Christmas Cards

I love receiving Christmas cards. It’s one of my favorite things about the holidays. I keep the cards up after Christmas for a while so I can look at all the sweet pictures of friends and family. And I keep the cards. Yes, I have a problem. The sentimental pack-rat in me has a difficult time throwing away cards. I blame it on moving a lot as a child. Or it could be hereditary (from the Lacy side). Whatever the cause, I love to look back at the old family pictures and see how they have grown and changed.

2010 Cards

 

2011 Cards

I moved the cards into our great room this year, so I’ve been able to enjoy them even more. I started to make the shape of a Christmas tree again, but I got lazy. I did use my vintage-looking Santa again. I also like to use ornaments to break it up a bit visually.

I bought some cute (overpriced) miniature clothespins last year, because the regular ones were just too big for the wire I was clipping the cards to. The small ones worked well for the yarn I used this year, too.

It’s been four (or five?) years since I sent cards, so I’m surprised we’re still on anyone’s send list. This year, I had extra motivation to make cards since it was Tice’s first Christmas. Below is the back of our card.

Since I waited until the last minute to take pictures, I didn’t want to call any of my photographer friends to take the pics (anytime after early-November is last-minute for professional pics), so I set up the camera on a tripod and started shooting. I have to give Harper a lot of credit for standing still while holding Tice, because the focus was set on him. If he had moved, we would have had ended up blurry.

I shared the front of the card a few days ago, but here it is again…

Because we’ve gotten so many sweet comments about the card, I feel like I need to share something. The photo above, that seems perfect (except that Sargent is missing–but more about that in a minute…), is actually three photos combined. I know, it’s kind-of cheating, but I used to it for clients all the time, so I figured I could do it for us, too.

Anytime there are more than two people in a photo, the chances of everyone having their best expression in the same photo are very slim. (If you’ve ever taken family photos, you know this!) If the shots are similar enough, and the subjects don’t change the position of their heads too much, all it takes is a little time in Photoshop. Since the camera was on the tripod, the background was exactly the same in each shot; and since Harper didn’t move very much, it was pretty simple to cut/paste from one photo to the next. Let me show you the three original photos.

#1- Harper looks great, but I’m standing funny, and Tice is just staring.

#2 -Tice and I look better, but Harper isn’t smiling as much. And it looks like I laid a chicken.

#3 – Now the chickens are perfect, but this silly shot isn’t what I wanted for our main picture. (Tice loves to hang upside down–we aren’t torturing him:))

So, here’s what I did in Photoshop.

Now, the only thing missing is the dog (and cats), but he was chasing squirrels on the other end of the yard. I could have added him, too, but that would just be a little ridiculous…

Ha ha ha! Ho ho ho!

I added him twice. Did you notice?

Enough Photoshop already! Here are some of my other favorites.

Photography Details:

Camera: Nikon D300
Lens: 50 mm f/1.8D
ISO: 1000
Aperture: f/2.8
Shutter speed: 1/250

Notes: We took these on an overcast day, late in the afternoon, and we were quickly losing daylight. I bumped up the ISO to 1000 to compensate for the lighting, which results in a grainier photo. ISO 1000 is usually as high as I’ll go for these kind of photos, otherwise, the grain and color noise (which bothers me more than the grain) starts to get out of control.

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4 Responses to Christmas Cards

  1. Robyn Farmer says:

    I love love love the first one of you and Tice!

  2. Missy says:

    Love them all! What a beautiful family.
    And great job on Austin’s photos!!

    xoxo

  3. Mica says:

    Love these pics, Nat! such a beautiful family :)

  4. Amy Wagner Hooge says:

    I love all of the pictures and I keep my Christmas cards up a little longer so I can see them and I save mine too.Happy New Year to you and your beautiful family. God’s Blessings to you all in 2012!!!

    Amy Hooge

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