December 7, 2010

Christmas Card Outtakes Photo

I mentioned on Twitter that I ordered 75 copies of an outtakes photo for the Christmas cards this year, and then decided they weren't funny enough and that I wouldn't send them. I said I was thinking of it in terms of sunk costs: that is, I can't get my money back on the photos EITHER WAY, so at this point the decision is whether to send them or not send them, but the money doesn't enter into it at all because at this point the money is "sunk"---not retrievable, so irrelevant.

The replies have made me think probably I should get a second opinion. So I will show you my Holiday Card Outtakes Collection (4 photos on one 4x6 print, included with the picture that turned out well enough), and you tell me if (1) I'm right, and this is not worth sending along with the picture that DID make it, or (2) I'm wrong.


(You can click on the picture to see it bigger.)
(WAY bigger.)
(How else would you be able to see each shot?)


I'll put a poll over to the right. Keeping in mind that already there will be a 4x6 print that is The Best of the Bunch, should I ALSO include this divided-in-4 print of some of the outtakes? Or are they just "meh" this year, and I should skip it?

61 comments:

Mairzy said...

They made me laugh. So, send it!

Erica said...

I said to send it originally and I still stand by that opinion now that I've seen them. It made me laugh. And I imagine the people who get it will say "Wow! It took a lot of work to get this awesome picture this year! And these kids are a hoot!"

Because I imagine the people to whom you mail cards uses phrases like "these kids are a hoot."

Sarah said...

Coming out of the woodwork to say this is an awesome idea. Totally send worthy and so natural. Funny too!! So many people send out over-posed perfect pics. These are great (and I'm a photographer!!)

Jess said...

Oh, I like them! They made me laugh, and I think they will make anyone who knows them laugh too. I say send them! (Will also vote in the poll to make it all official-like.)

Blondie said...

I love the idea of an outtakes photo- next year I might send JUST an outtakes! Send it- made me chuckle :)

marilyn c. cole said...

Dude! Hilarious and so cute! The two younger boys in the first photo made me laugh out loud, as well as Elizabeth in the bottom left. And Henry in the top right! I mean, it's not like a viral success that is so funny people will make YouTube videos about it or something, but assuming that most people know and like you and these adorable kids, they will get a kick out it. They will totally say, "Those kids are a hoot!" just like Erika said.

fairydogmother said...

I lean towards "send it" but I think I would have a hard time deciding whether I would send it out or not too. I'm usually a pretty visual person but I'm having a hard time envisioning how large each "frame" of the four-panel 4x6 outtake print would be. To me that would be the deciding factor, because too small translates to "can't see the facial expressions well enough".

It definitely made me laugh too, and I would love it if one of my friends included something like this in their holiday cards! Maybe I need funnier friends.

DomestiKook said...

The first and the third are my favorites. I definately think you should include the outtakes. Especially if you include a letter, something like "5 reasons why I took 400 pictures"
Rob looks so much like you!

Maggie said...

I think anyone who has ever attempted to get any group of people to all look good in one photo would find these funny. I know I do.

Lizzie said...

Hysterical. Love, love, love. Totally send it. It would make my Christmas if someone in my family did this.

JMT said...

omg, look at your series of adorable blond children.

i vote send, BUT i think you have to find the right punchline referencing it. you can't just include it and assume people will get the joke (not implying your card recipients are dumb). if they look too quickly, they'll just wonder why you needed to send 5 versions. so a funny reference/explanation is in order. but do send. it's cute.

Tess said...

I was just thinking today how much I LOVE the idea of the outtake card. GENIUS. I would send them...it's a unique and fun idea, and worth several bonus points on the holiday card rating scale, if you ask me. Which you didn't, because it's your scale.

Pickles and Dimes said...

Oh, please send them! They are wonderful. I especially love Henry in the top right photo, and your two older boys in the bottom right. HA!

Nik-Nak said...

Send it! So cute!

lifeofadoctorswife said...

While these are not "wild and crazy" (and really, I honestly don't know what I was expecting... one kid throwing a football into another kid's groin a la America's funniest home videos?), I do think they are SUPER CUTE and the expressions on the kids' faces made me smile.

I would love this if it arrived in my mailbox.

Fiona, as typed by Dr. Liz said...

