Have you seen the mannequin challenge, yet?

You know.

The one where someone yells freeze and everyone holds their place and no one moves and every single person in the scene stays exactly where they are.

Just like mannequins.

There are scenes of restaurant mannequins and basketball game mannequins and party going mannequins…

…and even Santa scene mannequins.

But around here?

We’re a little different.  We have house mannequins instead.

It all started because I just got a new lens in the mail this weekend.

Santa gave it to me.

It’s a medium telephoto lens with an f-stop of 1.4.

(total aside:  I hope I’m super impressing you with my photography speak)

That’s just a fancy way of saying it takes great pictures in low-light and it allows you to focus on part of the picture, leaving all that beautiful blurriness in the back ground.

You can see the difference in this picture I took of the birch bark Christmas tree.

See all those beautiful blurry Christmas lights in the background?

Thank you new lens.

Or these faux fur stockings I got from shopping the Target dollar spot.

See how the greenery is in focus and the rest of the picture is kind of blurry?

The depth of field on the lens is so short that you can zoom in on one thing in the picture.

But here’s the thing.

It was dark yesterday.

Dark and gloomy and gray and full of the absence of good-picture-taking light.

But I had this lens I wanted to use.

This amazing, incredible, awesome lens and I wasn’t going to let a little bit of dark get in my way.

So I opened the shutter all the way up to let as much light in to take these pictures.

So you wouldn’t see the dark.

Instead, you’d see light and bright and Christmas trees peeking around the corner of the stairs.

I needed complete and utter lack of movement to get these pictures so every time I’d press the shutter button and the timer would go off, I’d shout, “PICTURE.”

And the house would freeze.

Everyone would pause exactly where they were and exactly what they were doing…

…even the dogs.

Even the slightest of movements when the shutter is open for that long can make a picture blurry.

If someone walks on the floor or moves around or stomps their foot, the tripod might shake and the picture wouldn’t be crisp and clean like this.

So crisp you can count the floorboards.

Everyone loved it.  They’d laugh every time the shutter would click.

It was our very own house mannequin challenge.

And I think the house passed with flying colors.

PS  Good thing giggles don’t make a picture blurry…

…or the entry way would have been one big out-of-focus room. 🙂

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  1. Image for Patti Patti

    Pretty photos! The Lord has blessed you with many talents and gifts - Merry Christmas to you and your sweet family!

  2. Image for carrie carrie

    Beautiful! I've said it before, and I'll say it again; you are a talented photographer~ they way you can see what should be in the frame of a photo, what needs to be in the background, etc. Your camera dialogue and skills impress me! :)

  3. Image for Nancy @ Slightly Coastal Nancy @ Slightly Coastal

    I can totally relate to this! I yell out too when I'm taking a picture and I would love to say everyone freezes but that isn't always the case. My little one loves to run through the frame and then show him the picture because it makes him look like a ghost passing through the house. Nice new lens. I'm hoping for a 35mm. What's the difference between the prime 50mm and this new one other than you can zoom? Just curious.

  4. Image for Nan, Odessa, De Nan, Odessa, De

    Good for you. I knew you had been a good little girl! Never saw or noticed the door at the bottom of your stairs. How cool! Did it come with the house or did you add the door? History to be shared with viewers, I hope.

  5. Image for Mary Mary

    Your pictures always look awesome! I have an old Fuji film digital camera that I pretty much point and shoot to take pictures for my Etsy wreath website. I would love to learn to take better pictures.....one of these days!

  6. Image for Peg Peg

    Merry Christmas to you and your new lens!! It's actually a gift for us, too...getting to enjoy all these beautiful photos of Thistlewood!!! : )

  7. Image for Kimberly Kimberly

    Your pictures and your home are beautiful (as always). I plan to take a photography course in the coming year, and you are helping inspire me for the challenge! By the by, you cannot drop the bomb that there is a cookie no-baking day happening Saturday and not give an update. :)

  8. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    What fun!! I bet the tree twinkled extra bright whenever you shouted, "Picture!" Your house looks so beautiful!! It must be all the love and happiness filling every nook and cranny! "Picture!" Did you freeze?? Sending big hugs. I love your lens, I'll have to see if Nikon has something comparable.

  9. Image for Allison Allison

    You are just too too funny!! My husband and I will yell mannequin just any old time and freeze making faces and stances....just to get a good laugh! No photography required! =) This world needs more laughs....especially frozen in time as a mannequin, right?! I, too, am inspired viewing your blog photos and am so entertained by your words of perception. Merry Christmas to you, and to all of your viewers....and God's blessings and prosperity in the New Year.

  10. Image for Loryl Loryl

    I don't know how your photos could get any better but they just did! I'm lovin that trellis rug in your entryway. And those cute fur stockings, grrrrowllll! I saw those at Target and regret not getting them?

  11. Image for Maureen Maureen

    You are a girl after my own heart...opening up your Christmas present early! I did too only it was an espresso machine. I am in coffee bar heaven! Beautiful pictures and beautiful home!

  12. Image for Linda Linda

    Your home looks so pretty. Love the Christmas tree it is pretty. I also love the stripes on the walls. I did this once in a bedroom. I put flat and shiny paint. I think it just makes a room !

  13. Image for Kathleen Kathleen

    Love the bokeh effect that sometimes results w/the lens! As was said, you have shown us yet more talent! I'm just wishing for a not. too. too. expensive. camera this year ... one that will accept the Canon lenses we have. Our camera wasn't *extremely exceptional* but we fear it was "left" in either the rental car or hotel when Hubby last took it with him on a trip =). If I don't find it during my "down & dirty cleaning" in anticipation of our holiday company ~ I fear we'll know! (But just how do two people lose a camera?!)

  14. Image for Lisa at celebrate creativity Lisa at celebrate creativity

    Happy holidays, Karianne. Congrats on your new lovely lens. I get all excited about new lenses (as you know). You're going to enjoy it and I can see you've already warmed up to it. Here's another fancy photography term for you to toss around. Bokeh=Beautiful blurriness. And you are definitely rocking the bokeh in these photos (smile). Love them all. Such a lovely home and really pretty foyer too. Merry Christmas.

  15. Image for Michelle Michelle

    So sorry I haven't been around lately...my sewing machine is running non-stop with me trying to get these last minute Christmas gifts in the mail in time. Not to mention, I have tons to study and absorb and classes and homework...I'm exhausted! The house is gorgeous, as always, but that new lens! And what? No light?? Incredible how the magic of photography can make a room look like it's flooded with sunshine in every direction ;-)

  16. Image for Stacey Stacey

    I love you Kari Anne! You actually make me laugh out loud! So lucky you are to have this nice new lens. Your pictures are beautiful! Merry Christmas!

  17. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    Love the lens and your pictures! Always wondered how you managed to get it to look so light inside. I also have a farmhouse and couldn't figure out how to make it look lighter when taking pictures.

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