Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Redneck to A Ralph Lauren Christmas Card

I am late writing this post.... a cold and some very strong cold medicine makes for bad combination. However, I love this Christmas Card and didn't want you to miss it. 

Every year, we get together the dogs and the children for a family photo shoot. It all started innocently enough, one year I found a stack of reindeer antlers and voila, everyone was a reindeer.... 

As time progressed, I added a little panache to the Christmas Cards, last year opting for the Burberry plaid for the entire group. 

On a trip to an antique store, I found a LL Bean sled.  But the chances of snow in Knoxville, are slim to none in December. We have a ski resort an hour away so using them as my back up plan, I decided to go with a very red and Christmassy picture. 

The weekend we had planned to take the picture, the temperature was 70 degrees. But after watching a Pottery Barn catalog shoot, I decided that we could buy snow and try to recreate the look of snow in the picture.

However, this was not what I had in mind.... the only word that came to mind was Redneck..... but the wonders of a camera angle can create the most beautiful snow filled picture if you are careful and create.

1. The most important thing about your Christmas picture or any picture is composition. What goes on around the picture is just as important. Space is a priority. I actually draw a picture of what I want the card to look like and spend my time with the kids, dogs and baby trying to achieve that look. Not an easy task with these subjects...

 - son-in-law making weird faces

   - kids not following direction


     - dog decides to lick the back of the baby's head

     - kids fooling around

     - baby waving arms

     - Dogs not looking

 - baby and son-in-law making weird faces

    - I have no idea! what just happened!

2. After I think I have the picture I want... I quickly download to see if it is there. If it is, I take 25 more just to be sure. Perfection

3. The rest of the work begins at the computer. Cropping is the next best friend to a beautiful picture. It pulls the focus in onto the subject. Crop the picture. 

4. Next, I need more snow. Photoshop has a clone feature that allows me to add snow unto the ground that we could not cover with our fake snow. Some puffs of fake snow added to the picture makes it look fuller. 

5. It looks pretty but I wanted falling snow. After a quick tutorial on Photoshop, I added falling snow moving in a east to west motion.


It looks so pretty, I only hope people didn't think I would let the baby out on a snowy day without a jacket.  I promise you it was 70 degrees.

6. I used the Martha Stewart Craft App for the iPad and created this card. So pretty, upload to a blank card at Snapfish... they even allow you to put the writing on the back of the card. I could have chosen a folded card but chose the postcard option with better paper.

7. Once I ordered 100 cards, I had them back in my hands with envelops in 4 days. Thank you Snapfish, by no means are they sponsoring this post.. I wish they would, they are a great company.

The Martha Stewart app is a joy to use and I will be making plenty of cards in the future, either paper or digital in the app.

I love the way the card turned out and have already started thinking about this year's Christmas Card.

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