Having Rock star photographers as good friends is one of the greatest things for someone like me. It’s true. Sadly, I can hardly operate a point and shoot camera. The advent of the lifestyle photographer’s blog has done wonders for standards in photography for weddings and even family photos. Gone are the days of Olen Mills, fake backgrounds and sketchy photographers that you’re scared to leave your children in a room with. Checking the photo blogs has also become a fun part of my day. I’m embarrassed to say that a day never goes by that I don’t visit Hope Bray Photography, Jen Hunt Photography and Smitten Photography. At some point I’ll do a post on why I believe we’re all so obsessed with images of friends, ourselves and our families…we ALL are, aren’t we? Since I do Christmas cards I usually don’t have much time to spend on our family’s card so I depend on one of our talented photographer friends to provide me with a photo that can stand alone without much help from additional design elements. Last year I couldn’t pick just one so I did 4 separate cards. If you didn’t get this one then don’t be surprised or offended.
This year I let the time slip by. I wanted to have a relatively recent picture since Dexter is so young and literally changes his look from one day to the next. It got so late in the season and I had been a part of so many “I am so over-booked” conversations with the aforementioned Rock-star-photografriends that I was too scared to ask one of them to do a shoot for us. (I will be reprimanded for this). I started to freak out that we didn’t have a picture and I knew there was no way I could produce a decent photo but God intervened and we had the priviledge of being a part of a mass christmas photo shoot last night. From what I’ve heard about military showers I think it was sort of like that. It was crazy and fun and chaotic and maddening and getting dark oh so fast. Also, I am the queen of coordinating (but not matching) outfits so I always make things harder than they ought to be and each child we add makes it more and more difficult. More movement, more faces, more accessories, more moods : ) Who knows what kind of picture we’ll end up with this year or how many hours I’ll spend editing it in Photoshop. Before we left to take our pictures last night I asked myself “would it take longer to brush my teeth or Photoshop them?” Two minutes or 5 seconds? I opted for Photoshop.
So I made up this little quiz to see what kind of Christmas photo you might have this year. At the end add up your points and we’ll see what kind of situation you might be in.
5 points if you have a husband who dreads taking the christmas picture more than putting up the christmas lights.
5 points if you have one child.
10 points if you have 2 children.
20 points if you have 3 or more children (at this point it’s no longer one on one so you get more for the third child).
2 additional points for each boy (including the man).
5 points if any of your children have had sugar within the hour prior to the photo.
2 points for each child that has a runny nose.
3 points for each child that needs a nap or just woke up from a nap.
5 points if you have a child that can not sit on his own.
1 point for each animal (I can not give too many points for animals because, well you know, and they’re not worth as much as children because they don’t really need to look at the camera-they look the same from every angle)
1 point for each degree the temperature is below 50 degrees or above 80 degrees.
1 point for each prop you are using (like a chair, toy or decoration)
1 point for each accessory being worn by an adult (hats, glasses,scarves, gloves or earrings)
2 points for each accessory being worn by a child (hats, scarves, gloves or even a coat or vest, actually shoes count too)
5 points if there is a distraction within sight that is more appealing than posing for a photo (such as an animal, other children playing, a pile of leaves or the photographer’s camera)
2 points if the light is quickly fading.
Time to tally up.
0-10 points: As long as your photographer is decent, your photo will be perfect. No worries.
10-25 points: You may need to use two pictures to make sure that everyone looks good in at least one of them.
25-50 points: You’ll definitely need some Photoshop work but there is hope for a decent picture. Hopefully next year you’ll remember the accessories aren’t worth it.
50-100 points: You have several options. 1) schedule another shoot and settle for separate photos, one of the adults and one of each child, 2) make light of the chaos that is presented and remind Aunt Rose that she’ll get a chance to see little Johnny’s face next year
More than 100 points: You may decide to send a card without a picture but DON’T go that route. We want to see it. You probably don’t have time, but you should write a commentary on your photo. I’m sure it would be hilarious to hear about your experience.
So it’s definitely too late to get on the books with a photographer for this year’s Christmas card but take a look at this post on my friend Emily’s blog. Tips for the lazy photographer. I think it might even help me!
Hope everyone is enjoying the Holidays this year. Make light of the frustrations and enjoy the now.