Christmas Photo '14


I had a rough time getting started on this year's Christmas card photo. I had gone and increased my animal participants by 200%, which narrowed my theme options, and complicated all my logistics. I didn't want to use Photoshop. But it became clear very quickly that I would need to if I wanted to capture this year's vision. SO I DID AND I AM NOT ASHAMED.

Well, my dad did. I don't actually know how to use Photoshop outside of the 'enhance photo' feature. But I directed him with helpful cues like "Move that a tiny bit. No the other way. That's too much, move it back," etc. The actual photo shoot itself was a team endeavor. I could not have done it without my Dad, sister, and brother-in-law. I would list my mom as well but her main function was reminding how much I was traumatizing these poor rescue animals.

This year's vision was came to me at Ikea when I saw this image on a place mat (and a coaster, and wrapping paper, and napkins...):

A tomte! I've loved Scandinavian Christmas decor since my friend Johanna started inviting me to Julfest each year at her church. And add in the fact that I love to cross-dress and I already own a kick-ass sled, it just made sense. I tracked Nordic sweaters for the pets, Saami boots for me, and even made myself a yarn beard. 

So to make it all come together we took individual photos of each pet, going from most obstinate and angry to most compliant and eager-to-please. Which obviously meant Oz > Norm > Mulder > Stevie. As per tradition, I got super sweaty.

At the time of shooting it was hard to imagine how it would all come together, but I totally love how it turned out. There was no way in hell that the cats would have 1) sat still 2) together 3) and look at the camera while Stevie sat behind them. Photoshop was inevitable. (Also I bought some reindeer antlers for Stevie but they would not stay up and they looked far too cartoon-ish, so I 'added' some.)

I hope you had a God Jul!


ErynSydney said...

This is so good. Seeing the 'making of the card' makes the card that much better! You're the best!

Linda said...

It has been glorious to watch your family expand this year! I salute your creativity and imagination- your card is absolutely, hands down, the most original one we ever get!

Holls of Grigs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Holls of Grigs said...

YES! Just the behind the scenes scoop I've been wanting to hear, as I was mesmerized by the photo. Magical!

Kj said...

awe. utter awe.

Maryann said...

Thanks, everyone!!!