No one has ever accused me of being a procrastinator. I think part of the reason I’m able to get as much done as I do is that I’m hyper-organized and don’t put things off. So guess what!? It’s the first week of November and we’ve got our holiday cards photographed and printed! It feels absolutely great to have them done even though that isn’t quite the end of the process yet. We’re also planning to do an online newsletter that we’ll have a link to on the paper cards as well as a little hello video from Pat and I to all of our loved ones. Last year was the first year that we had an online holiday letter and putting it together was so much fun! I’m still figuring out the whole YouTube thing, so I figure this will be a fun little experiment.
Click through for more photos and to see our Minted holiday cards!
I was so thrilled for the opportunity to work with Minted again this year! Our cards last year were phenomenal and this year was no different. The photos from this shoot were tough, because in order for the lights to shine we had to do everything in low light, just after sunset. That means everything is a bit more grainy than your typical photo. The graphic designers at Minted were so patient with helping me make sure everything was just right! I went through four proofs before I was satisfied and they managed to do it all in less than three days!
Getting these photos took a lot of trial and error. It took two separate nights, lots of experimenting with lighting and some extra hands to pull off this hair-brained idea of mine.
Our first night, we were completely alone, looking like idiots trying to wrap ourselves in Christmas lights and futz with a camera remote when this kind soul took pity on us and took a bunch of photos for us. I absolutely adore the photos from that night that we took them (the ones with the tree in them) but they were just too grainy to look nice for our cards. Lesson learned.
We found that the best time for lighting was just a few minutes after sunset. Waiting too long made the lighting too dependent on the lightbulbs and they cast all sorts of ugly splotchy colors all over us. In addition when it was too dark the ISO had to be too high and the photos were too grainy to be printed.
The second night we had the camera settings better but unfortunately it was much colder and horribly windy. You can definitely tell we’re less comfortable (aka freezing) the second night and my hair is a disaster! The second night though we had the advantage of having Annie and Justin to help out with styling and getting us wrapped up in the lights. This was a huge relief.
I picked up the vintage Christmas lights forever ago on Craigslist and they followed me across the country from Wisconsin to California. Now that I’ve used them for their intended purpose, I put them up on Etsy for someone else to use! As a blog bonus, used coupon code ‘sweetshipping” and I’ll ship them for free!
Aaaand, here’s our final card! The design is absolutely perfect, right? We chose a design aptly titled “Shine Brightly” by Rebecca Bowen. The cards are absolutely gorgeous in real life and I’m so glad we sprung for the premium recycled paper. They just feel so distinctive when you hold them. I can’t wait to finish the online newsletter and video portions of our holiday card so we can get them in the mail to our friends and loved ones!
Big thanks to Minted for providing us with these gorgeous holiday cards for this post! If you’re ready to get your holiday cards checked off your list, the promo code ‘HOLIDAY14’ will get you 15% off your order >$150 or 10% off your order >$100 if you order by the end of the day!
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And of course the outtakes! Oh the outtakes, my word. There were so many I could almost do a whole post!