When my oldest dog Hudson was a puppy we took his picture in the yard with a Santa hat on and put it on a holiday card. Our friends and family couldn't get over how cute he was. By the next year we had added another dog to the family and the two appeared in the card that year. And people loved that too. And then the next year, starting in about October, people started asking me, "What are the dogs going to be doing in the Christmas card this year?" And so, a tradition was born.
Some years the photo shoots are more successful than others and I'll be honest, I'm running out of ideas. The good news is that at ages 7 and 8 the dogs know the drill and tolerate the photo shoots with a minimum of stink eye shot in my direction.
I've been holding out on taking the photo this year because I've been waiting for snow. Looking back at the old photos, the only one that doesn't have snow in the background is the original photo from 2004 (not shown in that collection: I can't find it!). We've still not had snow (I'm not complaining) but it does make the photos kind of challenging, especially when you have limited photography skills.
Because of my limitations as a photographer I'm a big believer in taking lots of pictures (thank goodness for digital; that theory got expensive back in the film days) and hoping something works out. I'm still working on choosing a photo and working some Photoshop magic but I thought I'd show you a few outtakes.
Obviously I'm holding the treat (cheddar cheese comes highly recommended) in my left hand whilst balancing on a chair in the middle of the lawn. The green grass doesn't do much to help the Christmas feeling.
Hudson: "First you put a damn wreath around me and now you're making weird noises with that clicky thing in your hand"
Rita: "Cheese? Cheese? Cheese? Can we have more cheese?"
Get it off, get it off, get it off.
You can tell their hearts really aren't in it, cheese or not. Oh, and how nice that I managed to get the neighbor's boat in the background. Good job, Erin.
Hudson: "Oh please make this be over, woman."
Rita: "I'm so outta here."
And because it wasn't bad enough to get the neighbor's boat in the background I managed to get our kayak squarely in the photo. Again, great job, Erin. Photographer of the year. Call me for your crappy family photo shoot needs.