Thursday, July 22, 2010

Christmas in July

Around this time of year, it seems retailers are already starting their "Christmas" sales. This season always seems to kick off with the Hallmark Ornament Premiere weekend ~ one of the things I look forward to each year ~ which was a couple of weekends ago, and Toys 'R Us just sent out their Christmas in July deals. Once I start seeing these things, it seems I am suddenly in Christmas mode ~ starting to shop when I see good deals for Christmas gifts and also start creating some homemade gifts.

My project of the day today was to start working on a Christmas project for the kids' grandparents. My most successful gift last year was a dvd that is a photo montage of the kids. So for Christmas 2009, I gave them a 2008 video (see my link below if you'd like to check it out). It was such a success that I have decided to do one again this year. I am creating a video montage of the kids using photos and videos from 2009. My family makes fun of me saying that my children are the most photographed kids out there ~ what can I say, they are very cute! I do love to take pictures of them. Just to give some perspective on my photography obsession, on an 8 day vacation in Walt Disney World this year, I took 1300 photos. Needless to say, I have more than enough pictures and videos to probably create a full length motion picture movie, but that is a little much. I am attempting to keep the montage to 15 minutes. The difficuly is narrowing them down to decide which photos to use.

So today I started organizing photos and videos so that I can start creating the montage and have it done in plenty of time for Christmas. I have picked out my favorite photos and now have to decide their order. Last year's montage had three segments. The first chapter was all photos of the kids with grandparents, aunts, uncles and my husband and I. The second chapter was photos of just the kids with each other. The final chapter was of individual portraits of the kids. I really like that format but for this year I am attempting to try something new. Now that I have all the pictures and videos chosen, I am sorting through them to decide if I should organize them simply in a timeline fashion or give each child their own chapter. Once I make this decision I will chose songs that I think compliment the photos best.

The software I use is called Pinnacle Studio. I purchased this software last year and love it. It makes creating montages so simple that I really think anyone could do it! It is such a great way to display photos and videos. If you get the photos and music just right, you can bring out the emotions in anyone watching it. I think there were a few teary-eyed family members last year when they saw the 2008 video.

Here are a few helpful links:
My 2008 Video Montage of Joey, Hayley & Emily
Pinnacle Studio

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