The Making of a Birch Christmas Picture!
Capturing that perfect picture can be quite challenging at times. But all it takes is viewing the
finished product to make it all worth while. Knowing that you have not only preserved a wonderful
memory for yourself but in some instances brightened the day of someone else will keep you
motivated. Please feel free to follow my instructions. In short order you too can be the person
who is referred to as a little bit crazy. I have found though that if you make an attempt to
associate yourself with other tilted individuals it lessens the degree in which you appear tilted
yourself.
(I highly recommend sending your creations to the Basenji Pix List, The people on this list won't
make fun of you because most of them are just as crazy about their dogs and taking silly
pictures.)

A) My first step is to Gain Vision.
I dream up what I want my finished product to look like. I usually begin this process months in
advance. You can modify this to suit your particular style. In fact it can make the goal easier to
achieve if you do not have the "Perfect" picture in your head. I enjoy candid pictures also but I
enjoy the added challenge of the task at hand, Seeing the picture in your mind become
something you can physically share with others. You must be flexible and make certain
alterations if needed. Remember the whole purpose is to capture Happy Memories to be
cherished and enjoyed. Also all participants should be ALIVE and UNHARMED in the process.

B) The second step is to Gather your props.
      My props for this example are listed below:

1)
a piece of material to be used as a backdrop.
This can be purchased at a retail store or found in your stack of sheets or blankets. This will be
attached to the wall with tacks.

2)
2 costumes of the Snowman & Reindeer Dog variety.
Costumes are strictly optional. Mine were purchased for me by my husband particularly for this
purpose. You can also invent something with a little imagination. Sometimes simplicity has a
beauty all its own. After all this is your vision and memories.

3)
 Individuals to fill the costumes
I am fortunate to have 2 teen age boys who "just love" helping their mother with projects such as
this. I also have a very cooperative teenage daughter plus a husband who knows that I will not
rest until the deed is done. You all know what unrest in the house is like.

4)
3 Basenjis, 1 red male, 1 red female and 1 brindle male.
You can adjust these to fit what you have available. The number, color and sex are strictly
optional. You can even mix it up and use a different breed if you choose. Just remember you
SHOULD be looking for the adorable factor and over all picture quality so differing from the
Basenji may have a negative affect on your finished product.

5)
3 scarves to be worn by the Basenjis
Felt, fabric paint and a pair of scissors are all it takes to create these festive props. They can be
easily stored to be reused in the future. Keep in mind they also make fun little tug of war ropes
so care should be used when allowing the subjects to wear the props between picture taking
sessions. You will probably be able to use them as a time line as they may begin to show the
effects of such treatment appearing slightly more askew in later pictures.

6)
Various other decorations to balance out the picture and achieve the look you are
striving for.
I used decorations I already had decorating my house. No need to go out and buy something
new when the decorations you already have only get used for such a short time as it is.

7)
Camera and photographer
Believe me you will be busy setting up your picture and keeping all of your cast members in the
picture. This is especially true if you do choose to use a brindle male. Here again I am soo
fortunate to have a teenage daughter who truly does have an interest in photography and helps
her crazy mom.

C) Make a pot of Coffee and take a Deep Breath.
This is when I take the opportunity to go over my game plan and look over my
assembled props. I also give a pep talk to my assistants, remember you are the one who
has the vision and you may have to sell the idea to your crew. I then put on some festive
background music. They almost jump for glee when I get out my Barry Manilow
Christmas CD. Gotta keep the crew happy!

Below you will see illustrations of the process with brief commentaries where needed to
give clarity. Please sign our Guest Book so we know you visited!
            Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!
Tying the scarves on the Snowman and Dog
I warned you, though beautiful the brindles can be a challenge!
Mom is calling, Gotta go!
Can you guess where I am standing?
Presley is such a Mama's Boy!
The costumes were so warm Everyone took a turn
stuffing the costumes!
Even me which shows I can be flexible!
Lets all sing!!!
To See Our Christmas Pictures for 2006 Click on the Above Picture!
Presley I heard what you said
and as soon as we are done
taking pictures I'll meet you
outside....
Tucker honestly the sweetest
Basenji I have ever met!
Cookies are very helpful tools!