Annie Steele Photography » Wedding Photography, Chicago, Illinois

The Blog About the Annual Christmas Card

It’s no secret I adore Christmas cards.  I love everything about the holiday season: the music, hanging fresh garland from our balcony, spending time with my family, baking (just kidding), and giving and receiving Christmas cards.  I look forward to the 4×6 and 5×7 sized envelopes that contain good ol’ holiday wishes from friends and family, near and far this time of year.  My husband thinks it’s silly that I have such an obsession.   I remember being little and nagging my mom to send Christmas cards one year.  This was the same year I initialized a family picture and helped address the envelopes.  It was a year with little snow and it was my idea to take a picture sitting on a toboggan on a grassy hill in our backyard.  It’s who I am and I’m not ashamed to have my childlike side shine through this time of year.  It’s a universal way to say Merry Christmas, I’m thankful for having you in my life, and I wish you and your family nothing but health, happiness, and joy in the New Year.

A few weeks ago, Peter and I went to see Andrea Bocelli perform.  His voice is a true gift to be in the presence of and it was our second time seeing him this year.  Beforehand, we though it was a good idea to take our annual Christmas picture since we would be all fancied up.  As most households go, we were running late and were in a huge hurry to get in the car with the dog.

Annie:  Have you seen my heels?

Peter:  Where did you put them last?  (I give a dirty look)

Annie: Curly or straight?

Peter: I love your hair straight.  (I then curl my hair).

Peter: You always make us late (he calls me by my maiden name when I run late)

Peter:  Which tie goes better with my suit?

Annie: Solid black.  Did you pack the hot dogs?

Annie: Turn around, I forgot the dog’s Christmas hat.


Finally arriving to one of our favorite spots in the city, we set up a tripod, self timer, and put hotdogs on the camera so the dog hopefully looks up for the picture.  About 100 pictures later and with blood, sweat and tears (just kidding about the blood)… here is the evolution of my family Christmas card…


It’s if she knows we just need ONE good picture of her looking at the camera.  Here she is making us work for  it.

Looking at some bikers…

Pleading with the dog to sit for ONE picture…

Sticking her tongue out

Fed up with picture taking and just wanting the hot dog

She was sitting between us but slowly got up and walked away

Staring the Hot Dog down and trying to jump out of our arms and get it…

Hoping she looks at the camera just ONCE!

NOPE.  She is done and walking away

Peter has a good idea…


And we got ONE!  Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year! XO

Want some tips for taking a family photo?

You don’t have to be a photographer, hire a photographer, or go to a studio to send out a beautiful Christmas picture.  If you haven’t already taken one, IT’S NOT TOO LATE.  You can always send out a New Years Card in late December/early January!  Grab your camera, turn on the self timer (most have a 10 second delay) and this will give you plenty of time to set your camera on a nearby table/chair.  Use your Christmas tree as a background,go outside by trees, railroad tracks or a meaningful place to your family.  Sometime the best pictures end of being the picture you hadn’t even envisioned.

Want to know HOW to take this picture?

When getting the luxury to choose when to take a picture outside,  I like to take pictures in the afternoon because of where the sun is.  In our situation, we were running late and even though it was at least an hour before sunset, the sun had just set behind the high rise buildings (to the West- This is the right side of the above picture).  That means, to properly expose our picture we had to use flash and stand within 10 feet from the camera.  I’m not a huge fan of flash photography, but in this situation, I had to use it otherwise we would have washed in with the background and been underexposed and looked very dull.  This picture was taken with a flash and 24mm/Iso400/ f/5.6 (so that all 3 of us would both be in focus)/1/100sec/ 10 sec. timer

This picture was taken at North Avenue Beach (we are facing north and the picture is a south view).

Happy Tuesday, friends! XO, Annie




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