Christmas Card Photo, Take 1

(Editor’s Note: After much ado, below is my post on the Hales’ Christmas Card Photo:)

How was your weekend?? Our was really productive! We cleaned the house, got the shopping done, cleaned the garage and donated some stuff to Goodwill, did ALL of the laundry (washed, dried, folded, AND put away!), Mommy and Poppas went on a movie date, Mommy had girltime with her friend Paquita, and the whole family got to catch up with our friends Lea and Chris :) It doesn’t get much better than that!!! I blame it on the extra hour we got snuck in there.

We got so much done, we even had time for Mommy to try to take our family Christmas card photo!! :) Taking the shots wasn’t hard, but alot went into the prep:

1. I studied blogs for weeks trying to get ideas on how I wanted to do it. (This one and this one were definitely my main inspiration.)

2. I ended up buying (and then returning) two sets of grey sheets to use as backdrops. In the end, I decided to use an old grey jersey cotton sheet and it worked out pretty well.

3. I took almost 50 photos of various Lauren toys that I used as a stand in to help me find the light. (James had been serving at church since 6AM and didn’t get home until just before I set up. And, of course, Lauren wouldn’t sit still!)

James... tired...

Lauren on the Go!

Thanks My Little Teacup! :)

4. None of us were wearing pants! I figured they wouldn’t be seen, so who cared! :)

I was able set up my homemade photobooth (aka “a-sheet-pinned-to-the-wall-in-the-front-hallway-with-the-door-wide-open”). I chose that spot because it had the most direct stream of good clear light. I used a plant holder that we have sitting in front of the door as a “tripod”. I chose to use a treasury of Christmas stories as a prop and I thought all of us wearing Santa hats gave it a festive feel along the blah grey backdrop.

Finally I felt we were ready. First I took a couple test shots of me and Lauren:

Mommy and Lauren

Then, when James came down, I took a couple shots of him and Lauren:

Poppas and Lauren

I had to make some adjustments to get rid of that haziness at the bottom, and I tried to center the shot so we all got in, but left the wall out. Then we started shooting!

It was shoot, view, reset, repeat! Shoot, view, reset, repeat! Over and over again. But I’m starting to get the hang of this self-timer thing. Either way, we had so may iterations, we had to pause for a wardrobe adjustment.

Thanks Poppas! :)

But after a few more shots (and some post-shoot cropping and color balance, lol), we got this!:

The Hales, Holiday 2011

What do you think?? Not too bad for an amature with a camera, a patient family, and a spare minute on a Sunday afternoon. :) However, still no smile from Lauren. So unfortunately for her and James, in Mommy’s neverending pursuit of perfection, we’ll have to do it again. (The TORTURE continues… MWHAHAH!! :-P) Stay tuned in December and I’ll post some of the outtakes from the professional shoot and of course, you’ll see the final product on our Christmas card!

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