A Tale of Three Dogs (Our 2014 Holiday Card)

Posing with three dogs isn't easyThis is Trey's and my second year sending out holiday cards together. I feel a little foolish calling it a "tradition" when we've only done it twice. So, let's just say that I hope to make it a tradition in our family for years and years to come. 

Also, we have a hard time coming up with serious card ideas. I don't know if we'll attempt to do something funny every year, but we both like the idea of at least trying to make our friends and family smile (maybe even laugh out loud!) when they get our card in the mail. 

Holiday card 2013Last year we did this Neverending Story card because (1) love that movie, and (2) it was hilariously corny. Into it. I'd guess somewhere around 60% of people "got it", 10% probably couldn't even figure out who sent them, and 30% just didn't know that Artax gave into the sadness. So we should probably pick something more recognizable if we do another one based on a movie again. Or maybe notโ€”it's our card after all. :) 

This year I wanted one with all three dogs. I didn't really have a specific idea, but it was our chance to get photos of the five of us, even if they were going to be ridiculous. So, we decided to try and get coordinating outfits and do some poses we found while googling "awkward family photos." Should be simple enough, right?

Trey George and Emma Chapman      Trey George and Emma Chapman       Trey George and Emma Chapman  Trey George and Emma Chapman    We had about five or six pretty awesome poses we wanted to try out. We started on this city stoop. We very quickly learned trying to strike a simple, funny pose we found on the Internet with three dogs was, well, not simple. Then Steve and Mrs. Bananas (the dingo and the beagle) saw another dog and it was over. They just felt that barking at that dog across the street was way more fun than posing for photos. So… we moved.

Trey George and Emma ChapmanTrey George and Emma Chapman Emma Chapman and Trey George       Emma Chapman and Trey George         Next we tried taking some up on a foot bridge nearby. No other dogs up there to distract them. Should be easy. We tried to talk them into sitting and looking toward our photographer, but as soon as one would get it, another one would get bored and start trying to walk off. But we were determined….

Emma Chapman and Trey GeorgeMaybe if we just try holding one of them for a minute.

Emma Chapman and Trey George Yep. Nailed it. OK, well, let's try some where we get down on their level. Maybe that will help them feel more in the mood to pose for a photo.

Emma Chapman and Trey George  Emma Chapman and Trey George    Here we go. A classic kissy one. And all three dogs are sort of looking at the camera. Wait, where's the beagle at? Hmm.

Emma Chapman and Trey George     Please take a moment to see the expression on our pug's (Love Love's) face in this one? Jabba the Hutt.

Holiday card 2014In the end, we really only got to try one of the poses we had planned. Luckily it worked for our "awkward family" holiday card this year. ๐Ÿ™‚ Who would've guess the old disembodied floating ghost head was the easiest idea to pull off? And let's all appreciate Trey's smile for just a minute. 

All kidding aside, I actually LOVE all these photos. I think they capture the sometimes chaotic nature of having three dogs, and I love that. I am printing all of these for our photo albums, and I hope when friends receive our cards in the mail this year, that it makes them smile. So, although this photo might kind of look like a hot mess to an outsider, I could not love them more. This is the state of our family in December 2014, and I'm so happy we have photos capturing this stage of our lives together. Big thanks to Janae Hardy for being up to snap these photos and the hilarious Photoshop job! And thanks for letting me share a little behind the scenes from our family holiday card this year. ๐Ÿ™‚ xo. Emma + Trey

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman, Photography: Janae Hardy. Emma's wearing: boots c/o Seychelles, tights/Target, skirt/H&M, sweater/my mother's high school cheerleading sweater. Trey's wearing: shirt + cardigan/Topman, jeans/UNIQLO, shoes/H&M. Dog sweaters from PetSmart and Target. 

  • So funny! Love the creativity and the need to just go with the flow. Nice job ๐Ÿ™‚

  • ๐Ÿ˜€ So funny! You should totally make a card with all of those pictures together. I understand you…My family includes 2 big dogs that are way stronger than me (so life gets a little bit chaotic some times). Thanks for sharing, it was hilarious.

  • These photos are gold! Thanks for sharing some candid and fun holiday photos, Emma ๐Ÿ™‚ Your family is perfect just the way it is! (I was laughing out loud at Love Love’s face in all these photos – talk about giving Grumpy Cat a run for her money!)
    Merry Christmas!

  • Amazing. And so accurate. Posing with dogs is way harder than it seems like it would be. Ha. These are great!

  • Love it! When we were kids, my mom wanted a photo of my sister and I, along with our horse, 2 sheep, and 4 kittens. Needless to say it was a bit of a disaster! There is one pic that captured it perfectly: we were sitting on bales of hay and the horse decided to take a bite of hay and managed to bite one of the sheep in the process so they went zipping across the frame, while my sister and I are being dislodged from our seats by the moving hay bales and trying to hold on to the sheep and horse!

  • These are such wonderful photos! Animals always have their own idea of what’s going on, and they are always infinitely more stubborn than you – so in the end, it’s best to just accept that and have a blast taking the pictures! Which it definitely seems like you did. Merry Christmas to you and Trey, Emma! (And the pups, of course!)

    xx Kathryn

  • I enjoyed every one of those photos- they certainly made me smile! The dogs’ sweaters are adorable. I adopted a dog the day after Thanksgiving this year, and even though she adds some extra logistics, I am so grateful to have that pup in my life ๐Ÿ™‚

  • the never-ending christmas card from last year is hilarious! that is one of those keep forever, creative genius kind of christmas cards! good follow up with the photo shopped “air dog” for this year, made me laugh this morning!

