Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Christmas Card Pictures 2013

I have to say that getting the pictures for this year's Christmas card didn't go too badly compared to years past. But. Holy moly. Trying to make a card out of them or get a blog header that isn't blurry (fail) has been quite another story. Websites don't work…my internet connection stinks…things don't fit…you name it, I've had issues with it. Should have known it was too good to be true! :)

So here's the story. The pictures I ended up taking were NOT the ones I had originally intended for our Christmas card this year. My original plan was to do our pictures outside in these super cute outfits I've had for over a YEAR just waiting for Christmas time. Next year, remind me to take our Christmas card picture in September, haha. Because that idea flew out the window when our temps dropped overnight. I've done this enough times now to know not to make the rookie mistake of taking my kids out in the cold and expecting them to cooperate.

So plan B. Find a way to take pictures indoors. I am not a professional, so the whole point of having the pictures outside was for the lighting. Anyone can take pictures outside. But inside. That's a whole other ballgame.

I turned to google and learned a few tricks for getting the right lighting in those pretty christmas light pictures that you see everywhere. Since our tree isn't up yet, I had to think of an easy backdrop.

If you would like to try this out, too, here are some tips from an amateur. (Hey, it worked for me! Haha.)

1. Find a very neutral wall and tack up some Christmas lights at varying levels - icicle lights are by far the best choice.

2. Find a natural light source (like a window) that is positioned in front of your subject's face, so that their face will be nicely illuminated with natural light. Our window had a white roller shade pulled down over it, which was a perfect filter.

3. In order to get that dreamy bokeh effect from the lights, your subject must be positioned at least 6 feet away from them. When you zoom in on your subject, the lights will blur out nicely.

Here's Gracie pre photo-shoot helping me out with all of this….


We were taking our pictures in my bedroom on the bed, so that meant in order to be six feet away from the lights the kids had to be on the veeeery edge, and to get the lighting on their faces just right, they had to be on the corner of the bed facing the window.

One guess how easy it was getting a one year old to cooperate on that one. :)

So we grabbed a Santa hat, threw on some Christmas PJ's, and Gracie took her turn first. It's so funny how things change. Gracie is now the easiest of my children to take pictures of. Say what? Gracie?? It's true. She's so easy going about this kind of stuff, and super funny. She's still a pistol, but I'm loving her little personality.

This was the very first picture that we took, and it ended up being my favorite of the whole day. It's so her. I love it.

It's blurry, but it still cracks me up. :) That's another unfortunate thing about taking pictures indoors with lower lighting. One little movement from you or them, and you won't get as crisp of a picture.  (Tripods are a great idea for taking pictures in low light…we didn't have room for one.)

She did great!

Evelyn was up next.

Evie is at that wonderful kid stage where picture taking is a game. Making faces is the best idea. Bunny ears are awesome. Doing the exact opposite of what your mama tells you to do is great. Haha, I still managed to get a few good ones of her. :) 

Couldn't get the stinker to keep her feet down. Adds character though, right? :)

Those round Charlie Brown cheeks. Hehe, she slays me.

 This girl made me a mama. My first born. Love her!

Now Mr. Reagan…oh boy….

First, my son had no regard for the "six foot away" rule. Tossed that one right out the window, just like he tossed the Santa hat onto the floor every single time I stuck it on his head.

Off of his head, onto the floor. Twenty times.

I thought it was a lost cause. And then…I got an idea. I put a mirror in front of him in hopes that it would buy me two seconds of him staring at himself so I could get a picture. He wasn't positioned just right, but the trick worked!

Not for long, but just long enough! Babies love themselves, what can I say? :)

His double chin action makes me giggle!

I encourage any of you to try out some Christmas light pictures this year, too. It's kind of fun to set up and play around with. :) A sleeping baby or a lazy pet would be perfect for this type of thing, because they would likely be very still for you. And how adorable would a sleeping baby be? Aw…I want a little baby again….

In a while….

Can I just borrow one of yours? :)

This will probably be the last blog post of the week, with the Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow. I truly hope that you all have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving. I'll be thinking of my sister, whom I pray will have a great day even if she isn't home with family. There are so many serving our country who won't be home tomorrow. I am very thankful for them. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


Sarah said...

I keep telling Trav if he just bought me a nice camera, we would save so much money!

Happy Thanksgiving to my favorite family!!

Heather said...

Awwww...these are great! You can absolutely come practice on Kinley when she gets here! 4 weeks! And i have a bunch of cute little outfits and photo props just waiting for a camera lover to come show me how to use my new one.

Adrien said...

It's true that we save lots of money! But I have the exact opposite problem. I pine for the day that we can have pictures professionally done…sigh.

For sure, Heather! Youtube has helped me a lot in very basic knowledge of my specific camera. I'm sure there are videos on yours, too. We have books, but I need to HEAR someone explain it, haha.

Happy Thanksgiving, girls!

Cassie said...

S&H looked at these with me. they love them! i do too!!

Adrien said...

Thanks Cassie - hope everyone is feeling well! Happy Thanksgiving!


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