Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry, merry Christmas!

Hope you are enjoying the holidays and all the festivities that go along with it. I know it can be a stressful time for many, and yes, it has been for the Lee family as wellHoliday traditions are great, from baking and delivering Christmas cookies to decorating the tree (Nicki is still waiting to put the star on the very top, but Daddy says she’s getting too heavy to lift that far up). If you’re like our family, those traditions include a family Christmas photo.

Since Nicki was born 10 years ago, Darrell and I decided that every Christmas, we’d take a family photo so Nicki and family and friends can see how she’s grown from a baby into a young lady.

With me being the Type A perfectionist, this has evolved into a full-scale production. Now friends and family say they look forward to seeing what we’re going to do that’s new and different from the year before. That’s great, but it adds a whole new level of holiday stress!

This year I turned to Dr. Jon Yoshimura, who happens to be one of our experts. You’ll find him at He’s an amazing cosmetic dentist with an eye for beauty and detail. His other professional passion is fashion photography, and he’s done some headshots for me that I loved.

purple sweater

My concept this year was to do a glamorous, blinged-out, stylish card with a very simple, sweet, reflective message. Darrell, Nicki and I went to Jon’s studio armed with props—you know me, the homestyler! I brought in an area rug and a red-hot lounge chair along with the fake red gladiolas that sit on my desk, and the three of us dressed in black and bling.


In this image, Jon is taking a picture from atop a ladder so that the area rug becomes part of the background. I wanted the rug’s black-and-white pattern to almost serve as a retro backdrop, and the red to be the pop of color. John simply added a black cloth backdrop, and that was all we needed for a cool, contemporary, totally hot look!

As for the simple message, here it is:

I thought I’d share with you just a couple more favorites from years past. When Nicki was 5, we took a black-and-white photo on beach near the Kahala Hotel. An artist hand-painted Nicki’s grass skirt and I got little coconut shells for her bikini top. The effect was very simple and it felt like old Hawaii.


One of Darrell’s favorites was done two years after. My concept for this was our family all connected and holding hands, lying in a bed of rose petals. It was black and white again, with the color coming from the red petals.

It’s a labor of love coming up with the concept, finding the props and composing a special message. Darrell and Nicki are great sports to go along with Mom’s crazy ideas, but in the end they’re happy with it, it creates great memories for our family, and it’s something to share with others. Now I have a whole nother year to plan the next one!

Merry Christmas! Hope you’re enjoying your family’s holiday traditions!