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Countdown Until Christmas
November 29, 2013 - Theresa Proudfit
One of my favorite assignments at The Daily News is our annual Christmas Countdown. Every year, generally starting the Monday after Thanksgiving, we count down the days until Christmas with beautifully decorated homes on the front page of the paper. I really enjoy driving around in the evening looking for the houses and I've heard many people say they enjoy seeing the photos every year.
Here's a few tips for helping to get your home on the front page. Use a lot of lights in one area. It's almost impossible to shoot a photo of all the decorations on your house so I usually focus on the brightest most creative corner of the display. I use a hand held camera without a tripod so if there isn't enough light I'll pass on that particular house. Be creative. The blow up decorations are nice but only one giant Santa on a motorcycle or Mickey Mouse is gonna get used. I try to look for different decorations between houses.
Don't be afraid to call and tell us your address, your mother's address or your neighbors address. Especially if you live on the outskirts of town. To save time I often look for houses on my way to basketball games at night. For example if Norway has a home basketball game I'm covering I'll drive around Norway and look for a house that night. So make sure you have your lights on between 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday nights.
There are only around 20 houses that will make the paper this year. We plan to start the countdown on Monday and we don't publish on Sundays so if we use one each day, and sometimes we don't, we only have room for about 20. So don't wait to call. Usually all the photos are taken and filed in the system by the week before Christmas so if I haven't knocked on your door before that I'm not coming.
I really try not to use houses I've used in the past. Having taken Christmas house photos for 16 years I know I have had a few repeats over the years. Sometimes I forget or sometimes the display is so much better this year than it was in 1999 that I have to shoot that house again. I often get several calls for the same houses every year. As a rule if your house was on the front page last year its not going to be there this year. Also we don't shoot businesses.
So if your house, or your mother's house or your neighbors house hasn't been in the paper before and it's lit up bright give me a call and I'll take a ride by. I can't guarantee it will make the paper but if I'm in the area I'll take a look. Call 906-774-2772 ext. 45 and leave a message. Please include address and names of adults leaving in the household. Or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks and Merry Christmas.
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