So, you get this great idea about the perfect holiday card and you try to shoot a great photo for this great card you are envisioning but you can't seem to get the children to cooperate and nothing you capture comes close to fitting that vision. Big problem. I've been there. And this is why I believe that although it helps to have a creative plan of attack, you shouldn't get too attached to it. It's just setting yourself up for certain heartache. Take it from me. No matter how much I think I know exactly what I want my card to end up like, once I take the photos, the vision changes and they are never what I had originally thought they'd be. It's not always a drastic change but it's enough to remind me to tell you that when you are including a photo in your card design, you must let the photo lead the design. And like what Kelly eluded to in her comment yesterday, it's a matter of which photo turns out these best that will decide on which way the card will go. Great idea by the way Kelly! Thanks for that.
Therefore, I give you Rule #1- Have a flexible vision. For example, last year I dressed my girls up in these fantastic retro coats that they got from a dear family friend. We went to the beach one chilly afternoon and ran around and played and I chased them up and down the beach with my camera and it was awesome. Note-I did not tell them we were shooting holiday card photos (see next Rule #2)! I just shot what was fun that afternoon with no big agenda and I had no idea what would work for a card so I didn't sweat it. Once I got the images back (last year was pre-digital for me) and sifted through them I had a few favs. for sure. I asked my hubby to decide between my favorite three and the design just kind of naturally happened. I will be sharing these photos and cards with you all in the next week but for now, let's get to the next rule.
Rule #2. Don't tell the kids a thing. Like Melody mentioned in her comment, he boys run away when she says Christmas pictures. I don't blame them. My kids do too. So, why fight a loosing battle when you have the option of turning the whole thing around and making it a positive. Playtime ladies. Let the kids play and take photos of that. Unless you're doing some big formal thing (and I don't usually recommend trying that on your own) just let them get dirty (if that's the kind of kid you have) and enjoy it. If nothing else, you'll spend an hour together, being silly and having fun and that's never wasted time.
Rule #3. Identify your limits this year. So, you've decided to go with a photo. Great. Now, you need to figure out how much time it will take to get the photo, and how much longer it will take to do the cards and more than that, how much time you are willing and able to spend on the venture. If you've committed to give the photo thing a go, I'm right there with ya and I'll help you out in any way I can. Once you take and choose the perfect photo THEN it's time to decide how to proceed. We will touch on the many options there are once the photo work is done but that is putting the reindeer before the sleigh so before that happens we MUST get back to Rule #1- our flexible vision.
Tomorrow's post will include my list of cute and clever photo ideas to help you formulate your vision (if you don't have one already). And if you've got any to share, we would LOVE to hear about them.