Thursday, December 25, 2008

2008 Christmas Card Parade

Gosh, I have so much I want to share with you all. I'm dying to share my pictures from our Christmas Eve . . . but I think I'm going to give you something to come back here to look for tomorrow . . . for now . . . the promised 2008 CHRISTMAS CARD PARADE!!!!!!!
This was the very first Christmas card I did this year. We took pictures of the Vanderpoel girls back in July. And it was SSSOOO hot! Jamie (mom) cuts my hair and while under the dryer, she and I came up with an idea for pictures. After I designed the card, I started thinking that I would just LOVE IT if every single card I designed or took pictures for could somehow someway have a little rhinestone on it. Krystal DeLeeuw (card maker extraordinaire) has these little rhinestones she sometimes puts on cards and I just knew I had to have that signature. Jamie totally made it happen. And I just love how she did it. She cut off a portion of the front flap so that the black strip showed through that was on the inside. Then she added a little rhinestone to the swirls. LOVE IT! She's so darn creative . . . that's why I love her!

The next Christmas card is of the Dykstra family. Vicky contacted me in September and asked if I was interested. Honestly, I was PETRIFIED! Why? Because I know how much fun my son and husband are to photograph . . . .how could photographing 3 teenage boys and dad possibly be a success? I begged her not to expect much . . . and little did she know that my comedic act of fast talking would be provided at no additional charge . . . . "What?" you ask. Well, while taking pictures up on Rocky Hill, we heard a few gun shots. I thought to myself, "Ah never mind . . . I heard those last week . . . " I should have paid attention. Suddenly, I see this funny look on all of their faces and I'm thinking, "what are they looking at?" Um, that would be the property owner coming towards me TELLING me to GET OFF HIS PROPERTY. "Oh sir, please know that we will respect your property and are not here to destroy, just to photograph . . . yada yada yada . . . " Get off in 2 minutes because if anyone gets hurt, I'm liable and yeah whatever. "OK . . .quick Justin. Jump up on that rock. Now all of you sit in front of the rock. On the count of three, I want Justin to jump up in the air . . . DON'T GET HURT!" We got the "money shot" as my daughter would say (thanks to America's Next Top Model) and it landed as the front of the card. And of course, the back of the card is significant. John and Vicki are celebrating 20 years of marriage. And their first date was in this very car. Isn't that so cool that they saved the car! Thanks for working with me Vicki, John and boys. You guys were a blast. But most of all, I just want to say thanks to Vicki for the super friendship we've developed over the last few years. You are truly a gem!

When this next card arrived in my mailbox, I was jumping UP AND DOWN! I absolutely LOVE this card. I did not design the layout of the card, but did take the pictures. I'm not entirely sure who did the card for Marissa, but if you did, please comment below and stand up and take a bow! It's so gorgeous! It's hard to tell in these pictures, but it is a square trifold card. There is nothing on the backside, just the front side. JUST AMAZING! I was SSSSOOOOO happy to see such a beautiful card with my pictures in the mail. Marissa was actually the first person to ever "interview" me to take pictures of her newest little bundle of joy. Honestly I was so nervous to be interviewed. It was great to listen to her talk. I really learned a lot from our time together because she had some very specific ideas of what she wanted to accomplish and I was glad I could assist her in getting them done. Marissa and Anthony, your children are adorable and you guys were so fun to work with. Best wishes to you in the coming year!

I cannot say enough about this next card. Now here is a card that had a vision for a picture. Does that even make sense to you? Well, AJ just knew she wanted something totally simple with lots of color. Did I just say that? Lots of color? While I edited these pictures I just KNEW they had had had to be in BW. The picture HAD to tell the story without anything else getting in the way. Let me explain. AJ and Dick have four gorgeous boys. They've raised the most amazing men! But AJ is such a girl! We were SSSOOO happy when Corry John got married to Jaelene because AJ finally got a girl to play with. Well, Corry and Jaelene made Dick and Annette grandparents this year . . . WITH A GIRL! Seriously, no one ever thought this would ever happen . .. . at least not the first grandchild! So Mimi (AJ's grandma name) and I sat at my computer and played. She DEFINITELY wanted a long skinny card. And a postcard. She wanted EVERYONE, including the postal workers, to see her pink bundle. The front of the card has Bentlee in color (because she's all pinked out) and everyone else in timeless BW. On the back . . . you see pure spontaneity. We had finished the session. The boys were all pushing the pram. The light was hitting everyone just perfectly, so I snapped this totally spontaneous shot and KNEW that was going to be the story telling shot. They were just chatting, just like 4 brothers would . . . no matter if they were pushing tractors when they were younger, or baby carriages when they got older. Just pure joy to watch these boys grow up and those who received the card surely knows the joy that came out of those pictures. I love you AJ and Dick! Thanks for letting me capture and tell your story to your family and friends!

