December approached unusually fast this year after a fall filled with an abundance of weddings (which we’re so thankful for). I was a little frantic knowing that people were going to start asking about the card and as of late November, I had absolutely nothing. I usually like to have it done before the end of November and we were already into December. So, I started brainstorming and as usual I had a bunch of lofty ideas that although ridiculously cool, would prove near impossible to pull off in time. We even contemplated a plain family picture this year until people kept asking if we had a concept, if the card was coming out soon, or if we did another “cool” card this year. We even had someone tell us it was their favourite thing about Christmas. < that’s not a good thing by the way if our card is your favourite part. With all of this pressure we knew a plain card would lead to severe disappointment and perhaps even some holiday depression (kidding). I ask myself every year why I even started doing this and set the precedent. And to top it all off people are always expecting them to be better than the previous year. Talk about Pressure!
Ok so the concept had been decided and it was time to shoot. We were super fired up and even called in a friend for some assistance. We figured we’d need an extra set of eyes and hands with our three crazy kids on the loose. So we called in our friend Natasa (vivideye.ca) to come along for backup. She arrived and I went down to get the truck started. Wouldn’t you know it, the truck wouldn’t start. So I came up and explained the dilemma and thankfully Natasa had a set of booster cables and a little knowhow. After several attempts, the truck just wouldn’t turn over so we had no other option but to push it into place. This was not the best option as the area behind our house we wanted to shoot at was about five hundred meters away. So we parked it in another spot that was only fifty meters away instead. That left me with a background swap after the fact in photoshop (extractions are NOT fun). So moving on… it was time to set up the lights and once again we ran into problems. I was internally starting to have a meltdown but thankfully Natasa’a calm demeanour and abundance of back up gear kept me from exploding. We got the lights working with her triggers and then my camera wouldn’t send the signals to the flashes so we switched to her camera. Now we have two screaming twins in the van as their patience had worn and add to that the fact that it was late in the day, over cast, starting to drizzle, and getting very close to sundown. Light was failing at a rapid pace so we started shooting and after a few more hiccups whipped through the remainder of the shots to “hopefully” be able to patch a photo together. Oh how I love composites.
As you can see we went with a fun Redneck concept and substituted guns for our tools of shooting, cameras (Canon of course). …if you need wedding or family photos… 😉 My beard was inspired by Duck Dynasty… haha I hear ya… Think what you will but I love that show, it’s hilarious! Gavin was just living out daily life as a super hero battling ninjas and YES that ginormous lens is totally real. Jenny is looking as foxy as ever in camouflage, and the twins are playing with squirrels because well… I don’t know why. A special thanks to Rick and Eric as well for helping with some props.
At the end of the day we’re super happy with the card and had a lot of fun creating it despite everything going wrong. After all it’s just a Christmas card and pales in comparison to the true and glorious meaning of Christmas. We think the saviour Jesus Christ coming into the world to pay for and forgive our sins (if we accept His free gift) and radically change our lives transcends everything else.
Have a Merry Christmas!
Love the Reeds