Photo Friday: Christmas Card Retrospective

It’s the holiday season (so whoop-dee-doo and hickory dock) which means I’m down to one blog post a week. I haven’t run since Saturday either. Merry Christmas!

Our annual Christmas card photo shoot is a wrap, but it seems a little early to post it. So this week, I thought I’d share the history of our little tradition. Are you ready for 11 years of Christmas card photos?

Living in the D.C. metro area, there are shitloads of cool statues and I suggested we include a picture of us with a different statue in our Christmas cards each year. Dave suggested putting a Santa hat on the statue’s head. Brilliant. Let’s do this thing!

2000 – Fala

Fala is my all-time favorite presidential pet. He’s probably in my top five favorite dogs ever. Love him. When the FDR Memorial opened, I visited with a friend who kept going on about FDR and his four terms and bandying about phrases like “our greatest president,” and I was all, “Look! Doggy!” Sorry, Mr. President, but your dog is the best part of your memorial.

Santa hat difficulty: easy

2001 – Albert Einstein

This statue, outside the National Academy of Sciences, is awesome. And you are supposed to climb all over it. Also great because Dave’s a physicist and because as we all know, Einstein was never wrong. This was the first time I remember creating a little scene with our photo shoot (think this was the year some bystanders asked to us to borrow our hat so they could take a picture with Einstein-Santa too).

Santa hat difficulty: slightly challenging

2002 – Party Animals

This was the only year we did the photo shoot during summer. And since we were traipsing all over the city taking pictures of this public art project anyway (there were 100 elephants and 100 donkeys), we decided to take and use multiple shots. Here are a couple of favorites.

Santa hat difficulty: easy

2003 – Kermit

This statue was our first outside D.C. Kermit is actually part of the Jim Henson Memorial at the University of Maryland in College Park. We took many shots with us and the whole statue, but the best, by far, were of us and Kermit. Sorry, Jim. This year is my favorite.

Santa hat difficulty: easy

2004 – George Mason

Who’s a fluffy muffin? This was our first Christmas with Chuck. Chuck is the prettiest member of our family, but he’s not always the most cooperative model. This year also marked our switch from film to digital. I had never heard of George Mason before moving to Virginia. But down here, everything is named after him (if it isn’t named after Lee).

Santa hat difficulty: easy

2005 – Screw Propeller Guy (John Ericsson)

Dave started pitching the “Screw Propeller Guy” as an option right after Fala. I held Dave off as long as possible, because a.) who the hell was going to care about Screw Propeller Guy and b.) I wasn’t sure we could do it. I couldn’t come up with a better idea in 2005, so Screw Propeller Guy it was! Getting up to his level was interesting. We learned Chuck doesn’t like to be picked up.

Santa hat difficulty: challenging

2006 – Teddy Roosevelt

We had Teddy on our radar for years and actually visited his island several times to practice. He’s pretty fucking big. Had to Photoshop the hat and it was so painful I vowed never to do that again. Decree: all future statue heads must be theoretically reachable by tall husband, possibly with gopher grabbing device and step stool assistance. This was our depth of field masterpiece. Getting statue and us all in focus would be a nightmare every year after.

Santa hat difficulty: impossible

2007 – The Awakening

We took this mere months before this statue was moved from Hains Point in D.C. to National Harbor in Maryland, which might as well be the moon given how inconveniently located it is. So I’m glad we fit this in while the statue was still in the city. I hated all of the shots of us with the head. I loved the hand shot, but that didn’t convey the statue. So this was the only year we printed a double-photo card.

Santa hat difficulty: easy

2008 – Winston Churchill

Mr. Churchill stands astride the boundary between U.S. property and the British Embassy. So I felt reasonably assured the British wouldn’t come running out with guns when we stuck a Santa hat on Mr. Churchill’s head. Of the many photos we took, Dave, Chuck, and I were in focus in exactly none of them. I took the best shot and did my best to sharpen us in Photoshop.

