Trimming the Tree: Documentary Photography and Film


I think we can all agree, there are usually two kinds of people in the world: those who play Christmas music year ‘round and those who think it should only be heard between Thanksgiving and New Years. I know several people from both camps and, while I can see it from both sides (and honestly go back and forth myself on which I prefer), this year I was excited for the “socially acceptable” time.

I contacted my friend Amy about filming her and her boys putting up their tree. She was kind enough to oblige and we discussed the details of the “event”. Now, a little something you should know about Amy, she’s in the “Christmas Music All Year ‘Round” camp. So I knew preserving this memory for her would be something she would cherish for years to come. Kids are only kids for so long and Christmas is a magical time for them too. There really is nothing quite like the glow of a Christmas tree at this time of year. There’s also really nothing like the wonder of Christmas to a child.

Christmas Tree Trimming in-home photography session in Manhattan, Kansas. Photographed by Renee McDaniel Photography
Manger ornament on Christmas Tree at Christmas Tree Trimming photography session in Manhattan, Kansas. Photographed by Renee McDaniel of Renee McDaniel Photography.
Christmas Tree ornament of a house. Photographed at Christmas Tree Trimming photography session in Manhattan, KS by Renee McDaniel of Renee McDaniel Photography

While some might find a Christmas tree film odd for the month of November (“What are you going to do for December?” they may ask), since it fell into the socially acceptable time for all things Christmas-y, I felt it was allowed…and maybe I was also itching for the beginning of “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”. As for what to film for December, eh, we’ll see. Maybe you’ll get 2 Christmas films this year. And maybe that’s okay, cause it’s kind of my personal mission to make “peace on earth” and “goodwill to all men” last longer than 4-5 weeks of the year.

So, without further ado, I present to you, my film for November and the Sixty Seconds of Motion challenge. I added a few extra titles to this one, turning it into a Sixty Second Christmas “Card” for the family to share on social media and through email. What a fun and different way to send out your family holiday greetings this year, right (does anyone really send Christmas cards anymore, any how)?

I hope you enjoyed it! I’d love for you to head over to the blog of my friend Nikki with Olive Shoot Photography and watch her beautiful film about her kids’ first visit to see Santa! Click here to watch it, I promise, it’s the sweetest thing.

Merry Christmas to you and yours! May you find hope and peace during this Holiday season.

Till next time…

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