November 21, 2016

Christmas Photo Card Tips

I love heading out to the mail in December and seeing all the beautiful Christmas cards from our family and friends.  My husband and kids are the same...they get just as excited to see everyone too.  We set up a fun little display in our house featuring all the cards and it makes me happy every time I walk by it.  I usually like to have my cards done early, so it's one less thing I have to worry about during the busy holiday time.  I'm not saying that happens every year, but that's the goal.  The past couple of years we actually took our photo at the end of summer.  So today I thought I would share a few tips that have helped make our Christmas card photo sessions run smoothly.

Tip One - Finding Outfits for Everyone

I usually go about this by choosing what I'm wearing first.  If I'm happy with what I'm wearing, it really makes me enjoy our photo so much more.  And you know how the saying goes and it's so true :)  I actually started this year by walking around with my top to everyone's closet to see what I could pull together.  I picked out pieces I thought might work and laid everything out on my bed, switching things out until I liked the combination of clothing.  Laying everything out also helps you see what you might need to purchase.  I also usually like to focus on two main colors.  And because my shirt had a floral pattern, I knew I wanted everyone else to pretty much wear solid colors.  Luckily, my husband had this salmonish colored polo that paired perfectly with my top.  And then for the kids I used gray and chambray.  My daughter's dress has a slight polka dot pattern, but being a smaller pattern it paired well.  And luckily our pup happens to be a color that matches everything!

Tip Two - Getting a Good Photo

This has differed for us over the years, depending on the age of our kiddos.  If you find a Christmas card company that has customizable photo cards, even a casual candid photo can work perfectly.  A couple of our cards in the past when our kids were little I used candid photos and they turned out precious.  But if you're dressing up for a more professional photo, just remember that no matter what the outcome, friends and family are just happy to see an updated photo of you and your family.  Make sure it's a good time of the day for the little ones and that everyone has a full tummy.  Having snacks to bribe the little ones doesn't hurt either.  Take lots of shots.  There is always someone who has blinked or looked away or smiled weird.  But if you snap a bunch there will be one that works and that's all you need.  Have the location picked out and get an idea of where you want to place everyone in the photo.  This might be based on things like kids sizes or clothing choices, but having that figured out before the shoot will speed things up.  You can look up photography ideas on Pinterest or other online sites.  The last two years we took our own photo (with my camera, tripod and remote timer) and it took about 10 minutes.   My kids are at a age now that they know if they just cooperate, it will be over a lot quicker.  This year we had one hiccup, which was that our sweet pup decided to do her business right where we wanted to take the picture.  Nice.  But we had a good laugh and worked around it, literally.  Something to keep in mind if you're including a pet in your photo :)

Tip Three -  Finding the Right Card

This I feel like is pretty easy.  I actually love playing around with designing our card.  With all the options provided by Tiny Prints, there is a card out there for everyone.  Whether you want to do one photo or a collection of photos, they have so many options.  You can customize the cards and really make them personal.  They have several options and layouts for photos and text.  I tend to be a one photo girl and like to keep my cards pretty simple.  Something I've done this year is to have my envelopes addressed both with the return and recipient addresses.  This takes a little work when ordering, but so worth it.  Not only do they look amazing, but when your cards arrive, all you have to do is add a stamp and drop them in the mail.  I have been a fan of Tiny Prints Holiday cards for awhile because of their beautiful cards and easy designing.  Below is one of my favorite Christmas cards, back in 2012 using Tiny Prints

For our card this year, I fell in love with this Rich Wreath Photo Card .  It matched our clothing colors and my top so well.  I also really love the back of the card!  It's different from my full photocards that I've done with most of my cards in the past, but I'm excited to send something a little different this year.

It's a short week for us this week and then we are off to celebrate Thanksgiving!  Have a wonderful day!


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