Totally include the out-takes; getting one 'well-behaved' photo is boring. My cards just include the dogs (they are my kids...) and I have one photo of them standing in the snow looking fairly innocent (as innocent as they can look - which isn't so much, actually). In hindsight, seeing your out-takes, I wish I had included a picture of the girls snarling at each other with teeth bared - it would capture their interactions MUCH better. So, I think your out-takes capture "what really goes on". Definitely include it! :-)

-Dr. Liz (not Fiona the dog, who may or may not be involved in bitey-face with her sister on an hourly basis)

Mama Bub said...

I think they're totally send-worthy and I would love getting a card with outtakes.

The Wonder Worrier said...

Those pictures are SO CUTE! So representative of big families, haha. I say, send it!!!

Christina said...

I think it's hysterical! And I love out takes and bloopers - don't we all!?

Bird said...

I like them, I would send it out. They are funny in a "aren't her kids are cute?" kind of way.

Melissa H said...

include it. Why not? I also think the upper left and lower left are actually good enough to be the "real" photo. Not perfectly staged but everyone looks cute. I'm impressed!

bunnyslippers said...

They're awesome!

What's not to love about pictures of kids being kids?

Swistle said...

Melissa H- I think that's what had me doubting: they seemed too good to be outtakes! Last year when I did this, every single one was AWFUL---and that was way funnier/better!

d e v a n said...

SEND.

Misty said...

The first one is a scream. Send it. What harm can it do?

Barb @ getupandplay said...

Not hilarious but definitely funny and DEFINITELY cute.

Lara said...

So funny! I LOVE them. Send, send, send.

Leah said...

I adore them. Send them!

Caitlin said...

I think it's great. Just the IDEA of an outtakes card - no matter how awful or not-awful-enough you think they are - is great. I LOVE personality in a holiday card. I think it is so much more AUTHENTIC. (That is a lot of CAPS)
I would love to see a card like this (in addition to your regular card) instead of so many of the stuffy, posed cards people seem to enjoy sending. (oh come ON you don't ALWAYS wear matching outfits while holding hands on the beach NOW DO YOU.)

Send it, send it!

Kristin H said...

Definitely good enough to send!

Omaha Mama said...

Send them! If nothing else, it shows that the good enough shot was a little bit of work on your part. (Insert pats on the back here). You've got a cute bunch there...and they're all getting so BIG. Which I think is great (so no weeping, please) because the bigger they get, I think the funner. No?

Stimey said...

First of all, your kids are so cute. I've never seen them all lined up like that. Also, your kids are extremely well behaved. I am doing something wrong. You saw *my* outtakes, which included tree hanging.

-R- said...

I don't think it's hilarious, but I do think it's cute, so I vote send it.

momma on the run said...

I can so identify with your photo struggle. I think it would be funny in a sort of embarrassing way if there was audio to go with my holiday card photo. Me hollering things like, "LOOK at the camera!" , "Stop touching your brother!", and "Could you PLEASE try to smile like you're not in pain". I think an this is a great idea (one which I might borrow next year). Send them. :) They're adorable.

the new girl said...

I love them. LOVE. The giant smile faces on the two youngest boys? The wiping of the nose? Various closed eyes?

I vote Send, obviously.

Susan said...

Dude, are you MAD?! OF COURSE you should send them! They're hilarious and awesome and adorable all at once.

cakeburnette said...

They are precious! And while these are definitely outtakes, the are all smiling and looking like they are having fun! No tears or pouts. I would definitely send these. I wish I had thought of that back when mine were small enough to have outtakes. We still laugh at the photo "session" we had the year they were 18 mos & 2.5 yrs old--we ended up sending one with my daughter having a cookie shoved in her mouth. It was the only one of about 60 where she wasn't crying or looking down.

ToyLady said...

I've got to say - I LOVE the goofy pictures! They're SO much better than the run-of-the-mill, SMILES EVERYONE OR ELSE pictures people usually send. Your kids look like actual, real kids!

Amanda said...

You are correct.

I love outtakes when they are hysterical for some reason. This particular set of outtakes is just typical of kids. Funny - but meh.

I do love seeing a pic of all your munchkins in a row though!

jen(melty) said...

I am not crazy about the 4-in-one because they'd be too small to appreciate, but they are cute! And you've already spent the money you might as well spend a little more and send them. I obsess over Christmas cards, it's my favorite part of Christmas (but I may be a little crazy) and ... no one else notices all the little details that come together to make it what it is. Most "everyday people" do not notice the little things like missed eye contact or one goofy face or a wayward foot. This annoys me, but it's true. So send them, people will think they are cute, and totally not see them the way people like you and I do.

Sabrina said...

