As you can probably guess we waited until almost the last minute to take photos for our Christmas card this year. As per always.
(I often wonder what it must be like to be a planner and follow-through-er. Sigh.)
We tried to take them one late afternoon but after an unexpected vet trip for one of our cats, Spooky (she's had an ongoing allergic reaction/stress episode resulting in the loss of hair all around her neck, which has nothing to do with our photos other than almost derailing them) and traffic we pretty much ran out of light.
So we got ourselves all ready and put the same clothes on the next afternoon and tried again. We headed to a park near our house in the hopes of finding somewhat appealing backgrounds.
The first attempt was near the water, the light was good but still a bit harsh directly (although now that I'm looking at these again maybe we should have stuck it out there) or it was too dark with the water and sun behind us.
We found another spot with a bridge and were making our way toward it when another photographer and family beat us to it. Rats.
We noticed a pergola (?) nearby and a fairly neutral background (except for those owls, but, oh well) so we set up there instead.
(All of these shots are straight out of my camera, not edited, just fyi.)
I used my tripod and remote clicker, which is what I usually do, but this time I made an exciting discovery after, oh, years. My remote has a two-second delay option which gives me time to activate the camera shutter and put my hand down. Can I get a DUH? No more trying to hide it not so discreetly in my hand while trying to take a natural looking photo.
Did you know it's a little awkward to pose three people along the same plane? A standing-holding-hands-pose wasn't my first choice mainly because we did that last year (against a brick wall) but it's certainly easy.
Of course we snapped several due to closed eyes, weird head angles (Annelise is in a tilt your head almost sideways like the girls on Disney channel phase) or possible fifth position feet.
Then things got crazy up in that pergola and we got our jump on.
Which was surprisingly fun.
I couldn't resist a foot photo. Or lower half photo. Whichever.
We even played with props.
By this time the light was really fading so we tried to scramble in a few more poses. As we were getting started these two stray kids ran up and hovered nearby waiting for me to take their picture, which, um...weird, but I complied just the same. We brought a chair from home, just for something different than a bench and played around with that some, but the light was bad, Annelise was rocking the sideways head again (this picture was the least offensive) or random people/dogs turned up in the background.
Then we perched on a tree stump and tried to get a close up before the light completely packed up its bags.
And of course we had to wrap everything up with a bit of silly.Tiny Prints (thanks to a 25% off coupon code) and I fell for one of the first ones that popped up on my computer, mainly due to the chalkboard theme and candy canes (what a coincidence, right?!). I also really liked the larger size and heavier card stock feel (a change for us from the photo cards we've done in the past), the rounded corners were a nice touch too.
Now, big surprise, but in the rush to place our order I didn't fully realize nor utilize all of the possible layout/style options. Like I could have added text. Who knew? I also could have chosen a semi-gloss instead of matte for free (although the matte was fine, the card just wasn't as clear--of course--as a photo card and we wondered if semi-gloss would have been sharper).
I also lost sleep that night over the fact I actually ordered cards with us jumping. Part of me was all it's whimsical and fun and the other part of me was hiding under a blanket wishing she could take it back.
Here is a wonky, and slightly blurry photo from my phone, complete with thumb, of the front...
and back of our card.
Going to the mailbox this time of year is so exciting! I love opening cards from friends and family and seeing their happy faces pop out of the envelope and taking a moment to think about them and catch up with the goings-on in their lives. It's such a treat! We leave our cards displayed for a good long while because it's fun to look back over them long after Christmas is officially packed away.
For the past several years I've exchanged cards with bloggy friends as well as those IRL, which has been fun to exchange something tangible with friends around the country that live in my computer. You know? Is that weird? Maybe. I know it's terribly late and possibly odd, but if you read my blog and would like to exchange cards--or even actual real letters from time to time--hey, whaddya say, let's do it. You can leave a comment or drop me a line with your address, my email is email@example.com.