san diego portrait photographer
Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and amazing Holiday season! I just wanted to log on and quickly share a few shots from my own daughter’s Christmas card photo shoot….
So, of course there has to be a story, right? It all started with a vision. A vintage bed. Out in the open air. I had the perfect location that seriously feels like you are on top of the world, and it’s just a few minutes up the hill from my home. Perfect! I would get a cute matching set of Christmas jammies and bring my beautiful girls to this awesome spot for some amazing Christmas card photos.
So here is where my ‘dreamer’ side encounters reality…
The vintage, metal headboard is heavy. Really heavy. The dream location is nearby, but also a 5 minute hike up a steep (paved, but still…) hill. No, you can’t drive up there. It’s inaccessible to vehicles. So, the headboard was heavy. And I had to lug it up this darn hill. All. By. Myself.
So now it’s just a headboard. That thing needed to be able to stand up by itself since there was no bed frame to attach it to. So I brought a giant stake and a huge hammer with string. That worked. It took some strength to hammer that baby in, but I got it.
Next, the blow up QUEEN sized mattress that I bought just for this session, because why would I lug an entire ‘real’ bed and bed frame up this hill.
It didn’t have an automatic blowy-uppy thingy. Ugh. I learned this like 5 minutes before needing to leave for our session. So, I plugged into a power outlet in my home, blew it up, then strapped this GIANT mattress to the top of my car. So now, keep in mind that this mattress is juuuuuuust wider than what my arms can reach. So here I am, dragging this air mattress, praying that it won’t pop along the way up the steep hike up the hill. Phew, it didn’t.
Meanwhile, I have tasked the girls out to help each other lug the wagon up that has the cookies, headbands, blankets, marshmallows, etc.
We get up the hill. It’s still not ‘go time’ for those ‘let’s make it look like we’re on top of the world with pink skies’ time yet – that happens JUST after sunset. As in, I have like 5 minutes to get those shots and that is it. Sun down, I’m done. I set up the bed where I ‘think’ it will work for the whole session… some backlit shots while the sun is still up, then if I flip myself around and shoot opposite, I ‘should’ have a nice view for that ‘vision’ shot I had.
So, we set up, and although the headboard is securely set into the ground after careful stake hammering, but now the combination of the girls and dog jumping on the bed make the comforter slide off that thing as if it were buttered, exposing the ugly navy blue plastic shell of the air mattress. Oh and there’s mud. Everywhere. On the white comforter. My kids have decided that ‘let’s take some cute pictures eating chocolate chip cookies and marshmallows’ means ‘eat ALL THE COOKIES AND MARSHMALLOWS RIGHT NOW’. So now we have messy faces. And sugar high. And mess. So much mess.
So I keep shooting until it’s almost glory time. The moment I have been waiting for. The moment when the sun sets and the skies light up in pink.
It’s glory time. The sun is seconds to setting and I realize that the bed is NOT IN THE PERFECT SPOT. So, I use my Wonder Woman power to RIP that stake and headboard out of the ground and RUN it to the spot where it now needs to go. I ask sugar high kid #1 to help run the mattress to the new spot. We put it down. The headboard falls smack down. Run and get the super heavy hammer and stake. Give it like three hammer hits – no time for more. Headboard falls down again when the girls jump back on the muddy white comforter. We’re running out of time. The skies are SO BEAUTIFULLY PINK!
So finally, I get the headboard kind of stable, the sugar-high children with messy faces and headbands that keep falling off because I had crafted them from heavy antlers on a light plastic headband, onto the bed. Light is going awayyyyyyy. It’s pretty much over, but I am now determined to win the battle over nature and the darned bed.
I managed a small handful of shots before it was time to get out of mountain lion and coyote land. So, success, kind of. I get home, upload, edit and head over to my favorite Christmas card company to choose a card template to fill with images of my beautiful children. Hours. Seriously hours of editing, cropping and trying to fit JUST enough text in the template provided about all of the accomplishments and awesome happenings for each girl in 2016.
I finished the card, hours after the Christmas card fiasco began earlier in the afternoon. I am so tired, but so happy that I got it all done and RIGHT before midnight when my 20% coupon would expire. I take a deep breath and think ‘ahh, all done’.
Fast forward to one week later. I receive the cards. Beautiful images of my children, their accomplishments. And another family’s names. #&@(&#^! I had forgotten to hit ‘save’ after switching the template family wording to my own. No seriously. I now have 45 cards from the DAVIS family. Sigh.
I quit Christmas.
Kidding. Merry Christmas to all of you! I hope you all have an amazing day with your family, friends and loved ones!
So, HERE are our Christmas photos….. MERRY CHRISTMAS!