Get a Christmas photo without Santa at Appin

Family photo: Gather Coffe House owner Scott Dougherty with wife Sharon and daughters Mae and Posy.

Family photo: Gather Coffe House owner Scott Dougherty with wife Sharon and daughters Mae and Posy.

Love getting professional family photos at Christmas time but not a big fan of lining up for the kids to sit with Santa?

Katie Weir feels the same - that's why she's come up with an alternative.

The Appin resident has launched a 'Santa-free' Christmas photography initiative at Gather Coffee House in Appin, where people can get their photo in front of a huge hand-made wreath with a lovely timber backdrop featuring the words 'All I Want for Christmas 2020'. A bench seat can also be used.

Ms Weir said she had never found the 'photo with Santa' concept to be joyful, especially with long lines and the fear that her boys wouldn't connect with Santa or enjoy the experience.

"I thought prices were expensive and it was stressful to pick what package to choose," the photographer said.

"So last year I decided not to go down that path and I took my own photo, with the kids in Santa hats, and I thought it documented the year just as well as a Santa photo, but without the stress.

"Given that I normally make my own Christmas wreath every year, I decided to just make a massive one this year and encourage people to have family photos with it as an alternative to Santa."

Family photo: Gather Coffe House owner Scott Dougherty with wife Sharon and daughters Mae and Posy.

Family photo: Gather Coffe House owner Scott Dougherty with wife Sharon and daughters Mae and Posy.

Ms Weir said it was often difficult to get the whole family in a photo, as someone - "usually Mum" - is behind the camera, and not part of the action.

"This initiative is about not just taking photos of the kids, but capturing some really lovely moments with the wreath and the lovely sign making a sweet, simple setting for the family," she said.

"One of the young guys who works at Gather, Aaron Hook, will be taking the photos as he has a lot of experience with indoor portraits.

"We've had some really good interest so far, and I expect that will pick up even more in December."

Ms Weir said she was thankful Gather owner Scott Dougherty was eager to host the photography sessions at his establishment.

Mr Dougherty said he was happy to spread some Christmas cheer in store.

"Christmas can be a very busy and overwhelming time and it's going to be so nice to see families stop for a moment and create some special memories that will be captured forever," he said.

The photo sessions will take place on Thursday afternoons and Saturday mornings throughout December at Gather Coffee House in Appin. There will be one pet friendly session on Thursday 10 December.

Photo sessions cost $50 and five different digital images will be provided on a USB, ready to send, upload or print.

Bookings are essential and can be made online via http://www.trybooking.com/BMHJB.

For more information, please call Katie Weir on 0412 943 599.