So by now you’ve probably checked out my Guide to Custom Photo Cards and my favorite picks from this year’s new designs for the 2016 holiday season right? There’s also still a number of FREE card trials that have been popping up (as of the writing of this post Mixbook is offering 10 FREE cards to try out (Click here to use coupon code: FREE10 Ends 11/16/16). I hope you’ve narrowed down your short list or perhaps picked the winning card for your 2016 holiday greetings!
So now that you’ve checked out this year’s offerings, it comes down to selecting a photo or photos for your card. Here’s some of my top tips as well as other custom card design tips!
- Collage cards (those with multiple spots for photos) will look most cohesive by using pics taken in the same session or occassion (same day/same clothes), but it’s not necessary to do that. If you have photos of your family that you love regardless of attire, use them!
- Another way to make a grouping of photos look more cohesive – consider converting color photos to black and white (typically built into the company’s software). Black and white can also give off a more artistic look or even a vintage look if that’s the style you’re going for.
- A Year in Review card is a type of collage card that’s designed to showcase pictures from throughout the year so a similar look for all the pics is not expected.
- Go Solo! One great photo is perfect. Surely you can find one of your favorites among the thousands of photos you took this year!
- The local mall is probably gearing up to soon to offer photos with Santa – a perfect shot for holiday cards!
- Fall is the perfect time to get a professional family photo taken. Lots of photographers are offering family sessions which is ideal for your holiday cards.
Pro pics not in the budget this year? DIY your family photos. I’m still thinking about this beautiful card I received from my good friend last year. I bet you thought this card was a sample I pulled from a company site with professional models – right? Nope! I guarantee this is a real family!
After I received it, I complimented her on her lovely photos and asked who took them, expecting that she’d hired a professional photographer. My friend set up the whole shoot herself in her own backyard. Now I shouldn’t be surprised since she’s very creative and has a great eye as you can tell here. If you have a friend or family member who can help take the photos for you, that will work great, but in this case my friend set up a tripod and used a remote shutter. Now that’s really DIY all the way! I wanted to highlight her card because you can totally do this too.
Here’s what I love about her card and how she styled the shoot:
- The large, festive ornaments she hung on her trees in the backyard really set the mood (doesn’t matter there’s no snow where she lives!);
- The family’s outfits are classic and complementary which helps tie the look together. Choosing a single color works well;
- Santa hats and beards on her adorable boys – can’t go wrong there! Plus notice how the red in the hats makes the other red accents of the ornaments, wagon and husband’s scarf – pop;
- Her “oldest child” – the family’s furry friend gets a cameo too;
- I like how this card provides areas for captions – it’s nice to get little snippets of their top moments of the year;
- I think it’s a nice touch to add your children’s ages. I didn’t start doing that until I received several cards from friends with that info. The age of your kids is a common question and since you probably keep a holiday card for yourself as a keepsake, it makes it easy to note when the photos were taken.
My friend has inspired me to use some of her ideas for my own holiday card this year. I feel a backyard family photo shoot coming on! I hope you garner some inspiration as well.
*Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a referral fee. Regardless, my opinions are my own and I always give my honest opinion, good or bad.