As a child, I remember the excitement of sitting around the fireplace every Sunday leading up to Christmas opening Holiday cards from family, friends and my parent’s business associates. These cards were sent from near and far, often donning dozens of photos of people I hadn’t yet met or couldn’t remember. I enjoyed getting to see them every year, and feel connected no matter what.
Fast forward thirty years and while many Holiday customs have changed, some will never fade. Holiday Cards are one of the oldest traditions that surround the Holiday season. What started as a way for the Postal Service to encourage the use of mail has become an international trend, spanning generations and families.
So what is it about Holiday cards that have us all so excited? As a professional photo lab, we can say that one of the most noticeable trends has been the anticipation of the Holiday Photo. From funny to sentimental, we’ve seen just about everything.The trick is to create something lasting, making your friends and family feel your jovial greetings, while still capturing something truly beautiful.
How do you make this happen? We’ve got 10 tips to help you create the perfect Holiday Card.
- Say Cheese! Holiday cards are greetings from you and your family, so let them be seen. Whether you’re at the Great Wall of China or Walt Disney World, use a photo where you can see the whole clan’s gorgeous glow.
- Keep it Classy. It’s easy to get sucked into the trap of a funny photo, but consider the recipient of the card. Do you really want your biggest client to get a photo of you and your kids in PJs? Probably not. Coordinate the props and outfit planning in advance so you look unified, but not stuffy.
- Enlist a photo editing tool or designer. Making simple edits and touching up your Holiday Photo will speak volumes when your card is printed. Remove unwanted distractions, add a bit of color, and adjust the exposure and contrast. These steps will help you perfect your subjects and enhance the composition of your family.
- Be Timely. This is pretty simple, but we can’t stress it enough. GET YOUR CARDS DONE ON TIME! Otherwise, you’ll be last to the gate and likely will be left in a pile of post-holiday papers. Check out Holiday Deadlines here to get your cards ready in advance.
- Give your greeting some thought. While it is quite easy to google search “Best Holiday Greetings”, something from the heart is always well received. Take time to find a nice saying or quote, and personalize your cards with legible handwriting. It’s all about the small touches!
- Share something new! Family news is one of the most exciting parts of Holiday cards. In some families, they go as far as to write an entire letter highlighting the family’s whereabouts, baby alerts, and various yearly adventures. Add a line or two about the Family trip to Florida, Mike’s Soccer team wins, or a baby’s first words. It will take a few extra moments but mean so much to your recipient.
- Get a good shot. One of the best analogies I’ve heard about photo quality is this: There’s clear and then there’s Claritin clear. It’s one thing to use a collage of images from your Facebook page and it is quite another to print a single, exceptional photo. Opt for higher quality and rid your cards of pixilation.
- Remove white noise and people. That means don’t include anyone in your photo that shouldn’t be there. No one cares about your neighbor’s dog. Moreover, including non-family in a Holiday Card will lead your Great Aunt to odd assumptions, so stick with just the close clan.
- Pick 1-3 photos, MAX. Using one really great image, instead of a collage of smaller ones, is always preferable when it comes to Holiday Cards. Why? Thumbnails printed on a 5×7 will be nearly impossible to see. Using a larger photo will make your creation time faster and give your recipient a better view of your shining faces.
- Don’t skimp on the cards. While the extra $2 to send a card to an old client or friend may seem unnecessary while ordering, sentiment will kick-in and you’ll realize you can never have too many cards. So, when ordering, make your list, check it twice, and order a dozen extra. There is always the new friend, secretary, or distant relative who would love a cheerful greeting this time of year!
No matter how you decide to move forward with your Holiday Cards this season, just remember to have fun.
Need help getting started? Artsy Couture has dozens of brand new, exclusive 2017 designs for you to pick from this year. Go simple with a postcard or glam it up with Foil! You can see our entire line of Holiday Cards and Foil Cards on our website.
About the Author:
Cate Cannavino is the Brand Manager for Artsy Couture, a professional print lab located in Baltimore Maryland. Cate has been passionate about photography for over two decades and joined the Artsy Couture team in 2017 in hopes of bringing her marketing experience and love for the lens together to build the brand. Check out more blog posts from Cate and the Artsy Couture community on their website!
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