I had the opportunity recently to photograph the beginning of the Holiday shopping season, better known as Black Friday, at South Park Mall in Strongsville. Following recent trends toward opening on Thanksgiving evening, the mall opened it’s doors at 8:00 Thanksgiving evening and I was there to capture photos of the families and shoppers enjoying themselves.
At 8:00, the doors opened up and the lines of anxious shoppers filed themselves into the large, beautifully decorated mall. Many of the stores were open and ready for business, some with their own crowd control measures in front of their doors because of the large number of people expected to take advantage of the sales being offered. By 10:00, the mall was packed shoulder-to-shoulder with shoppers and families and was showing no signs of slowing down.
South Park Mall had special entertainment and activities to entertain holiday shoppers and their families. There were costumed characters in place to entertain the kids as well as adults. Radio stations set up equipment for location broadcasts, a live DJ had upbeat Holiday music playing, a balloon artist made fun balloons for the kids, and more.
At 11:00 I opened up a photo booth where people could donate $5 to the Red Cross and have their photo taken with “Hunky Santa” and a 5×7 print made. I set up my large soft box lights and took fun portraits of ladies and guys with this impressive man. Not only was he fun to take photos of, but he was also a really nice person and enjoyable to to talk with.