7 must-have photos to get of your kids this Christmas season

Christmas is a wonderful time of year. The lights. The sounds. The magic. The love and connection. But do we truly capture those details in our typical photos?

More pictures are taken during the holiday season than any other time of year. I'm sure you've seen the most popular ones: the baby wrapped up in a string of lights or stuffed into a stocking, kids in their Christmas sweaters and dresses standing in a holiday set up, your child on Santa's lap, either in awe or in terror!

These are great.

But as a documentary photographer, I look for stories and take images that tell those stories. Here are 7 photos ops that you may not have thought of.

1. SANTA

Not just the kid on his lap sharing all their holiday wishes. The kid patiently (or impatiently) waiting before getting to meet Santa.

2. LIGHTS

Not a kid wrapped up in them in front of a blank wall, but the lights reflecting in their wonder-filled eyes.

3. PRESENTS

Not just their thrilled expression as they open the things they've wished for on Christmas morning, but you wrapping the presents surrounded by scissors, tape, gift tags and bows.

4. COOKIES

Not just the finished product, but the process beforehand either having them "assist" you in mixing and adding ingredients or their faces glowing in the oven light as they watch with anticipation.

5. DECORATIONS

Not just the individual decorations like the stockings hung on the mantle, but your child interacting with the decorations.

6. WEATHER

Not just in front of the finished snowman with a proud smile, but the process of getting dressed as fast as possible in all their gear before going out in the cold. Or the details of their rosy cheeks or the snowflakes on their lashes.

7. FAMILY

Not just a group photo, but greeting and hugging family you don't see often. Grandparents reading stories to your kids. Cousins happily playing in the next room.

These types of photos will help tell the full Christmas story.

But one thing to remember...take your photos, but don’t let it keep you from being in the moment.  Put the camera down and create these memories with your loved ones!