Entries in Christmas (18)


Merry Christmas 2017

2017 has been a rough year in many ways, culminating for us with the North Bay fires that decimated a big part of Santa Rosa and leveled my in-laws' home of 42 years. SO, we decided to go with serious Christmas cheer for this year's holiday card, with a nod to our Santa Rosa history. The cheerleading outfits on Emmy and me are from my high school and Odessa is wearing my junior high songleading uniform. We had to modify the purple and gold to match the maroon and gold theme, added a few clothespins in the back and voila! My very own cheer squad. Renley had a little baby uniform we found super cheap online, and The Good Doc is wearing some sort of Navy uniform pants and a giant cheer sweater from a thrift shop. We spare no expense. 

Once again Kiet Do worked his incredible magic and brought it to life. Entire shoot, done in under 40 minutes because when you have a fifth wheel named Renley, things turn into a pumpkin real quick.

And besides, we have it down to a science. Everyone takes a few really great shots, and then it's The Good Doctor's turn. We have to build in extra special time for him because, well, he's extra special.

No people or animals were harmed in the shooting of this card. As it says on the back, "Wishing you holiday cheer and a spirited new year!"

 PS Faces have been blurred to protect the innocent.


Gangnam Style Christmas Part 4: The Forgotten Gif

How could I forget?

This was The Good Doctor's suggested move for the card. Nixed by me, for obvious reasons.

#1: There's no such move in PSY's video.

#2: Spanking does not say "Merry Christmas." 



Gangnam Style Christmas Part 3: Making of the Card 

So the actual shooting of the card was, believe it or not, very simple. For us. Just show up, do some poses from the PSY video, and wrap it up.

The real award for hard work goes to Kiet, who had to set up the green screen, the Annie Leibowitz lights, and capture our mean mugs. And then he had to Photoshop us all onto a still from the explosion scene in the music video.

Maybe that's why Kiet doesn't take my calls around the holidays anymore. Just kidding. He's a super rock star when it comes to creative photography and editing. Obvi!

Here I am riding my invisible pony.

Brian held the reins. Talk about art imitating life. #metaphormuch?

Odessa did her baby best to be a K-Pop star at 10 months old.

Clap on. Clap off. Those sparkly Mary Jane socks really set the tone, don't you think?

 Pepperoni bait for the dogs. By the time we got to them, patience was thin, discretion even thinner.

The star of the show by far: Emmy.

The sunglasses, the socks, the killer smile. That girl's a natural.

And it just so happened the Janie and Jack sleeveless tank our friend Trang gave her a couple years ago was the absolute perfect shirt for this shoot.

We printed the lenticular images at Snapily. 

The only thing we would have done differently is gone with our gut and done the image movement horizontally instead of vertically. 

The guy at Snapily said vertical printing (which means you tilt the card up and down to see the movement) would have less "ghosting." 

But if we had done it horizontally, you could hang the card on the wall and the images would have moved when you walked by. Way cool.

Instead, you have to stand in front of it and squat up and down to see the movement. On the bright side, maybe we are strengthening some quad and glutes through our holiday card. 


Gangnam Style Christmas Part 2.5: Bonus Animation

This is why I love smart friends. Especially the ones that went to Stanford. 

My super awesome friend Kay suggested we make an animated gif to bring our card to life on the blob. I was like, "Eff yeah!" Only I have no animated gif skillz.

But she does. And she's rad. BOOYAH! 







Gangnam Style Christmas Part 2: End Result

Maybe this is out of order (story of my life) but in Part 3 I'll show you the behind the scenes of this shoot. Hint: It definitely involved a green screen, and pepperoni.

Our card this year is a lenticular image, which means when you tilt it up and down, the image moves. 

To see the image bigger in your browser, I think you can hold down the "Control" or "Command" key and the + sign and it should zoom in. I want you to get the full experience on the Internets.

The back of the card reads "A little Gangnam Style from our family to yours."

It's another brilliant creation by my dear friend Kiet Do.

I'm hoping everyone realizes it's us. And to answer your question, the guy in the back is one of the extras from the video who was getting blasted during the explosion scene at 1:08 in the video. It's not, as one person asked, Asian Grandpa.

So far the most surprising reaction has come from Tony Kovaleski, the chief investigative reporter at NBC Bay Area.

Me at the company holiday party, explaining to him and Stephen Stock how we did the photo: "So we had the costumes made--"

Tony: "Wait, what?! That's YOU in the card?" 

Me: "Um, yeah Tony...It's our family. My husband, my offspring, my dogs. Who did you think it was?"

Tony: "No way." *Leaves the conversation and briskly walks down the hall to his office and comes back with my card in his hand* "I didn't even RECOGNIZE you. I thought that was the guy [PSY] in the middle."

Me: "But Tony, why would there be random kids and dogs and a tall white guy in the card?" Followed by more question marks.

In short, one of the smartest investigative reporters in the nation (national Emmy award winner, duPont award winner) thought I was just a "really big fan" of PSY and wanted to give out an edgy pop culture Christmas card. 

Gotcha Tony. #vickyshome