Conference of Santas

Wessex Institute is renown for its International conferences, so I thought a conference of Santas would make a ideal Christmas card.

I began the photo session by drawing out a grid on a flip chart showing the 30 or so seats in the hall and assigning one of our eight main Santa actors to each one, making sure no person sat next to themselves. The camera was locked into position on a solid tripod and, starting from the front, the Santas were photographed in their assigned seats, swapping elements of their costume between each assigned seat. As the photographs from the same position were in registration, it was relatively easy to compose the whole crowded conference scene as overlapping layers (with layer masks) in Photoshop.

We even made a hardback book cover of the ‘conference proceedings’, which is presented at every WIT conference, for use in our Santas conference. We gave it an appropriately sounding scientific name ‘Santa: – Claus and Effect’.