Welcome to Elf Central! If you've just stumbled upon this popular holiday series starting with this post, you won't want to miss all the great elf action we have organized for you:
Elf on the Shelf Central: All of the ideas and instructions you'd ever need for some festive fun rounded up in one spot for your convenience here.
I used photographing Jolly, our Elf on the Shelf, as a personal creative project back in December of 2011, and I fully expected to do it again last Christmas. However, December 2012 was a totally different busy can of worms. The project became a burden instead of a creative blessing.
Finding the perfect time with the perfect light and the perfect composition for the image was overwhelming and stifling to me. There were several days I forgot to take the photo (can anyone say, iPhone alarm ?). I had way too much going on last year (I'm working on learning to say 'no').
I ended up abandoning the project, feeling a failure, and just documented some with my iPhone.
But you know what? That was freeing.
In these days of Pinterest and blogs, the pressure to make magazine worthy images is so huge. I wonder how many of you out there don't even bother to document your elf because you don't think you can photograph it like the images you see on Pinterest.
But our kids don't care! Our kids will remember the cool thing their elf did. The magic of the photo, to them, is in the memory attached to it - not the image quality or artistry. I plan to make a photo book of all of my elf photos, after this year, that will include 2011, 2012 and 2013's elf photos. A new family heirloom.
Last year's images? Well, I'm missing a ton, and what I have isn't "Pinterest worthy". It's mostly after dark iPhone photos. But they will go in that book just as proudly. It's about memories, not magazines.
It's for me, and them, and not for anyone else out there. What a treasure this visual documentation of our tradition will be to all of us!
This was my FAVORITE one. Jolly got inside his own snow globe. I used fake snow and other various miniature Christmasy decorations (like this) inside the upside down glass bowl. I confess, I thought it was cooler than the kids did. I used this large glass bowl, but I bet this bowl would be perfect and a little more roomy for poor Jolly.
My daughter LOOOOOOVES stuffed animals, so we incorporated that into our elf season. Jolly put on his reading glasses and read a Christmas story to the group. He's reading our most favorite Jesus Storybook Bible here.
This was probably the kids' favorite. Jolly brought these car/van reindeer nose and antlers for us. Seriously, they LOVED this.
The North Pole doesn't afford many opportunities for viewing jungle animals, so Jolly had to take advantage of this Safari! You can't see it in the photo, but he was wearing a little straw safari shaped hat I found at Hobby Lobby.
Carey Pace is a writer/blogger and Natural Light Lifestyle Photographer who is downright passionate about documenting the real and beautiful ordinary, everyday moments of life. She has a raw, honest, yet conversational voice with a storytelling twist in both her words and images. She lives in Kingsport, Tennessee and writes about the things on her heart like motherhood, the trials and triumphs of raising children, feeding her family beautiful and healthy food that tastes scrumptious, and loving Jesus with all her heart.