa Claus as they whispered their Christmas gift wishes to him.  There were some unbelievable smiles of joy and happiness, quizative expressions of uncertainty, and the occasional horrified screams and crying—and that was just from me!!

Last week we had some big rains forecasted, but very lucky for us the rain came Thursday and played itself out by late Friday leaving nothing but blue sunny skies for the event on Saturday.  An outside company was at the park at the crack of dawn spraying a large play area with a blanket of snow.  When I arrived, the trucks were just pulling away having left a fantastic play area for the children that were to arrive soon.  

Also being set up when I arrived were a number of canopies and tables for various organizations and groups there to support the event.  There was face-painting, cookie-decorating, music from a DJ, music from a live-performing band, snow cones and other snacks, holiday decorations for sale, an inflatable bounce house…and I’m sure I’m missing other activities—all packed into a three-hour winter carnival!

My job was mostly to capture photographs of the children with Santa Claus, but there was enough time before Santa arrived for me to catch some of the snow play and other activities.  Again, being in the middle of all that excitement and fun, and being able to observe others enjoying it was a real treat…much like it was for parents who were there enjoying their own children.  The cool thing is that all of the photos with Santa Claus are being provided at no cost to the parents as part of the overall event—which itself was totally free to everyone!  Below are just a few of the photographs I created which will give you a sense of the overall experience.  I had a blast.

Oh yah, I just noticed something else when pasting in the photos… The Snow Sisters from Frozen were there!  (actually, I don’t know too much about them, but I’m told the line to see them was as long or longer than the line to see Santa Claus!!)

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