Christmas 2016

A behind the scenes look at the making of our Rubow Family Christmas Card


This is a picture of our new house during the first snow of the winter. This was the day that I took all the pictures. I wanted the light to be soft and diffused, so I took all the pictures outside on our front driveway during an overcast day



All the photos were taken in front of a white sheet of paper clipped to an art board which was hanging from a ladder in front of our garage.


Kate had photos taken with and without glasses. I used the photo of her without the glasses. I then cut out the glasses from the other photo and put it on the photo without the glasses.


All that work was done to make the glasses look as clean and shiny and straight as possible for the “glasses emoji”. Sure she’s not wearing sunglasses, but hey, close enough.



There was no question what emoji Sara was going to be. Crazy with her tongue stuck out! I took a bunch of photos with her making that crazy face.


This was the best photo of Sara’s tongue stuck out. But her eyes weren’t crazy enough. So I grabbed one of the eyes from the other photo and put it on this photo for the emoji.


Yep. That looks about right. This is Sara’s default state.



Lucy was originally going to be the “open mouth laughing” emoji, but she couldn’t keep her eyes open for the photos. (She was looking directly into a very bright overcast sky…)


After I got the photos done, I decided to use this photo to make her the “laughing so hard I’m crying” emoji.


I re-drew the big oversized tears from scratch and put them on Lucy’s face. I think I got pretty close.



Ella was originally going to be the “kissing face” emoji. So I took a bunch of photos with Ella making kissing faces.


But this photo was so great that I knew that I had to make her the “open mouth laughing” emoji. Look at the genuine joy in this face.


After changing the colors in photoshop and adding the classic “shiny gleam” to her forehead.



I knew that I wanted Alex to be making the “half-smile smirk”. Kate was holding him up to the paper backdrop, but he wouldn’t stop making this weird face. It’s the face he puts on when someone is taking his picture.


So Kate gave up trying to hold him, and Mommy took a turn. If you look in the bottom corner, you can see Mary unsuccessfully trying to keep her head out of the shot.


But we got the half-smile smirk we wanted.



It was cold and snowy outside, so Mary got her all bundled up inside her jacket. Here Mary is again trying to stay out of the shot. Jane was comfy, but she kept looking down.


Finally I was able to get her to look at the camera. Look at that face.


I know that Jane is not really making a kissing face, but her lips kind of just look like that all the time.



Mary took her photos while holding baby Jane inside her jacket.


I chose this photo of Mary with a closed mouth smile. The white paper backdrop helps me to separate the faces from the backgrounds.


A bit of rosy cheeks added to the “very natural” yellow emoji face color, finishes this off nicely.



I did the same thing I did with Kathleen’s pictures. I took some shots without glasses and some with so that I could composite them together.


Apparently, one of my ears is higher than the other. My glasses are slightly askew in every photo.


I tried to keep my face expressionless for this straight mouthed emoji.


I took all the finished emojis and added them to a pretend text message conversation. And then I added a link to this page so that you can see how it was all done.

Merry Christmas from the Rubows!