It’s laughable how much effort we go through to take a photo of the three of us. I love photography; I study it, I edit it, I enjoy shooting photos. You’d think it would come easy to take great family photos, but you’d be surprised how many things can go wrong, especially when we set out on a mission to take a Christmas Card Photo.
Christmas Card Photo was challenging from the start. We had one wardrobe change (Alexa), one case of bad hair day (me) and one person with a history of impatience during photoshoots (H).
Add to this: RAIN.
We rolled up to our original location, and it was pouring. No dice. So we drove around to the other side of the Hill, where there was a brief clearing in the clouds. We stopped the car a few times. H and I hopped out quickly, me with the camera and the tripod, him with his best model stare. Ugh, the backgrounds were terrible.
On to the park I suggested. Hmm, it’s not raining here. That’s good. But where can we pose that there won’t be a crazy dogwalker or homeless person meandering in the background? (I swear, it sometimes seems like zombies roam every park in L.A.)
But, closer up, it didn’t look quite like magic. What could we do with this random picnic table? Sure, we found a great spot for a lunch overlooking the ocean, but for a Christmas Card Photo? Not so much.
But wait. What if I put the tripod on top of the table? Yes, this just might work. A few thousand test shots later, and I was pretty sure it would work, even if the ocean was barely visible because of the gray skies and fog and you know, rain.
Still. I was a few moments away from settling on standing in front of a wall. So, celebration!
Several shots later, and we have yet to beat the timer at its own game. Alexa would look at the camera until a split second before the shutter clicked, at which point she would snap her neck like a wind-up doll and look the opposite direction.
I actually love a lot of the outtakes. Imperfections are the best. Just not so great for the Christmas Card Photo. We kept resetting the timer until …
Everyone is making eye contact with the camera? Check.
Everyone has semi-jolly looks on their faces? Check.
Everyone is relieved to finally get a shot so let’s not dare try for a better one? Check.
To save time and effort, I decided to pick out a card design on a printing website last night. The joke is on me, though, because it took me exactly three hours to decide on one. I could’ve designed my own again in less time. But the real irony of the day is that, after all the searching for a perfect backdrop, we determined that we liked the look of our photo cropped in close. So you can’t even see the indecipherable ocean background.
I will share our finished card with you soon, but I am not sure it could ever beat last year’s. For some strange reason Alexa is not willing to be held in hilarious poses anymore.