An Old Fashioned Christmas

December 24, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Nostalgia is a sentimentality for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.

Just a quick glance over old photographs opens all gates of hidden memories, smells, sounds and feelings.

Andrew and I decided to create a vintage scene evoking nostalgia for the late 70s.  A Google search for "Christmas 1970s" brings up lots of images of people standing in front of a Christmas tree and fireplace. A TV always seems to make it in the frame too.

The idea didn't come from nowhere. Andrew's parents recently moved from their old home, and I inherited part of their large collection of old vinyl albums to play on my Crosley replica phonograph and I love it! Andrew and I are increasingly using film cameras and printing photographs on paper instead of keeping them on hard drives. Although it's hard to beat the convenience of digital photography, we have grown to appreciate the look and durability of film.

Using analog helps to slow down and reflect on the process. Even turning an LP to the other side makes you get up from the computer!

First thing we needed for this shoot was a vintage TV set. Found one on Craigslist. The owner was giving it away for free. It weighs more than 150 pounds! Next - Christmas tree, thanks to Home Depot.

Lamp, ornaments, suede jacket, shirt, pants, cowboy boots for Andrew, and shoes and turtleneck for me - courtesy of Value Village. Also fabric for a tree skirt.

Dollar store- great place for stockings, glitter glue, wrapping paper and garlands.

After messing around with old cables and video cameras, Andrew figured out how to get a picture on the old TV.

And then we spent a lot of time experimenting with positioning lights, deciding between strobes and flashes and balancing all other light sources.


We looked at many old images for inspiration and even found Sears catalog from 1977.

This is reversed view through the Hasselblad 500C viewfinder, to check composition and poses. First version before we lighted the fireplace and were able to put picture on the screen.  Working on tricky shadows.

Wishing everybody Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! And if you are interested in a free, perfectly good 24 inch analog TV, let me know!




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