Not to be Outdone

Being a designer, ever since we were newlyweds I’ve enjoyed creating and sending out a family Christmas card. The cards have gotten better and better over the years, and it has evolved into quite an undertaking as I try to outdo the previous year.

Since Bath By Bettijo keeps us super busy in the weeks leading up to Christmas, we’ve made it our tradition to send New Year’s cards instead. Once the gift-shipping rush subsides, I can turn my full attention to the family card.

Once we had a baby, we started get family pictures taken every year to feature on the card. Last year’s photo is probably my favorite family picture ever.

2010 New Year's Card

I knew this card was going to be hard to top, and struggled to come up with any ideas until mid-summer. (Yes, I realize it is not normal to spend nearly a year planning your family photos and holiday card.) In July while browsing at a local boutique, I happened upon an adorable fuschia dress from designer tea and it struck me as perfectly suited to Piper’s personality. A few weeks later I found a gray, dip-dyed looking silky dress at Crewcuts that had my mouth watering. I wondered if the two styles could mesh?

2010 Family Pictures Inspiration Board

I remembered that my husband had recently purchased a silvery gray suit, and decided I was on to something with the fuschia and gray palette. At first I thought I should wear fuschia pumps to tie in Piper’s color splash, but then I thought how much more fun it would be to have Dad wearing the pop of color. The only potential snag would be talking my husband into a pink tie, but thank heavens he loved the idea as well. I guess he’s gotten used to my crazy ideas, and he also agreed that it was a great, unexpected touch.

For myself I was planning to sew a white, slim-fitting sheath, but the whole pregnancy thing nixed that plan. Instead I decided to wear a white blouse with a light-gray skirt that has been a mainstay in my closet for years.

I might as well mention at this point a little secret I’ve learned for looking slim in photos: NEVER WEAR A BLACK TOP. I know this seems backwards because in person black is slimming, but in the two-dimensional world of photography black doesn’t allow the shadows of your chest and curves to show properly so your figure gets flattened out into a big, completely unflattering blob. It’s not that I don’t wear black. In fact I love the color and wear it quite often, but trust me on this one, it’s a no-no for pictures.

After I settled on our clothes, I tried to visualize how we would all look together and come up with ideas for a backdrop: the desert, an underpass of the highway, an airplane runway. The last was my favorite idea, but have you noticed how difficult it is to schedule a photo shoot on the runway at Sky Harbor International Airport?

I was at a bit of a loss, when I saw a photo of a shiny silver elevator. I found a parking garage (that happened to actually be near the airport) with lots of potential backdrops and a couple of very shiny elevators. It was just right.

Are you dying to see how the photos turned out? See this post.

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