The Evolution of the Wilhelm Family Christmas Card
The making of our Christmas card started out a silly, super amateur, low quality joke about our dog. What used to take part of an evening to create now takes days of shooting and editing for me. All year this card is in the back of my head with thoughts like, “What am I going to do this year?, How can I make it better?, and Why did I ever do this to myself?” However, once it is done, it is one of my favorite projects of the year because I get to create it with the family. My kids are completely aware of the whole process now and are fantastic little actors. It is exciting to explain my vision, know they are going to actually keep it a secret, and watch them pretend in front of the camera.
I am excited to have this blog as an avenue of sharing my card with friends, clients, and those that I hope to meet in the coming year since I’m unable to mail it everyone! Come back to see the new card each year!
I shot the first card with 35mm film and the next few with a lousy 2 megabyte point and shoot. You can see that as our equipment progresses the image quality does as well. After starting a business and investing in professional gear we have been able to pull off crazier scenarios.
Every year, we hear one of three questions:
1) What are you doing this year for your Christmas card?
Answer: I can’t tell you! First of all, I don’t usually know. Second, sometimes “plan A” doesn’t work out. Third, it is a surprise, of course!
2) Can we be added to your mailing list?
Answer: Our mailing list is getting ridiculous, so I am very glad to have internet and Facebook to share easily with all of our friends, family, and clients!
and until our boxer, Wallace, died…
3) How did you get your dog to do that?
My answer: Really big treats.
Here are our cards starting from 2004 in case you want to see them all!
2004 Where’s Wallace
Card Caption: Merry Christmas from Ben, Tonya, and… Wallace? Wallace? WALLACE?
2005 Merry Mistletoe
2006 The Star of Christmas
2007 A Simple Family Portrait
2008 Up, Up, and Away!
2009 Wallace Saves Christmas
2010 “You aren’t taking a ridiculous photo of me this year!” ~ Wallace
2011 “Just Wrapping Things Up for Christmas.”
2012 was a sad year for our tradition. Wallace passed away in January, but we have a card to close the chapter on this series.
2012 “Sorry, without a dog we just don’t have enough talent to do our Christmas Card this Year.”
Our family got a big surprise this year! Fortunately for me this isn’t our real gift. I just rented the hippo *wink*If you don’t know the song that inspired this you can hear it here: I WANT A HIPPOPOTAMUS FOR CHRISTMAS (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oOzszFIBcE)
I didn’t intend to ride the StarWars trend but it happened anyway. I still can’t believe the Death Star made it into my Christmas Card! Although this required some major photoshop work, if you click the image to see the original post, you will know actual damage occurred in my home last year for the making of this card. If you follow the blog, you also know that we did very elaborate costumes from Episode 1 this year for Halloween which inspired this design. You can see them here: StarWars Halloween 2015
If you follow my photography, you understand why my card says Merry Macro Christmas. January 2016, I decided to promote my love for macro (close-up) photography by posting a daily “Good Macro Morning” image each week day. I found that I have lots of friends who don’t think I am totally weird for hanging out with insects. My macro work went from not having a place in my business to winning awards, getting published, and being featured numerous times by other large macro forums. It was a fun year of photo sharing for me, and I am so thankful to all of my great friends who supported me. That being said, it seemed only right that I take a queue from the 1989 movie Honey I Shrunk the Kids cover photo to combine my family and my passion for macro into one ridiculous Christmas card. I was a afraid that the reference might be a bit to old, but my kids knew why it was funny so I went with it. I think the rest is self explanatory. We have an addition to our family this year. Our nephew moved in with us, and we are happy to add him to all our holiday routines.
This one was like a comic strip. I still don’t have an elf on the shelf, and I don’t intend to ever start.