After the success of our 2015 Christmas card there was no doubt in our minds that we would be creating one for 2016, and we wanted it to be bigger and better!
We thought long and hard about how we could improve on last years ‘Christmas morning’ scene and came up with the idea of ‘Spindogs Christmas dinner’ – or at least what we thought a Spindogs Christmas dinner would look like if we all got together on Christmas day.
It was never going to be easy to get 27 people (plus a baby!) into a photo studio for a group photoshoot, so for the occasion Chris, from Magenta Photography, came to us! Since the acquisition earlier this year, it was important for us to showcase the full team to all of our clients and to get the new team members involved. Rhys spend a number of hours carefully planning out each individual person’s role with in the card and making sure that everyone would fit!
1. The Idea
We wanted to card to not only be a fun representation of Spindogs as a company, but to show off the individual personalities of our team members. For instance, Rhys and Sean can be seen playing ping-pong, something that is a daily occurrence at HQ every lunchtime, whereas Charley is seen taking a selfie, and Joe lifting a dumbbell. These are all things that embody each person’s hobbies and interests. Everything needed to be exaggerated and over the top, although we can’t say for certain if Ben hasn’t dug into a chocolate cake like that before!
2. The Process
We began with a photoshoot, photographic each of the Spindogs team members in their various poses and actions. Some of them took their modelling jobs very seriously, smothering themselves in chocolate, wrapping themselves up in Christmas lights and sipping prosecco at 9am! As we don’t have a table long enough to fit everyone in simultaneously, a little bit of perspective trickery was needed: everyone was shot sitting at the exact same position on the table, which gave us the consistency to move people around freely to create the best composition.
3. Setting the Scene
To place everyone around the table we first had to establish the vanishing point. This gave us the 2 edges of the table that we would place everyone along. The image needed to capture a lot of movement in order to get the chaotic feel, which meant everyone had to be cut out before being placed in the image. Anticipating this, we had everyone shot on a neutral background; some people were easier to cut out then others – for example, trying to pick up all of Amanda’s bright blonde hairs from a grey background is a fiddly job, whereas cutting out Liam’s head is well … let’s just say it’s easier. Once everyone was removed from their background, it was just a case of collaging it all together and fine tuning until the composition looked right.
Final touches are what really makes this card. Little Christmassy details like crackers, beer bottles and a Christmas tree add to the festive feel. The final element of the process is probably the most overlooked – the addition of shadow adds a real sense of depth to the image and brings our chaotic Christmas dinner to life.
After a lot of hard work and some skillful graphic design, the card was completed and we couldn’t be happier. We are already throwing ideas around for our 2017 card and can’t wait to have another excuse to buy a new Christmas jumper!