Before we begin with this blog post, I would just like to
brag about mention one little thing: It isn’t even November 1st, and my Holiday Cards are done. DONE! **Does mommy victory dance**
Just in case you’re one of those “pics or it didn’t happen,” people, here you go. Photographic evidence in 3…2…1…
OK, now that my brag time is over, let’s get down to business. If you’re like many people, you’re probably beginning the dreaded process of looking through family photos to see if you have one of everyone looking moderately presentable with their eyes open all at the same time. Maybe you’re so daunted by this task that you’re even considering hiring a professional photographer this year.
Whatever your situation may be, take a few moments to think about these three tips before you make your big selection:
Pick a Theme
Classic? Modern? Rustic? Minimalist? Quirky? What style are you going for this year?
Minted offers tons of unique designs. Take a minute to scroll through and find what speaks to you.
I know this is a bit like the chicken and the egg dilemma. Do you pick you theme first, or do you pick your photo? Personally, I picked my photo first. Then I looked for a theme that would fit. BUT if you have a variety of photos in contention, or you haven’t taken your photo yet, maybe consider doing it the other way around. If you fall in love with a certain card design, you can then style your family photo accordingly.
Selecting My Theme:
I chose to use a family photo taken at my Law School Graduation earlier this year. My twins are at an age where getting even 1 photo where we all look decent and are sitting still is virtually impossible. It just so happened that graduation day was our lucky day!
When I saw this Sure is Bright card design, I knew we had a winner. I couldn’t think of a more fitting phrase to explain our life right now.
I opted to do a single photo instead of a collage, but the card design default is for a collage if you would like.
Make Your Family Photos Look Pro
Read: Edit. Edit. Edit.
Holiday Cards are a big investment. Take the additional time to do a little bit of simple editing. I personally love PicMonkey for this, and their basic features are FREE!
Crop out a messy or distracting background – check.
Adjust the brightness and up the exposure – check.
Adjust the white balance, especially if your family photo was taken indoors – check.
Consider using a filter (moderation here people… don’t get too crazy) – check.
Editing My Family Photo:
In my case, I made the ultimate “duh” photography mistake. The evening before I had been taking pictures indoors, and I had changed my white balance setting accordingly. Well, I forgot to change it back before turning off my camera that evening. The next morning (graduation day = chaos) I forgot to check my settings before handing my camera off to a family member to snap a few shots.
Most of my pictures that day had a funky blue-ish hue. Luckily, I was able to make a few quick edits.
Work With What You’ve Got
This especially applies for families with little ones who don’t like to cooperate for formal pictures, or families who are spread out geographically. As much as we would all love to have that one perfect shot of everyone together, that may not be reality.
In this case, try a photo collage card.
This can be a bit tricky, and you don’t want your collage to look too busy or chaotic. Here’s a tip: Pick a common theme across your photos – chose photos with similar color palettes and tones. Consider using black and white if you have to. This will give your collage a more cohesive look.
Since I wanted to share a couple of more candid, up close pictures of the kids, I opted to add two pictures to the back of my Holiday Card:
Notice the similar color theme as on the front of the card: purple and green.
The Final Product
Here’s my finished Holiday Card:
It’s a simple card, with just pictures on the front and back. I think it’s perfect for our family this year!