Santa hat difficulty: moderately challenging

2009 – Charles Buls

Our first international entry! We took the Santa hat and a mini tripod (explaining the awkward angle for this one) on our trip to Belgium. The only bummer is that Chuck couldn’t be in it. Buls was a former mayor of Brussels and there is a dog with him but it’s very hard to tell from this weird angle and once you see the dog it sort of looks like he’s humping the mayor’s leg. Oops.

Santa hat difficulty: technically easy, but pretty embarrassing (some older Belgian ladies seemed amused by us)

2010 – George Washington

We took this while visiting my family last Thanksgiving. The statue is next to the Eagle Hotel in Waterford, PA. I had always thought this was the only statue of Washington wearing a British uniform but I just found something arguing he’s actually in the militia uniform of Virginia. Whatever, he’s carrying out a British order, so there. 

Santa hat difficulty: challenging

2011 – ?????


Care to make a guess about this year’s Christmas card photo subject? Hints: he’s in D.C. and is very close to a previous subject.

I’d love to hear any suggestions for photos in the D.C. area or elsewhere (I’m still kicking myself that we didn’t do Jimi Hendrix while on vacation in Seattle). Tune in next Friday for our 2011 photo and holiday greeting.

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12 Responses to “Photo Friday: Christmas Card Retrospective”

  1. Rebecca Latson Photography
    Friday, December 16, 2011 at 7:53 am #

    Love all of these photos and the clever idea of putting the santa hat on the statues. I would have never thought of that….well, probably not until *after* the fact.

    • logyexpress
      Friday, December 16, 2011 at 10:35 am #

      Thanks, Becky! It actually pains me a little that I have to credit the Santa hat idea to Dave!

  2. reagan
    Friday, December 16, 2011 at 8:08 am #

    I LOVE the Kermit one.. I was there before and NEVER saw it.. but that was 6 years ago.. Oh .. very cooL!

    sigh.. that would be fun to do in Houston too.

    neat idea.
    I like the Friday picture idea you have here and your cheerful way of writing.
    I’ve gotten to where I look forward to your blog

    • logyexpress
      Friday, December 16, 2011 at 10:37 am #

      Thanks, Reagan! Your nice comment made my morning. You’ll have to come back and see Kermit, I’ll go with you!

  3. Amanda @ Running On Waffles
    Friday, December 16, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    Those are great! I’m particularly fond of the Fala and Einstein ones! Two of my faves in the city!

    • logyexpress
      Friday, December 16, 2011 at 10:39 am #

      Thanks, Amanda! Since we didn’t have our dog when we started doing this, I’ve toyed with the idea of doing Fala again but that seems like cheating.

  4. cinquecentoproject
    Friday, December 16, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

    I love your cards!!! I can’t wait to see this year’s photo. I visited The Awakening as an adolescent and fell in love with it. I didn’t know that it moved to Maryland and I also never knew its name. Good to know.

    I’m wracking my brain for good statues to recommend…hmm…

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, December 18, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

      Thanks, Jill! Glad to be of service RE: the Awakening. Was this when you lived in D.C. or was it just a visit? If you think of a good statue, let me know. There’s a GREAT one in Erie, but we’re usually only there at Christmas (too late!) or summer (I don’t like wearing summer clothes in our Christmas card photo).

  5. Tracy
    Friday, December 16, 2011 at 4:21 pm #

    I like that the donkey in the 2002 picture is looking directly in the camera. Creepy!

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, December 18, 2011 at 12:10 pm #

      The statues are such good photo models. Never blink, super photogenic. Unlike the humans. The dog is super cute, but usually not very cooperative.

  6. Let Me Start By Saying
    Sunday, December 18, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

    Einstein cannot be topped. Fantastic!
    I love that you go with a theme.

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, December 18, 2011 at 3:47 pm #

      As a perfectionist, I wish the sun weren’t so bright or that we went earlier. We are very squinty in the Einstein photos. And he’s so big compared to us, it was hard to frame. But that was one of the most fun shoots, because we got to climb all over him. There’s also a place where you can stand facing him and get a cool acoustic echo of whatever you say.

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