I didn't read all other comments, but I would DEFINITELY include it. As long as I understand correctly: you are also including a "nice" picture that you like, that you already ordered and have in your possession? And you also have all of these in your possession and if you don't send them they are otherwise destined for the garbage can?! No way!! They are adorable. And I personally love the 4 shots on one page. It has the comic strip feel. Detail is not needed.

g. said...

I love the outtakes! It's such a cute twist on the standard photo card... I'm sure there are people who wouldn't get it or think it's funny, but I would not be one of them and I'd love to be on the receiving end of a card like this. Send them! :)

Shelly said...

SEND IT! The last one, with the nose wipe and stuck out tongue is HILARIOUS.

cindy kay said...

I really like the upper left and lower left versions. If it were me, I would have sent Outtake #1 (upper left) as my main photo! Final opinion? Send it!

StephLove said...

This is unrelated to the send/don't send question, since you have plenty of opinions about that, but are the twins small for their age or is Henry big? I have an average height child and an almost off-the-charts tiny one so I'm always interested in siblings who differ that way.

hydrogeek said...

I have to say I may steal this idea. My youngest was a STINKER on picture day and I have some really awful ones of him. Totally send them, it would make my day to get something like this!

StephLove said...

Of course looking at them all lined up in a row makes me think, "What are their real names? I must know their names!" But that's a mystery for the ages.

Tara said...

I say send them. I love the cheesy smiles and the random stinkery from each of the 5 kids throughout. :) Plus, everyone that knows you that will be getting a card will know that there's no way the one acceptable photo is how the photo shoot worked out!

1hottiredmama said...

You should totally send them! Especially to people who know your children. I think outtakes can really show a child's personality/physical traits (like how they move, or hold their hands, etc.) especially for people who have actually seen them in person. Besides, it's just fun and that's part of the spirit of Christmas. :o)

el-e-e said...

Sunk cost! I say do it! If you make even one person smile, worth it and it's already paid for. Plus, what are you going to do with them if you don't send them? At my house, there'd be a Risk of Clutter. I'd have a hard time trashing them.

2Forgetful said...

One year when my girls were almost 2, we had about 60 outtake photos from 3 different locations. I ended up making the outside of the card a collage of the outtake photos with the tagline "See how many clicks it takes to wish you..." then the inside had the good photo with the caption "Happy Holidays!"

I love the outtake photos!

Lawyerish said...

I think it's worth sending, definitely. As others have said, it's more cute/endearing than gut-busting hilarious, but still worth sending. I'd enjoy it if I received one in a card!

Swistle said...

StephLove- Oh, I like talking about that kind of thing, too! All three of the littlest were in the 90th-97th percentile for height at their check-ups this past spring/summer, but I think my camera angle makes the difference in height between twins and Henry look less than it is. I think also it throws things off that Elizabeth is a girl, so she's the same approximate %ile as Edward but still 2-3 inches shorter than him---and then Henry is a boy, so Elizabeth's height sort of falls BETWEEN theirs, which doesn't seem right and makes them as a group seem more similar in height. And then I think the big kids throw things off, too: Rob is 5'3", but it's hard to tell that from the picture, and so it makes the other height differences wonky.

Farrell said...

You worry too much! They're cute - you paid for them, you have them; send them!

Swistle said...

StephLove- P.s., have we never emailed?? I can't find your email address in my...well, in my frankly substandard organizational system. Anyway, email me if you see this. Swistle at gmail dot com.

samantha said...

I think they are more cute than funny and should be sent because of that!

Rah said...

Send! They are the best gushy Christmas-letter antidote ever. I would SO rather get this than a "Tina gets straight As and starred in the Nutcracker" type letter. It features real children! And your kids are wonderful.

Alice said...

i love this so hard that it makes me want kids who i will PURPOSEFULLY take bad pictures of for our hypothetical future christmas card.

Saly said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the outtakes!! Send them, please!!! They are both cute AND funny.

Party of 5 said...

I think it's a HOOT and you absolutely should send it. Don't send the "good" one, no need. Unless you already have that printed. This is sufficient. Every single person can relate to this and it shows off the personalities of your kids!

BTW, I asked you last year how you encourage (enforce?) your children to be grateful, especially around the holidays when they receive so much and you posed the question on your blog. I reposted my original blog post about it - maybe you could touch on the subject again? You obviously have a wider audience than I do!
Thanks.
xoxo
Ashley from Peters Party of 5

Joanne said...

I love them. LOVE. I love where Edward is kicking, it's my favorite holiday move EVER.