I’ve shared the pictures of Grampy Santa, Brolly and Mac that I took for the advent calendar, but I just thought I’d share the fun I had taking them too before they get ready to disappear for another year away with the Christmas tree and other decorations.
This wasn’t the first photo I took of the teddies, the first time I set off to the local supermarket with Santa in one bag and Brolly in another I had my sister with me for moral support. Eldest and middle daughters were there too, but they waited a safe distance away as to pretend they weren’t really with us.
We had managed to catch a nice sunny day and tucked the two teddies safely into a two-seater trolley only to find that the battery in the camera was almost out and I’d forgotten to charge the spare which I keep in my purse for such occasions. I snapped a couple on my phone but the sunshine made for too much contrast in the shadows so I visited the supermarket again with these two teddies. I avoided looking at any passing shoppers on my first trip but by the time I returned for a second, I was really past caring and just snapped away.
When I told Hubby that I wanted to take the teddies out in the car to take photos of them in the back seat, I don’t think he quite believed me at first but gave me the keys to take the photos in the car park. As it was, the sun was in the wrong place and I’d learned my lesson from the trolley pictures so I left them strapped in and he gave in, driving to Ayno with the three teddies strapped into the back seat as the girls used to be when they were small. He parked in the car park of the little local pub by the canal and got out to wait for me to take the photos. Brolly’s legs are the longest so he was easy to anchor onto the steering wheel in the driver’s seat, that’s when I had the idea of him being the mischievous one and sitting in the driving seat.
Their next outing was to the children’s park around the corner, I didn’t bother with bags this time, I just bundled up all three teddies and carried them to the park. I had a few strange glances, followed by a few averted eyes incase the “mad woman” tried to talk to them. Surprisingly, only one person commented, an elderly gent strolling past slowly with his dog, ” Christmas cards ?” I smiled and nodded, this seemed the easiest explanation so I filed it away in my tiny brain for future use if I was asked.
The photo of Brolly swinging was the most fun to do at the park, I lined up my position with Mac in the foreground and then popped back to push Brolly in the swing, jumping back to the right position to catch the shot of him in-between the chains, it took about five goes to get a photo I was happy with.
I had thought it would be easy to take 25 photos of three teddies but it was proving not quite so, I took the three portrait pictures at home in my rocking chair, partly to introduce the teddies to you, and partly to boost the numbers. Then when Hubby said we were staying in the Premier Inn for the Norwich comp this year, I couldn’t possibly pass that up. Hubby said it was ok for the teddies to go so long as they stayed hidden in a black bag. On the Saturday afternoon he returned early from the comp, not too happy with the way he was playing, and walked into the room to see me stood on the bed pointing the camera down at the three teddies tucked up under the duvet … ooops !
I threw a few ideas around in my head at work, night work in a supermarket is physical, but not brain-taxing so it was surprisingly easy to come up with a few more possible pictures. On Friday I arranged to meet Mum-in-law at Costa for breakfast and to take Santa with me. I stopped off at the children’s Thunderbird ride on the way and when I arrived at Costa ordered our drinks plus a “babychino” for Santa. (an espresso cup full of frothed milk with chocolate sprinkled on top).
I amused the staff and a couple of customers as I set Grampy Santa up in one of the high-chairs with the tray tucked behind him and placed his tiny cup in front of him on the table. By now I’d worked out that children’s rides and mini portions made for better photos.
I popped Santa in the Wilkinson’s trolley as I passed and then walked home via the local D.I.Y superstore. I walked around their bathroom displays looking for an assistant to ask permission to take a photo or two but no one was around so I found a suitable seat for Santa to pose, clicked a few snaps and carried on my way home. I wonder if I showed up on their security camera ?
Sunday gave me another nice dry day so I set off with Santa and Brolly to take the trolley photo you see at the top, there’s a pet store next to the D.I.Y and this time I did find someone to give permission to use the goods as props, they just requested that I made sure no labels and prices were showing. I placed the dog’s bed in front of a huge freezer where they keep the frozen dog food and then added the biggest bone treat I could find. The placing of the bed and bone was quite easy, but I couldn’t manage to get the shot without a couple of shelf-edge labels in it, so I used Photoshop and extended the freezer.
By this time I was on a roll and I walked down to the supermarket armed with two teddies. I got a few strange looks with the teddies in the trolley, I was careful not to place them in the sunshine this time, but by the time they posed in the Tot’s TV children’s ride and on top of the post box, I’d stopped noticing curious passers-by.
Almost there, I just needed three more photos so since Mac hadn’t been in the last few pictures, when Mum-in-law put the tree up I sat him underneath with a bauble or two before I set up the train around the bottom, and posed him with some wrapping paper, this left me just one … the grand finale.
The last picture had been in the planning stage for a while, I was given a gold Christmas cracker hat by a friend who made her own crackers, I bought mini mince pies for a buffet when my parents and sister came up to visit, I borrowed a small sherry glass from Mum-in-law and waited until Hubby was in for the evening with a tiny little bottle of red wine. To this I added two little carrots (Alice will finish them off later) and a dog treat. I posed the three teddies with their treats, snapping away until I had the position right, then opened the wine and the rest is history.
I’ve had lots of fun making this years advent calendar, I hope you’ve had as much watching it open up each day. Now I have the problem of following it next year with another idea but I’ve got a good ten months or so to think of that.