The 2009 family Christmas card…

2009 Christmas Card front

Took a break from editing during my too-brief time home for Thanksgiving to shoot the portraits for our annual Christmas Card. With the twins now 20 months old, we’re able to get them to do a little more in front of the camera.

The basic setup for this one was white seamless paper for the background with a Alien Bees B800 monolight through a beauty dish, just to the right of the camera, as our main light. I used a white coffeetable as a combination stage/seat, as some of the photos were taken with the kids having their legs dangle over the edge, some with them standing on the table so they could move around. I also had a small flash high above at camera right running through a 1/4 inch Honl Speed Grid as a hair light, and a second small flash with a second Honl Grid behind the table lighting up the background.

Just because you’ve planned things well, doesn’t mean they always work out right.  I noticed quickly that one of my Pocket Wizard radio controllers wasn’t consistently firing my main light.  I ended up disconnecting it, and using the hair light to trigger the other two.  That required a second adjustment… it cost me a third of a stop of shutter speed.  Even on self-assigned gigs, you have to be ready to adapt quickly.

Kristina and I had a pretty good idea of our selects before the shoot was over.  The easiest part was the mixing of the five photos– I’ve had this concept (and the previous year’s card) in mind since before the twins were born.

I’m out of ideas for next year.  Maybe I’ll let Kristina come up with the next concept… Naaaaaah.

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