Not So Silent Night

EAT | DRINK
2017
November/December
Photo by Sawyer Trombley

No other season has a more lengthy “to do” list than Christmastime. Rightfully so, Christmas is a time of tradition: Pottery Barn inspired trees ornately decorated and flocked,  gifts wrapped with neatly tied bows, freshly baked cookies for Santa (made from scratch, of course), Christmas cards with the family in matching outfits and perfect smiles. At the mention of “perfect smiles:” how would you like to shake the mistletoe a bit and put a fun twist on your Christmas cards this year? Now, I am all for Christmas dinner complete with Spode china, but stirring up a little holiday cheer should always be on the season’s “to do” list. We consulted some favorite local photographers and searched the internet to find the most ingenious and outrageously jolly ideas for Christmas cards. Now, if after hearing what the professionals have to say, you are still struggling to find inspiration for your festive family photo shoot, look online, where all creative searches lead to Pinterest.

Some of the best moments of life are unplanned. For your Christmas card this season, “let it go” and let life happen. Capture real life that brings out your family’s personalities. Callynth Finney of Callynth Photography in Tyler gives us this useful tip: “Do whatever you need to do to not be in a fight that day. Take some time to foster affection beforehand. No nagging anybody and don’t coach your kids ahead of time. The best you will get is a stiff body and a fake smile. Make it a fun game. Let them mess it up a few times. Let the fantastic photo come as a result of this “fun game.” If they need to get their wiggles out, let them. Who says you all have to be looking at the camera? Who decided that rule? And for heaven’s sake, don’t all wear the same thing.” Sawyer Trombley of Sawyer Trombley Photography in Whitehouse shares how she captures real life in family photos: “Just do it! The fun, goofy, silly photo shoots are always the best! If you can make it a fun experience instead of just another photo shoot, you have a way better chance of capturing who your family really is!” Rachel Stanley of Rachel Stanley Photography in Whitehouse says that “the main thing I tell my clients when they book their session with me is that we are going to have fun! We are there to enjoy the time and live in the moment!” 

Brush up on your family’s theatrics, and act out a scene from your favorite Christmas movie. Here are some suggestions from our favorite holiday movies:

“It’s a Wonderful Life”- A blissful image of George and the family gathered around the Christmas tree. After all, “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings!”

“Home Alone”- Who can forget little Kevin left home alone to face the wet bandits or the infamous aftershave scene?

“A Christmas Story”- Remember when Ralphie licks the frozen post, and his tongue gets stuck? You could also copy Ralphie’s signature look: adorable thick-rimmed glasses complete with a cheesy smile?

“National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” Do you struggle to have the perfect Christmas like Clark Griswold? There are just too many memorable scenes in this holiday favorite. The squirrel escaping the Christmas tree and creating havoc during the Griswold’s Christmas dinner is only one moment that comes to mind. 

Your family is sure to have a blast reenacting these famous moments, and the recipients of your Christmas cards will delight in the joy of your faces all season long! 

Be “punny” with Christmas songs! Sawyer Trombley provided her witty take on “Silent Night” (or “Not So Silent Night”), what does she love most about the photos? “They are genuine! In these photos, you can get a feel for who the family is and what life is like with the Joneses. Three mischievous yet angelic kiddos, fun parents that always have everything under control, and a whole lot of love to go around. The kids had a blast getting to tie each other (and their parents) up in lights while eating popcorn and candy canes [and] having their photos taken.” Other songs we have found that bring out creative Christmas photos are “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “White Christmas,” and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.”

Enlist a creative photographer with unique ideas, and you can “fudge” the elements. Oh, it's 98 degrees in Texas in November? No problem!  Rachel Stanley uses photo editing programs that add a Christmas touch to her photographs when the unpredictable Texas weather is not cooperating. She used a real image of a reindeer in her winter wonderland scene and “edited it into the picture to make it look real.” Rachel enjoys creating a storybook-like world for her photo shoots. “My daughter is my inspiration for my photo shoots,” Rachel explains. “I want her to dream big and to chase her dreams, so in my photographs, I take her to the places she has never been and the places she can only dream about. That is exactly what I want my clients to feel when they book their creative sessions with me. I am taking them somewhere they dream about…”If you are looking for a fun and non-traditional family photo this Christmas, or any occasion for that matter, the possibilities are endless. 

There are a lot of amazingly talented local photographers to help you style your shoot and create an image that will rival anything you can find on Pinterest!  Below are a few of our favorites and a snip-it on their style to help you find a photographer that is right for you so your family can get the most out of the experience. Don't forget, the most important thing to remember is to have fun! 

Callynth Finney’s style is self-defined as “crisp, timeless, and true to life. I am not crazy about trends. I am not big into props (although I will gladly accommodate when requested). I like to highlight the beauty that exists in the subject (whether a person or product).”

Sawyer Trombley describes her style: “I am most definitely a natural light photographer and have been known for literally chasing the sun! My style is clean, fun, and modern. My goal is not only to make families feel confident, but I also want to capture the best version of themselves while they’re having a blast!”

Rachel Stanley says that “my style is artistic for both portrait and creative sessions. I turn my clients into mermaids. I let them live with the bears and the butterflies or run with the dinosaurs!”

 

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