Gone are the days when everyone headed to the nearest mall for Santa photos at Christmastime.
Nowadays, Illawarra residents can take their pick from a variety of unique settings - from the beach and the farm to the airport.
Even the shopping centres have moved with the times, bringing dogs, party props and fantasy backgrounds in on the act.
Here's your guide to the unique, traditional, pet-friendly and sensitive Santa photos available in the Illawarra this December ...
Santa farm photos at Jamberoo
What: Have a Santa photo taken amid green hills and grazing cows. Family pets (strictly on leash) are welcome.
How much: $20 for a digital image download. All proceeds to directly support Jamberoo Public School.
Where: Hillview and Jerrara Creek Farm.
When: December 1, 7 and 8 from 2pm to 6pm. Bookings.
Santa Selfies on the Beach at Kiama Downs
What: Kiama Downs Surf Life Saving Club's annual Santa photos are back with a revamp. This year families are invited to bring their own smartphone or camera and let Santa's Little Helpers capture the photo. Furry friends welcome (must be on a leash).
How much: $10 on the day by cash or card.
Where: Kiama Downs SLSC, North Kiama Drive, Kiama.
When: December 1, 7 and 8 from 2pm. Booked out online but walk-ins available. Details
Choose your own background at Wollongong Central
What: Take a photo in front of a green screen at Wollongong Central and have fun picking your own festive scene for the background. Traditional photos also available (see below).
How much: Packages start from $29.95.
Where: Santa's Winter Wonderland on Level 1, Crown Building (near Rebel and Anaconda).
When: From now until Christmas Eve. Times vary each day so check here for available bookings.
Silly Santa pics at Warilla Grove
What: Make your photos extra fun with silly poses and party props. Every child will receive a Christmas gift and a treat from Santa. Traditional photos also available (see below).
How much: Packages start from $27.
Where: Warilla Grove Shopping Centre, outside Woolworths.
When: From now until December 15, from 10am to 4pm. No bookings required. Details.
Santa at HARS in Albion Park
What: After Santa arrives at HARS by helicopter, families are invited to use their camera or smartphone to snap a photo with him in the 747 engine cowl. Enjoy a BBQ and check out the planes.
How much: Entry fee to museum applies.
Where: HARS Aviation Museum, 54 Airport Road, Albion Park Rail
When: Saturday, December 14 and 15, from noon until 2pm. Details
Breakfast and photo with Santa at Figtree Heights PS
What: Santa will arrive on a fire truck, before sitting for professional photos shortly after. Breakfast is available for purchase, as well as face painting and a colouring-in competition.
Where: Figtree Heights Public School, 14 St George Avenue, Figtree
When: December 1 from 8am to noon. Details.
TRADITIONAL SANTA PHOTOS
- Wollongong Central: Until Christmas Eve, near Anaconda and Rebel. Packages start at $29.95. Details
- Warrawong Plaza: Until Christmas Eve, near Big W. Details.
- David Jones: Until Christmas Eve, Wollongong store. Details.
- Stockland Shellharbour: Until Christmas Eve. Packages start at $29.95. Details.
- Warilla Grove: Until Christmas Eve. Packages start at $27. Details.
- Dapto Mall: Until Christmas Eve. Level 1. Every child will receive a free book. Packages start at $29.95. Details.
- Figtree Grove: Opposite The Coffee Emporium. Details.
- Fraternity Club: December 9, 10, 11, 16 17 and 18. Costs $10 and includes a photo and a free digital copy. Details