Friday, December 17, 2010

it's christmas tomorrow!

Well, for me anyway, because RYAN IS COMING HOME!!!!  (If you can't sense my excitement from my use of caps and exclamation points.)  Riley and I are anxiously awaiting his arrival tomorrow, so let's hope flights are on time and weather is clear.

We sent our Christmas cards out- which while fun, in no way topped last year:

In general, 2009 pretty much kicked 2010's butt.  Anyway, we luckily took our photo the weekend before Thanksgiving.  You're probably all thinking I'm a crazy person, and I am, but with Ryan gone and our last minute change of plans for the Thanksgiving weekend, it turned out to be spot-on planning on my part.  A few of our friends asked us how we got the photo, so I shall explain.

First off, I spend a good chunk of time online, and I save anything from room decor, to recipes, to that's right, Christmas card photos.  I had seen a family of five in a similar pose, and I thought 'hmm- this could work, and then if we are right justified, I could use InDesign to craft a message.'  Then, I had to solicit the help of my husband.  He was lighting and camera set up- I was wardrobe and post production.

We cleared our dinning room and flipped over a laundry basket to place the camera on (since our tri-pod was too high).  We then took countless unflattering photos on me sitting on the floor as Ryan messed with the settings, zoom and so forth.  It seriously took a good 30 minutes.  And by that point, my butt was numb.  Once we were good to go, we marked where to sit with sticky notes and hit up wardrobe.

I had found Riley's scarf in the dog section at Target.  We just threw on some winter-esque clothing.  I told Ryan to wear his beanie.  He came out of the room in this hat at first:

I decided it wasn't the look we were going for so he reluctantly changed.  We also all were very mismatched.  I had on mustard colored shoes, a teal shirt, Ryan in dark blue.  But it was ok, because I knew we were going b&w this year.

And the key to getting Riley to look at the camera?  No flash and mulit-frame shooting.  By quickly shooting a few frames, we are bound to get a decent photo of the star.  Also, we take a few brakes to let her cool down for a minute.

And, here are a few shots, including the final photo:

After scanning the photos in the camera, we knew we had a winner.  I put them on the computer, and we picked the one where Riley looked the best, because let's be real, we are just accessories.

I then opened the photo in Photoshop, cropped it to 5x7 and removed the wall plug, a few blemishes and the gross gunk on Ryan's shoe.  I'm not a Photoshop expert by any means, but am starting to learn my way around.  I also have downloaded the great, and totally free, actions from the blog, The Pioneer Woman (this site is great for photography and GREAT recipes).  This made the photo look better than your average turn it b&w tool.  And voilà, we had a clean and pretty b&w photo of our little family.

Then I pulled the photoshop file into InDesign, added the copy, saved as a jpeg and printed this sucker at  Costco.

So there you have it- pretty simple, cheap and fun.  Tomorrow the Mordoff Rents are having their annual holiday par-tay.  We are all pretty excited.  But, mostly for Ryan to come home (!)

1 comment:

  1. You are so creative. I love your Christmas card. And loved last year's as well.

    Say hi to everyone at the Christmas party! I'm sad I can't be there :(


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