vintage camera

Ten holiday photos not to miss

For many of us, the holidays bring joy and cheer, but sometimes we’re tempted towards anxiety and a bit of stress. For me? All of the above.

When it comes to capturing this time of year in pictures, I want to to remember more than the formal portraits or typical shots—it’s about the simple details, the bits and pieces that make up Christmastime for our family.

Today I’m sharing my own personal list of photos I don’t want you to miss!

Ten holiday photos not to miss

1. Your tree

The Christmas tree shot is an easy one to remember, but do you think to photograph where it came from? Perhaps you cut it yourself, or took a more convenient way. Whichever route the tree took to your home, be sure to snap that picture.

2. Collections

Just this year I decided to start collecting reindeer, and thought to take a quick photo of my little pair. This will change and evolve each year, and I look forward to continuing with this series!

3. A favorite gift

As you sit back on Christmas morning, which treasure doesn’t leave your little one’s side? These years are so fleeting and too quickly we forget the details each Christmas brings us. Take a moment to capture it.

4. Edibles

Do you have a famous dish, a most requested meal? Food is not only fun to photograph, but involves such wonderful colors and textures this time of year.

5. The parties

Good friends of ours host the most fabulous themed holiday parties. Don’t leave your camera home for these!

6. Warmth in a cup

What’s in your favorite mug this time of year? Hot cocoa, peppermint latte, maybe a steaming mug of tea? Document it today.

7. Holiday magic

Does a little red elf visit your home each December? Maybe for your family the magic lies in the first snow, or waking to a daily advent. These little moments pass by in an instant and are so special to our children.

8. Our furry friends

This year we said goodbye to a beloved family dog, which leads me to remind you of the four-legged children in your photos. Don’t let a year go by without taking some pictures of them.

9. Tradition

We collect Christmas books, many of which were my own as a child. They get packed away with the rest of our holiday goodies so it really is a treasure to re-read them each December. The baby even agrees! Photographing them in use, in action, is something I’m focusing on a lot this year.

10. You!

Last but not least, get on the other side of that camera. I adore puffy vests and warm cups of coffee when the weather has a chill. It’s easy to photograph everyone and everything, but so quickly we forget to be in the pictures as well. Ask a friend or your spouse, grab a seasonal favorite and give a good smile.


What about you? What are some of your “must have” shots of the season?


Angie Warren lives in Northern California with her husband, 3 kids, and German Shepherd pup. She has a background in writing, photography, and art; and is currently teaching a photo course at a local High School.

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  1. This is a good idea – I’m terrible about remembering to take pictures and then stress out about it. If I can think of my non-negotiable pictures it’ll help me relax about the whole thing.

  2. Many thanks for these great ideas. I NEVER take pictures, and then I regret not having them later on. As Steph notes above, having a brief list of photos worth taking will be very helpful.

  3. I hadn’t thought of some of these pictures. What great ideas! Thanks!

  4. I’m a professional photographer, which is going to make what I am about to say verging on sacrilege … but I say throw this list away.

    What are your best memories of Christmas or the holidays? Are they ones that are captured in pictures or are they ones that are feelings and smells and colors and emotions? When I think of Christmas, often I think of the Little House on the Prairie books; Laura Ingalls didn’t have a camera but she vividly remembered the smell of popcorn, the taste of peppermint, the feel of her doll in her hands, the vivid scent of a rare orange on her fingers.

    As a photographer I say: put down the camera and experience the event. You don’t need a list of “must have” photos for the holiday. You need to be there wholly, 100% in person. You need to commit the smells, feels, tastes, and sights to memory instead of experiencing it through the barrier of a lens.

    Stop distancing yourself from your family and BE your family.

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