Christmas Card Photoshoot Fail. Again.

I’m really not that person who cares about sending Holiday cards at all.. in fact, if you are someone who knows me “in real life” you know that last year was the only year I EVER sent cards out, and that was just because I had a cute picture of Jasper in a Santa hat.. if you were reading, remember this?

But this year, I’m determined.. I mean I’m a supposed/sort of photographer dammit, I should be able to get a decent picture of my own kid for our own Christmas cards right? Apparently not.

Last Weekend we had another unseasonably warm day and I had a playdate set up with a friend and her son, so I turned it into a “photoshoot” playdate because since I met Kris, I have been wanting/promising to take pictures of her adorable son Jonas.   I even ordered a rocking horse from Wal-mart for the occasion (the same one that is in my holiday gift guide) because they are a good way of getting toddlers to sit still and are sort of holiday-ish.

Kris was a little late getting Jonas over to the house so by the time we got to the park near my house where I wanted to shoot the sun was just barely visible anymore and it was kind of getting chilly for the kids.   Between the cold, the dark and the babies not being too cooperative I only shot about 20 pictures – not nearly enough to get a perfect shot of Jasper. I think also his outfit (though ridiculously cute) makes him look like even more of a shrimp than he actually is.. I should have buttoned the jacket and angled him more towards the camera so you can see the adorable red silk tie (yes, in addition to photographer you also have to be a fashion stylist!) Actually, Kris nailed the outdoor fall outfit much better for Jonas, he looks so handsome:

He is a surprisingly  great model for a 20 month old, he actually looks at the camera!

Anyway, here are my Jasper pictures, cute but I don’t feel like any are necessarily holiday card worthy..?

Merry Christmas to All..


I don’t know, I may just have to go with it though because it’s supposed to be freezing out (the first snow!) this weekend and I’d have to do a studio shot. I guess I’ll give it one more try.. I was thinking of using my blue paper roll and trying to hang some paper snowflakes or something. We’ll see.. I WISH I would have my mark II in time, but It won’t arrive until Monday :(

Oh, here’s one more of Kristy & Jonas together, aren’t they gorgeous?

Ready for Fall

All images taken with my Canon Digital Rebel XSi and Tamron AF 28-75mm f/2.8 Lens

I didn’t really nail focus on the image above, my shutterspeed was too low but I love it anyway..I HAVE to get those two in front of the camera again soon!

If you had to pick one of the images above of Jasper, which one do you like best? I’m thinking of designing one myself that says something like “Have a rocking Christmas” or “Wishing you Peace, love and a rocking holiday season.” That is if I get inspired and actually have time.. otherwise I’ll probably end up ordering something from Tinyprints or one of these Melissa Davis templates.

PS, thanks SO much for all the great advice on bathing and toe nail clipping yesterday.. I don’t know if you saw my update but I actually was able to cut his toenails in the highchair last night!!!! No more ripping socks :) I’ll let you know how bathtime goes..

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Kristen says:

Have you tried the scrunchie eyeballs around the lens trick? I haven’t made mine yet, but I’m dying to see if it works. We are definitely in a no eye contact stage too :( it’s such a bummer.

ariana says:

Jill, thanks to your post about it there IS no xmas tree! ;)

Aww, I think they are all cute, but really like #3! I say just play around in your living room or in front of a Christmas Tree somewhere and see what you get. Have fun with it! He’s so adorable, anything is going to come out cute :)

Ashley says:

I love the 3rd shot. Too cute!

Leigh Ann says:

I could have written your post. I have tried literally a dozen times to get a Chanukah card shot of my kids and the best I could do is the one in our header. *sigh*

I like 3 best, but I would try again if I were you. You’ve got time. I’m obsessed with getting that eye contact. I’ve got soooo many pictures of kids looking UP and smiling, bc whatever adult happened to be there thought it would be really helpful to stand four feet above my camera and try to get the kid to smile up at them. I’d rather take my time and multiple shots, sans “help,” to get that one eye contact shot. Just my 2 cents.:)

Justina says:

I liked the 3rd one best! It looks less posed and he looks like he’s having fun on the rocking horse! :) And all the shots are great, given the conditions you were describing…

Samm Ivri says:

#2 is my fave. His expression is so cute “can you please hurry up mama!?”

Joanna says:

I love the first one, they are all good though. Definitely card worthy!

Michelle says:

I love the last one!!

Smiles~ michelle

Alisa says:

I agree the 1st one on the horse is so perfect. I wish I could get something as half decent as that of my daughter. Must try again!

Kim says:

Hands down, number 3. It’s got some energy and movement and a cheery playful vibe!

Jasper is just too darn cute!

pamela says:

i think these are really great considering the conditions! i’ve had some really great shoots with my little son where all the elements seem to align: smile, eye contact, lighting, sharpness… but now that he is almost 7 months old i have having the hardest time getting that combination. he won’t smile at me, or won’t look at the camera, not to mention he just wants to crawl away from it all! plus it is too cold to go outside here now. so i imagine it must just get harder as they get more mobile. i think these are great!

Catharine says:

The third pic is your winner for sure!

Totally card-worthy Ariana! It’s a tough call between #2 and #3, I think. The 3rd one is so playful: too cute.

I’ve got to get on this pronto if I’m going to send anything out this year. Sigh.

ariana says:

Ava, yep we do get snow.. tomorrow in fact!!

Alicia says:

1st one of Jasper on the horse – perfect!
“Have a rocking Christmas” is really cute too!

Ava says:

I like the second and third one best. If you’ll use the “Wishing you Peace, love and a rocking holiday season.” line, use the third one — it’s much more playful.

I think the pics you took are great, and totally card worthy. I really prefer family photos on holiday cards, so I can see my friends AND their kids, but since you are already planning one of Jasper only, you’ve got some great options.

PS. You get snow in your neck of the woods, don’t you? I’m so jealous of the fun-time pics you’ll be posting on that.