A few weeks before Christmas I was perusing Pinterest for menu ideas for my Christmas dinner. Things were not going well. I kept getting distracted with decorating ideas, new projects…you name it, I was distracted by it and my menu was going nowhere.
For some reason I was on someone’s Pinterest board showcasing unique photo ideas (it was definitely not Christmas menu ideas) when I saw this fun family photo.
I’m thinking, that would be so much fun to try. My hubby’s family was coming in for the holidays and it is not always easy trying to get everybody smiling, not talking, eyes open, in one shot (you know who you are!). And with 18 people, it’s harder still to find a place to actually take the picture.
The website said that the photos were all taken in a box. Great idea…but I didn’t have a box that big.
What I did have was pallet wood! I shall make a box.
I had a small pallet which I thought would work but once I sat next to it I figured it would be way too small. Next try was this full size pallet (about 40″x 47″). After another sit test, it was perfect. Now to make it into a box.
For the top and bottom I started with 2 pallet wood side rails for each, 47 inches long (the width of my full pallet) and spaced about 27 inches apart. If you don’t have any extra pallet side rails you could use 2’x4’s.
To those 2 side rails, nail or screw on pallet wood pieces to completely cover the rails. I used a nail gun, so quick and easy.
You need to make 2 of these.
Use wood screws to attach the 2 pieces you just created to the full pallet.
Nail on 4 more pallet pieces, 2 in the front and 2 in the back (not shown) to hold your side walls.
Fill in the sides with more pallet wood.
Side walls are done. The only thing I needed to do was fill in the back with even more pallet wood.
I was all finished and took a couple of test pictures inside my new box. Too dark and it needed some sanding, particularly on the bottom and sides so nobody ends up with a splinter or snag.
My pallets were way too new, maybe if this pallet wood was properly aged with some nice gray patina it would have been OK.
Back to the paint can with some watered down gray paint.
My backdrop is complete and ready for my victims….I mean photo subjects.
Before you go for the full family do some test photos. Test different lighting, where to hold the camera so the box is not distorted by perspective and different cameras.
Most importantly get at least 4 or 5 shots of each person.
We had the best luck using my camera with a flash setting and a tripod.
This is what we came up with for the final family portrait. Originally we had no intention of including the dogs but with 18 people, our grid would have been off.
When cropping your photos, try to crop each one exactly the same. Each of mine were cropped off at the top, at the top corner with the exception of those people in the top row, they got the top boards showing in their photos.
This was edited in Picasa using their collage feature.
With so many pictures of each person, personalities really shone thru and everybody had their eyes open!
Since we took so many shots of each person it was super easy to separate the families into individual collages. This happens to be my oldest son and his wife and their big furry baby.
And my middle son and his wife and their not quite as big furry baby. The dogs did an awesome job of posing especially when they were bribed with a bit of Christmas ham.
I still have my box set up waiting for my side of the family to stop by.
Make sure you pin this idea so you won’t forget the next time your family stops by. It would also be an awesome idea for a family reunion.
Happy New Year everyone!
I was featured at