Always, every year, I am compounded by one big nightmare and problem... designing our family Christmas card! If it's with clients, it will take me a breeze to think of a campaign or a design, whip up a shoot and voila! We have a strong pitch...
But family photos and cards are a different story.
One, it's quite a feat to handle the logistics... my wife's schedule is erratic (as well as mine!), it's a major effort (ala Mega Structures from National Geographic) thinking and doing our costumes for the shoot, and Freedom is such a tornado to be kept still for a click or two. Chocky, our labrador is also a formidable force to handle during shoots! That leaves me with only Nannie (my wife's aunt) to keep my sanity intact.
Our first christmas greeting shoot in 2005 was inspired by the turn-of-the-century sensibilities of Cambodia and it took us around the French colonial enclaves of Siem Reap - from the Raffles Gardens to the grounds of Victoria Angkor. Since I didn't have a car and a tripod at that time, our tuktuk driver was our photographer!
2006 was a rather easy shoot because we wanted everyone to be comfortable and casual... but since the temperatures here dropped as low as 9 degrees for a couple of weeks, comfortable means layering, sweaters and thick winter scarves! It was a perfect time to be playful and cool...
"The Golden Age of Travel" was our defining theme for last year's shoot... that meant rewinding ourselves back into the roaring decades of the 1930's. We bought some nice vintage leather luggage from Bali for this shoot while our clothes are an amalgam of vintage finds from around. We got Freedom's outfit from Chatuchak Market in Bangkok and I designed my wife's hat. I got my vintage bomber leather jacket from Hwang Yu - a second hand clothes shop in Makati and Faith's mink fur trim is from Don.
We did a second card last year for our clients. Our red square couch was the modern twist to this shoot... sort of an "advertisement" as well for my furniture design and interior design work! lol. Our outfits were mainly from Jasmine Boutique at the Aman shop.
Now this really gives me a headache thinking about this year's theme. To make matters worse, our friends are now expecting our greetings to be more and more elaborate year after year! I have been thinking from one end of the spectrum to another - from The Incredibles (us in superhero costumes! Too halloween, perhaps?) to full royal Khmer regalia or Filipino traditional outfits (too June 12?) or even something as crazy as an organically-themed, green shoot (too Inconvenient Truth?)... aaarrrggghhh! I'm losing my head already!