It's not the prettiest tree, this Christmas tree of ours. Not the fullest, or the tallest, or the greenest. Blame it on my second grade music teacher, who cast me as the "Littlest Christmas Tree" in our school Christmas play. A role that had me standing in a cardboard tree costume with a hole cut out for my face while my classmates, playing townspeople on a tree lot, pointed and laughed at my scrawniness, passing me over time and time again. I was not, my teacher assured me, chosen because I was the tiniest second grader to ever do second grade, but because she thought I had the most talent. I knew, even then as I held my (tiny) chin high, that she was just being nice. I was the littlest. I could see that. It was okay. I was special, too, even if I was the size of the baby kindergartners in the lunch line and got my younger cousin's hand-me-downs. So this year, when my husband turned up his nose at the skinny, stumpy, picked-over trees at our local hardware store, and turned to me impatiently and said "come on, let's go somewhere else and find better trees" ... I lingered, chewing my lip. Those poor scraggly trees! They were pretty, too, just in their own special kind of way. I picked the one that looked the most hopeful, knowing I could pull off the dead branches at the bottom and wrap it with a million white twinkly lights and make it shine. Sure, it's a little crooked, and sure, the branches could be more evenly spaced. But it's our tree. And last night? With two little littles wiggling giddily in their zipped up holiday jammies as they danced around that tree and I snapped away? It was magical, that tree of ours.
Shine on, little tree.
Shot these at night with every light in the house off. Except the one million on the tree, obvi. I've got a Nikon D60 with a Tamron 28-75mm lens that I'm juuuuust barely learning to shoot in manual. To get these pics I cranked the ISO as high as it would go (1600), set the aperture at f 2.8, and shutter speed at 1/30. I propped the camera on a bar stool to make sure I didn't get any blur from movement (since I don't have a tripod). Then I told the kids to be good or they wouldn't get any M&Ms. I did the teensiest bit of editing in Aperture, just to up the exposure a tiny bit. I have no idea if I'm using technically correct terms here, yall. I'm just a newbie. :)
A shout out to my friend Beth B (now very Pinterest-famous!) and one of my new favorite bloggers, Little Blue Boo for the great inspiration picture/setting info I used to get these photos. Isn't the internet the best? Yes. Yes, it is.