Every year I pain-staking try to get the perfect shot for our annual Christmas cards. I normally have the kids dressed up in cute outfits they'll only wear one more time (on Christmas Eve to church). I spend more time than necessary trying to decide when, where & how the shot should look. I know, I totally over think this.
Well, this year I tried my best to simplify things. I chose more casual outfits that they will wear over and over while still festive. Now for the location. Living in Las Vegas leads to a host of photo opportunities, especially at Christmas. My husband and I planned to venture down to The Strip and check out a couple beautiful hotels, Bellagio and the Venetian. The Bellagio has an amazing conservatory that they change four times a year. This Christmas, it has hundreds of red and white poinsettias, a huge polar bear of carnations, ice-skating penguins and a 55-foot Christmas tree. Talk about backdrops! Perfect!!
We set the kids in front of the penguins. No smiles (sigh). Ok, no worries. The polar bears are cute. Cheese....nothing! We have a 9 yr old who's is taking one great picture after another and a 3 yr old who wants NOTHING to do with this whole adventure! The Christmas tree...what better backdrop for a Christmas card! Yep, you guessed it. Not even a silly, goofy grin. I'm not sure she even looked at the camera. My hopes for even a "so-so" card were quickly fading.
Without any good shots, we decided to move on to the Venetian. Maybe she needed a change of scenery. On our way out, we passed a hugh planter of more red and white poinsettias. I sat Leah on the edge and had Logan stand next to her. And just like that, we had our picture! Both smiling, check; both looking at the camera, check; no weird stuff in the background, check! We did it!! We still went to the Venetian and took some pictures. But nothing was a good as that random, last-minute shot. Sometimes the best stuff isn't planned.