Burns Family Christmas Card 2016 - Behind the Scenes

Over the past few years, we have made a tradition of sending out Christmas cards to friends and family. But not just any Christmas cards. We decided to make our cards unique, something that you wouldn’t see from anyone else. That takes a little bit of work, but it is worth it in the end. Especially when someone tells you how much they liked your card.

I think that this year’s card was our best effort yet. So if you are wondering what it looked like here you go:

Burns Family Christmas Card 2016

As you may have probably guessed, the top part was the front and the bottom part was the back, by the way.

It all started with an idea that Laura had of us being superheroes flying through the air. We had talked about having us pull Santa’s sleigh, but in the end we just ended up with us flying in for Christmas.

Once we had the idea, we needed to get the photos. As it turns out, sometime back in the past Laura had gotten a cape, mask, and wrist cuff superhero set to use at school. I had already planned to take our photos individually and put them all together, so it didn’t matter that we only had one costume set.

We took turns putting on the costume and “flying,” which actually looked like this:

Jaylin flying for the Christmas card

As you can see, we were actually lying on the piano bench that we had taken outside of our house. If my mother-in-law knew that we had taken the good piano bench outside to the soft ground, she would have had a literal cow. Sorry about that. The bench legs sank into the ground until we put some boards underneath them.

I decided to shoot outside for two reasons. The first was for the natural light outside, which would be similar to the sun shining on us if we were flying above a city. Also, the brick wall is the closest thing we have to a large, solid-color surface, which makes taking out the background easier. Maybe one of these days I should invest in some sort of studio backdrop for that sort of thing.

To further the flying look, one of us held up the cape to give the appearance of it blowing in the wind, as you can see Laura doing here for Jaylin. Since I was already cutting out the background, it was easy to cut out the cape holder, too. In Jaylin’s photo, the tag on the cape was visible, too, but removing that was easy.

Next, I drew a simple city backdrop for us to fly over. I had originally planned to so something slightly more elaborate, but because we didn’t have time to take the photos any earlier than Thanksgiving weekend, I was fighting the Cyber Monday deadline to get a really good deal on getting the cards printed from Vistaprint, since I learned that trick last year. But as it turns out, you can’t see that much of the background anyway, so it didn’t matter all that much that it wasn’t more detailed.

Laura then suggested that we have Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer on the back of the card with our message, which she wrote, and she suggested that Rudolph be dressed like we were with the mask and cape. So I drew a quick sketch of Rudolph, and then I made it easy on myself by just taking a photo of the mask that we wore and dropping it on top of the sketch.

Rudolph the Super Reindeer

I really liked the way that he turned out, and he ended up being on our return address labels, too. Makes me wish that I had more time for drawing things like that.

With all of the pieces we needed, I put it all together, uploaded it to be printed, and then waited around for the cards to arrive. Once they did arrive, we signed all of them and then got them in the mail as quickly as we could. We don’t send our cards out as early as some people do, but that’s okay either way. I just want them to get there before Christmas if at all possible.

We don’t send Christmas cards to get cards in return, but rather we just send them because we want to. So if you ever get one from us, don’t feel like you have to send one back. We definitely enjoy getting them, but that’s not the reason that we send ours out.

Here is hoping that you and your family had a great Christmas season, just like our family did!


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About Burnsland
Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through Burnsland.com, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.