Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas Photography 101

Before Christmas, I got a helpful email from Mpix about how to take photos of children during the holidays. Snapfish, Shutterfly and other photo sites are glad to weigh in about how to create those cherished family memories of the season.

Maybe the writer would like to come and demonstrate next year. I have first dibs for Christmas Eve 2015. I'll send directions to get there.

Christmas Eve at my parents' house is both a Christmas celebration and a birthday bash for my Mom. Since the first grandchild was born in 1982, we've been taking the annual snapshot of Grandma and the grandkids. We added a supplementary photo of the Great-Grands when they began arriving on the scene.

Let's just say our annual Christmas Eve birthday shot isn't going to make it onto a photo website, showing the "how-to" to create the perfect holiday image. It's not about photography's Rule of 1/3s or perfect lighting. It's about family - all the imperfections and all the chaos.

noun: chaos; plural noun: chaoses
 1.   Complete disorder and confusion.
                "Snow caused chaos in the region."
 Eight children ages 4 and younger "caused chaos in Grandma's annual birthday photo."

And we thought five were a challenge for Christmas Eve 2013.
The 2013 version 
This year, we added three more babies to the mix. (Below: The babies are Beau with Mom Abby, Brooke with Mom Jill and Pratt with Great-Grandma Moore.) The old pros at this great-grands shot are (from left): Braden (4); Kinley (3 on Dec. 30); Neelly, (3); Benson (2) and Holte (2 next month).
Yes, the great-grandchild photo now has eight children - all 4 years and younger!

The scene is somewhat reminiscent of a long-ago grandchild shot - the first that contained all seven of them, back in 1994.
From left: Abby, Brian, Blake, Mom holding Madison, Jill, Brent & Paige
They did a better job of looking at the camera for the 2014 version. Yay, grandkids!
From left: Jill, Abby, Madison, Brent, Blake, Paige & Brian
Their photo session had fewer "cheeses" involved than the younger set - until we pointed out that theirs was a little less vocal than the younger kids. That got everyone laughing.
Despite the chaos, it was great to be together as an extended family to celebrate my Mom's birthday and Christmas. I appreciate the effort it takes for 26 people to get to my folks' house at the same time to be together - even if it's only for less than 24 hours. 


  1. Oh I love a house full of chaos and smiles for the holidays. The photos are great you need no instructions from anyone. Your Mom looks so so happy. Happy Birthday Kim's Mom Hug B

  2. The branches of the tree keep getting added! How cool to look back at the pictures and see all the changes! But your mom looks the same in all of them!

  3. What a wonderful bunch of photos to remember Christmas 2014 by... and I love your header! Happy New Year!

    1. Thanks, Mary Ann. I took the photo a year ago when I was doing interviews at Wesley Towers retirement community for their newsletter. I loved the light dusting of snow on the nativity set.