  • These are hilarious and adorable photos. Any one of those would certainly make your friends and family smile! My pups are the same way – distracted by everything!

  • These are precious! I always get insanely jealous when I see picture after picture of a dog just calmly sitting there. My three are exactly like yours….too much to see and smell…so “LET’S MOVE, LADY!” And just cause I like to talk about them…we have Blue, our lanky dingus of a Border Collie/Blue Tick Coonhound boy…Belle, our not so ladylike, more of a mountain goat, Beagle/Pointer mix…and Sakรฉ, our one-eyed Pug who is our lump with legs. Thank you for sharing these, they’re great. Merry Christmas! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Thanks for sharing the story! I saw this on Katie Day’s instagram and could NOT get over Trey’s grin. So many giggles.

  • They are all adorable! I especially like the first one, reminds me of the famous Beatle pic!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 3 years ago, we managed to get our 3 dogs (a dane mix, a shiba inu and a pom mix) to sit in decending order of size on a fallen tree at then dog park for a Christmas photo. People loved it so much that they were asking for copies. One friend made it into a painting and gave it to us as a wedding gift and we later hung it in our daughters nursery.

  • Haha love this! Great idea and such a fun post. Sometimes when things don’t work out it’s even better! Merry Christmas to you, Trey and your furry family x

  • I love the never-ending christmas cards!

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  • This post was hilarious and I love it!! I have three girls and trying to get them all the smile, pose and wearing something attractive is just about as difficult as it seems this card was to get together. Happy Holiday!!

  • Oh my gosh I love this! Definitely love the “realness” of these pics. Also I loved reading along with the story and having the pictures to go along with it. Great post! ^-^

  • All these photos came out great! I love that they are all natural and they are so funny, I’m sure your friends/family will love them ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • I laughed out loud at these…so, success! Thank you for sharing! We have two dogs and that feels like a challenge too, so props to y’all! Merry Christmas!

  • This is great, Emma. I guffawed at the Pug-Face, and was full on “LOLing” by the superimposed 80’s High School Band Photo Floating Dog Head. (Is that the technical term?) Well done, you. Well. Done.

  • Emma, you made me laugh out loud so hard for a solid minute until I cried. The picture along with your caption “Yep. Nailed it.” just struck me so funny. Thanks for the hearty laugh in sharing these amazing photos. Family life is crazy and hectic, so why not show how awesome that can be?! I hope to have moments like this when I have a family of my own! Happy Holidays!!!!!

  • Haha! I love your first one! And these are all SO funny and adorable! I feel like we get this chaotic just with one child. It snowed the day we went to take Christmas pictures, so he was distracted by the snow — his first time seeing snow — and then he got too cold to be bothered with smiling. We had only one that worked. But hey, one is all you need!

  • The pug looks very regal in the last photo; he knew what he was doing the whole time.

  • Oh my goodness, Emma + Trey! I laughed so hard I cried looking at the progression of your photos and comments. Thank you for starting my day out with laughter!

  • I adore these photos, cute dogs:D

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  • That last photo with the disembodied head actually made me laugh out loud in the middle of the bus! Nice work, loved it!

  • This is all so true! Thanks for sharing the outtakes and the final product – made me laugh and feel better that I have yet to successfully take a picture with my furkids all together.

  • Photography with pets can be a fun yet a challenging for sure lol… of course I love the last “awkward”… hands down favorite!! Thanks for the peak!

  • i thought the one walking the dogs across the street was pretty cute. looks like abbey lane. i’m a photographer, and any time people want to pose dogs or toddlers for photos i laugh. it just doesn’t work work. candids work best for both scenarios! you’re final pick will definitely make people laugh!

  • THIS IS SOOO AWESOME! I love them all, but the last one is definitely my favorite! Too hilarious! Maybe one year we will try to do “awkward” family photos for Christmas cards too, you’ve inspired me! ;))
    Merry Christmas!!!

  • Oh my goodness. First of all, who hasn’t seen the Neverending Story? Totally unacceptable. And yes – the floating head is the most awesomest card ever! Merry Christmas!

  • Hahahah amazing! We did something similar a couple of years ago, where we made our Jack Russel sit in front of our Christmas tree wearing a Christmas sweater and antlers, and we’ve discussed the idea of the three of us posing in front of the fireplace with matching sweaters (..as my mom has actually knitted us all matching sweaters) and some hot mugs of eggnog. Potentially with some holly clipart.

    Also, that scene in The Neverending Story where the horse drowns in the sand taught me the meaning of death. No joke. It broke my heart!

  • This made my morning. I almost spit out my coffee from laughing out loud. I love your pug. I also have a pug that I’m a little over the top obsessed with. Happy Holidays.

  • Haha, thanks so much for sharing this! I love the ‘awkward’ pose in the one you chose, the disembodied floating head! HAHA.

  • I totally thought you were going with an Abbey Road theme based on your first photo, but the finished product is hilarious! Gotta love the awkward family pics.

  • i feel like that pug could have her own blog:) She definitely has a story to tell

  • All of your dogs are beautiful! I’d love to hear about how you ended up with three!

  • A holiday card gold, absolutely brilliant! Anyone who didn’t get last year’s christmas card probably doesn’t deserve to be on the list, Neverending Story is a firm fave of mine too ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I do love the chaos that you’ve captured perfectly. I only have one dog, but he’s the same size as me so there’s chaos a plenty right there. I may have to dip my toe into awkward chrimbo photocards next year, you’ve inspired me!

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