How to take a family Christmas photo in 127 easy steps

For Tripp and Kelsey, the seven most dreaded words of mine are, “I want to take a family picture.”  The problem is that #1 – Admittedly, I have abused my picture taking allowance in the past from time to time and #2 – they know that it’s going to take several iterations until I get the one that is just right.  I do however believe that it is within my right as a wife and mother to have a decent photo of the three of us for our Christmas card, so I say, “Let the fun begin!”

The first thing I did was to ply my family with homemade waffles for breakfast.  And then timing was an important consideration – right after church was the best option for hair and makeup.  And on top of that I repeatedly thanked my family in advance for their cooperation and patience. Smile

A home photo shoot is the ultimate DIY project and the first thing I did was to find a pretty spot on our back patio with nice light.  Then I setup my very fancy, high-tech tripod – the step ladder with a giant box of miracle grow and one gardening glove for the fine tune leveling of the my camera.  The next step is to call in my model to set my exposure and make the necessary adjustments.  Tripp totally loves this part. Smile

OK.  Take 1 – Ugh.  WAY too light


Take 2 – Good grief…too dark.


Take 3 – OK, this is better.  Still maybe a teeny bit too dark. 


See… isn’t this fun????

Take 4 – OK.  Exposure looks good.


Next I went and got the wicker side table off the side porch for me to sit on to do a timer check.

Take 5 – Barely beat the timer.  Not bad, wish I was 20 pounds lighter but oh well. And what’s with Tripp’s glasses.

“Hey Babe, what’s the deal with your glasses?  Take them off.”


Take 6 – Now that I’ve got the biggest kinks worked out, it was time to call in the princess, er I mean Kelsey.  This one is very nice.


Take 7 – Everyone takes their position – Tripp standing, Kelsey sitting – and then once I press the shutter I run and stand next to Tripp.  Yeah, we didn’t quite make it. Awkward.


Take 8 – Same thing one more time.  Weird composition and my head looks stupid.  Plus I look even fatter.  The side angle is NOT my friend.


Take 9 – This time I sit.  I like the composition, but I look like I have a stick up my ass.


Take 10 – OK.  This is a little better, more natural.


Me – “Just one more.  I promise, this is the LAST one.”  Them – “You know we’re going to be here all day.”


Take 11 – OK.  This one is a keeper.  Nice, normal smiles.  Exposure can be tweaked a bit, but otherwise it’s a nice photo.


Looks like Kelsey is done.


OK.  Now I just need to tweak the last photo a bit.  I’m going to increase the contrast and sharpen it a bit.  Oh, and I’m going to crop out my chub roll.

family photo

There, that’s a little better.  Now before you start judging me for my seemingly self-serving photo enhancements, let me just give you my side of the story.  First of all, taking photos next to your beautiful, photogenic, 18 year-old daughter is not for sissies.  And then men totally have it easy because they just get more handsome and more distinguished as they age.  So if I took a few liberties with the “artistic” crop of our family photo, can you blame me??

Anyway, now I have our family Christmas photo and it only took about 127 steps.

Wasn’t that fun? Smile

Peace, Kelly


About Minding My Nest

wife, mom, not-so-empty nester.
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