tis the season, a time for family, friends, peace, joy, love and the annual Christmas card photo.
there is one day of the year where we can actually gather all our children in the same place at the same time… Thanksgiving which happens to be our favorite holiday.
..and part of our favorite holiday revolves around stepping away from the appetizers and stepping outside for the annual Christmas card photo shoot.
we coordinate our outfits, picking a general color palette and some of my family like to see if they can rattle me by showing up in opposite colors to see how i react.. i’ve learned to say, “oh you look nice”.. knowing they have their clothes in the car.
we we’re thankful, okay, i was thankful we had nice weather, no rain, no sleet and definitely no snow, since we live in Northern Cali..
this year, actually every year, my mission is to get 11 of us to look at the camera and smile with all eyes open… i know what you’re thinking, you’re wishing me luck right?
first challenge.. getting the kids to understand this is not a one shot iPhone selfie for Facebook or Instagram, this is the annual Christmas card photo that will be sent to all our family and friends.
second challenge.. keeping their attention, bribery usually works, something like, the faster we get this done, the quicker we can get back to that warm artichoke cheese dip or aunt jo’s clam dip..
third challenge.. just one photo with all eyes open.
lights, camera, action.
look alive people..
did i mention that 7 minutes into the shoot my daughter who shall not be named had to go potty?!?!! i had barely set up the tripod, framed the shot, checked the settings, and i hear..”do i have time to go potty”.. did i also mention home was a block away..
we’re getting there, sort of..
nope, not quite there yet..
yes, my son is trying to lick his sister or she’s checking his tonsils, i can’t be sure which is happening… and then there’s my son-in-law who has now picked up two big sticks making my daughter look like she has reindeer antlers, i guess that could be considered “Christmassy”, but not exactly the look i had envisioned..
be still my heart… 11 sets of open eyes, 11 faces looking forward, 11 smiles, 10 wonderful unique individuals that make me laugh, make me cry, make me worry, make me go, huh.. and enrich my life in more ways than they will ever know, i’ll take it.. now and forever!
a job well done family.. another Christmas card photo is behind us.. now let’s eat, drink and be merry!.. ps. i love you all!
you’ve got the shot, now what?
i import my photos into Adobe Lightroom. go to ‘develop’ and begin with the basics panel. i adjust white balance, exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, etc. if needed. next, i remove any noticeable blemishes with the spot removal healing brush.
the next step is to decide which company you would like to order your cards through. i chose Shutterfly, they have a beautiful selection of greeting cards, great discounts, quick processing, shipping, as well as a 100% happiness guarantee [i like happiness].
the next step, upload your image file, choose your design, personalize, add to the shopping cart making sure to use all discount codes available. i received 30% off with an additional 10% and also used a free shipping coupon code.
gear and settings.
Nikon D600, 50mm 1.8, Nikon SB700 on camera for fill and a Gitzo GT3330 tripod. settings; aperture mode, ISO 200, f 5.6, self timer.