Friday, December 16, 2011

The Christmas Card 2011

***I thought I had scheduled this to post on Saturday, which would be long enough to ensure that everyone I sent a card to had already received them and I wouldn't spoil the picture on the card. But apparently I don't know how to read a calendar and it posted today instead. If you have a feeling that you will get a Christmas card from me, come back and read this later after you get it if you don't want to see it here first!***

I am 90% happy with our Christmas card for this year, which is better than I thought I would be. I assumed getting a picture of all 3 of us, when one of us is just 3 months old, would have been a nightmare. Especially considering I had my heart set on one certain pose, and I was going to set up the shoot myself instead of have someone take it for me. I tend to make things hard on myself.

This stems back to my complex about having to be original. I didn't want to do a picture of us in front of the Christmas tree. Too easy. Too common. I also didn't want to make a collage of sorts with separate pictures of each of us. Again, far too easy. & also, I'm a fan of a one-pictured Christmas photo card instead of the multi-pictured ones. Just my preference, and again, I like to make things hard on myself. So I set out to take the perfect Christmas card picture.

This is what I had in mind: The three of us, laying down in sort of a triangle shape, Santa hats on our heads with the points of the hats meeting in the center. Sorta like this:

xmas card

But here are the problems this posed: 1) In order to set up a shot like this by ourselves, the camera needs to be directly above us and that would be hard to do logistically, 2) John and I don't own Santa hats ourselves, and 3) I would need to get all 3 of us smiling in one shot. Considering #1, I thought this may have been impossible to do on our own unless I was able to do one of these things:

options

A: Dangle the camera from the ceiling fan with a string. Use remote to take picture and hope for the best.
B. Develop go-go-gadget arms and take a beautiful self portrait, while making sure not to drop the camera on the subject in the middle of the picture, Charley.

Since those two options were totally doable but far too easy, I started to think that maybe this idea in my head wouldn't come to fruition after all. I started to give up on it until,

UNTIL!!...

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I got an idea.

You see, we are proud owners of a glass topped kitchen table. And you know what is awesome about glass? It's clear, that's what. And you know what is awesome about my DSLR camera? The fact that it 1) Can be placed lens down, with the lens hood supporting it, 2) That I have a remote to use so I don't have to use the timer button, and 3) That my camera has a screen that can flip around for you to be able to see the picture. Like this:

d5000_flip_lcd
So, combine my glass top table, with the cool features of my camera, and my Christmas card picture all of a sudden becomes doable. A little crazy, but doable. And who says I'm not a little crazy anyways?

So one evening, I was particularly liking my hair that day and decided it was time to set up for the Christmas picture. We didn't have Santa hats yet for me and John, but I was fine with giving up on that aspect of my idea. I was having a good hair day, after all.

John wasn't home yet, and Charley was napping so I decided to get it ready for when John got home and Charley woke up. I ran off to get my white comforter to use as our background and got to work.

I laid the blanket underneath the table, set the camera up on top of the table, grabbed the remote, and crawled under the table myself. I flipped the screen around so I could see the pictures immediately after taking them instead of having to crawl out from under the table after each picture.  It only took a couple of practice shots when I realized that my crazy idea was actually going to work. While I was under the table, I went ahead and ate an old french fry I found on the floor.

Soon, the baby had awoken, John was home, and I was somehow able to convince John to participate in my crazy idea. We were ready.

We all crawled underneath the table and I started taking a million pictures. I knew it was going to be hard to get a good picture of Charley so I just took tons of pictures with the hopes that one of them would turn out good. At first Charley was pretty thrilled with the fact that her two favorite people in the world were laying on either side of her and she was happy. Soon though, she realized we were laying under a table and decided this was not cool anymore. Photo shoot was over.

I went to the computer and started to scan through the pictures. The very first picture comes up. My eyes scan from left to right: "Damn, I look good... Wow! Charley is even smiling!... Whoa. What on earth is John doing? Next." So I flipped through all of the rest of the pictures hoping for something even better than the 2/3 I got on the first take. Only, it wasn't there. JOHN had ruined the very best picture of the batch!
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There were other good pictures of John though, so, another idea was hatched in an effort to keep my family from having to go underneath the table again. I opened up Photoshop.

I spent two full evenings replacing something-in-my-teeth-John with a good John. And in the end, I was pretty happy with my creation. I give you, our family Christmas card for 2011:

Fullscreen capture 12152011 95857 AM

And if you notice, there are no names or a signature on the card. That's because I'm an overachiever and left them off so I could sign them all by hand, so that there would at least be somewhat of a personal touch. I'm such a thoughtful Christmas card giver!

Are you a Christmas card sender? How do you feel about photo cards? Most importantly, do you think my Christmas card from this year is the cutest thing you've ever seen? Discuss.
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7 comments:

Jeff said...

I think it's very precious. I get very cranky when my wife makes me sit through photo shoots so I'm glad that John was such a good sport, even if you did have to photo shop in a good version of him.

Shannon said...

1st- such a cute chritmas card
2nd- that is some serious ingenuity, I would have probably given up
3rd- Your photoshop skills are awesome!! You cant tell at all!
I wish I would have thought about photoshop for our photos. My favorite one had Ethan screaming, but I thought it was quirky so I sent it anyway ;)

Missy said...

That is so fun and super original! Cudos to you!

The Mrs./The Mom said...

You are a photshop genius!!! Love the pic. I and like how you decided to hand write your names wish I woulda thought of that! I agree on the multiple photo traditional picture christmas cards only I did a multiple photo christmas card... well, there's always next year!

MillerMama said...

Very cute! Photoshop saved our cards too - Amelia has a head from another pic, and my hubby's shirt got recolored since he decided to wear orange plaid (oh so festive). It's amazing what a little editing can do (by our photographer...not me. I have zero talent in that respect, and am also too poor for Photoshop).

Tracey said...

I LOVED your card!! Great job! .. You dent really eat that fry though, did you?!

Laura Diniwilk said...

NO. FREAKING. WAY. Shit like this is why I love you.