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The making of a Smart holiday magazine

Click the cover to browse through the e-zine.
Smart’s holiday issue was at the printer before Halloween.

Which means that I was thinking about Christmas while it was still warm enough to wear flip flops.

For every issue of Smart, we work months in advance.

Right now, I’m editing stories for the January/February issue, which will print in a few weeks, and assigning stories for March/April.

Sometimes it’s easy to make photos coincide with the issue.

Other times, like when creating an out-of-season winter photo, some extra work is involved.

We took Andy and Kelly Segura of Fairview Township and their 1-year-old daughter, Camryn, to Montadon Acres in North Codorus Township in mid-September to create our holiday cover.

That snow you see isn’t a Photoshop creation, but an as-seen-on-TV product. We used gallons of Snow in Seconds to give the Christmas tree a winter look.

And even though it was almost 80 degrees outside, the Seguras were good sports about putting on winter jackets and smiling for the camera.

Photo by Ashley May
It was also a warm and sunny September day for our winter fashion shoot with models Amanda Lentz, Jess Reed and Michelle Mayer Haas. We set up at a West Manchester Township farm, and reporter Ashley May made good use of the wind to give a brisk feel to the photos.

Photo by Jason Plotkin
Another fun photo shoot from the issue is featured on page 22. Model Kristy Nieves, 34, of York was kind enough to get messy with us in the kitchen.

Graphic artist Sam Dellinger’s bulldog Diesel also makes an appearance, along with a cooked turkey and all the fixings. Sam and I were able to purchase all the items needed for a Thanksgiving dinner shoot for around $50, which we also featured in our healthy food swap story on page 20.

Photo by Jason Plotkin
We also used Sam’s house to stage another great photo by photographer Jason Plotkin in this issue. Stephanie Hartlaub of West Manchester Township brought her children Hope, 5, and Hunter, 1, to hang out with us in the morning before Hope went to school. The Hartlaub family dressed in matching PJs for the photo on page 46 with our story on annoying Christmas presents.

Not all of our photos are shot in the weeks leading up to print. Former Smart editor Kara Eberle did some legwork last year for this issue.

Photo by Kate Penn
She wrote a story highlighting designer Michael Sell. Kate Penn photographed his five trees and holiday decorations last December.

Kate also photographed Smart Woman Debra Eberly last year. Eberly decorated the Governor’s Mansion in Harrisburg and will return again this year.

We thank all of our volunteer models who helped make this issue happen.

If you’re interested in being a Smart model, find out what you need to do to get in front of the camera here.

And if you or someone you know goes above and beyond to deck the halls, let me know. Their decorations could be featured in our holiday 2013 issue. Please send photos and your name and daytime contact information to atrotter@ydr.com by Jan. 7.

Check out the November/December 2012 e-zine here.

And sign up to get the next issue of Smart in your mailbox.