One of my dearest friends called me during graduation time and said something to the effect, "Don't even come to RJ's party unless you bring your camera. We need a big family photo . . . please?" Just kidding . . . it wasn't that harsh . . . she totally begged . . . and I succumbed because I'm addicted to Glitzy Bella flip flops and she keeps me well stocked! ANYWAY . . . the joy that has come out of this little group picture has been tenfold! We took pictures of her mom's family and her mother in law's family. Featured below is her mom's family, Marv and Lynette Herrema. I'm so happy I could help capture this family picture because this is truly what is important. Merry Christmas Marv and Lynette . . .

Seriously, I'm not even sure how to describe my reaction when this little number came in the mail! I laughed at this card for a good hour . . . .and laughed again when I took a picture of the card! I didn't design this . . .Derrick (dad) did. Isn't it awesome? I got so many cute pictures of this family I don't even know where to start to show them all off. This card and this family is the reason I cannot turn off my imagination for all the great ideas I have brewing for Christmas cards in 2009! I've been thinking about these pictures and jotting down ideas for more sessions . . . unique ideas with personality plus. This family TOTALLY has personality! And a great flair for design. Derrick . . . you and me baby . . . we need to get together! GREAT JOB! Merry Christmas to your family . . . (oh and if Grandma Brinkman is reading this little post . . . I LOVE LOVE LOVE your Christmas card! I totally cracked up when I opened it and started to giggle. Now I know where your son gets his humorous personality!)

This next card has a special story behind it even though it's very simple. I was walking into Michael's one day and ran into Vonnie (mom). She said, "Hey, do me a big favor . . . would you come to the chapel right before homecoming and take our family's picture? I might want to use it for our Christmas card because I'd love to do one with Savannah as the Sophomore princess." Sure! I ran into the chapel and had walked by that cross a million times, never thinking too much of it. Pretty. But suddenly I realized the very best picture would be IN FRONT of the cross! Good thing I had my wide angle lens on me. You probably wouldn't know this by just looking at this, but I am laying on the floor taking this picture. And better yet, my baseball cap I had on had to be turned backwards because I had to use a flash because the lighting was so pathetic in the chapel. Now, no big deal you are thinking, but anyone who knows Vonnie knows that she ALWAYS looks fabulous and I currently couldn't understand WHY I though wearing a baseball cap was a good idea! I learned that day that I will never wear a ball cap to shoot anyone ever again. It gets in the way. OK . . . so back to the special story. As I was getting people positioned, one of the boys' girlfriends was just hanging out waiting for the family to take the picture and be done. Vonnie calls her in and says, "Jodi, come get in this picture. You are part of our family. I'm so sick and tired of not being able to have you in my family pictures. Get in here!" I kid you not, those were her exact words. I filed that bit of information away and said . . . oh . . . a proposal must be on the way very shortly! It was just a few weeks later and Luke proposed in the most romantic way ever! Vonnie was actually so surprised and knew nothing about a proposal coming anytime at all so she was really happy when she realized our picture had Jodi in it and she could help announce their upcoming nuptials! Congratulations Luke and Jodi on your engagement and congratulations Savannah on your place on the 2008 CVC Homecoming court. Jace, next year it's all about you dude! PS - did you notice the rhinestone on the card . . .my signature

And last, but not least, another fabulous Christmas card. I've become good friends with Sheryl. She's been in my Bible Study Fellowship small group, she and her husband are high school youth leaders for my son, and she was one of my first models to help me build my portfolio outside of my own family! Sheryl took on the challenge of designing her own card and she did an AWESOME job! As soon as I got it in the mail, I called her on the phone giggling and jumping up and down . . . .I LOVED IT! There are several different layers of paper and it's gorgeous paper! Great font design too! Another great card that totally showed off everything I love to do! You did an awesome job designing this card Sheryl . . . I think you may possibly have a future side job kicking in!
And last but not least, my own Christmas card! After taking all the above cards, I was kinda nervous that my own creative juices for my card wouldn't flow at all. I took my kids out to picture them and all I did for the first 30 minutes was yell. I know, seriously hard to believe that I yelled. My kids are SSSSOOOO perfect! (and if you believe that then you must believe in Santa Claus too!) So as I was getting frustrated with them, the light, the everything, Hayden throws his little sister up on his shoulders. They've been practicing this for a few weeks and I'm quite certain Madalyn has had several concussions from it . .. and this was almost no exception, as you can tell. The outcome was good . . . no one got hurt. In fact, even though I wanted to choke them for doing this in the middle of the road without the landing pad they usually have, I was so glad they succeeded because I think I had a pretty cute card!

And of course, not rhinestone. I forgot! LOL!!! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!