Need Help With Your Holiday Photo Cards? We’re Here for You
I swear I don’t ever mean to wait until the last minute to order my holiday cards. Each year I start the saga of the holiday picture in October, thinking it will give me plenty of time to get a good shot of my kids. This part of the process has been made infinitely easier by the advent of the digital camera — at least now I know right away that my kids look like lunatics in every single shot, instead of finding this out after I have paid $75 to develop eight rolls of film. So that’s progress.
Great Cards Start With Great Photos
I wish I could give you advice on how to get your kids to take the Perfect Holiday Card Photo. Instead, I’m over here begging my children to smile. “Please smile! Please keep your eyes open while you smile. Please smile with a little less tooth. Great! Now can you both do that at the same time? No? Are you sure???” Sigh. I’m going to have to bring in professional models eventually and pretend they are my kids, so I’m not the one to give you photo advice.
Fortunately, Shutterfly and ClickinMoms have teamed up to create a basic how-to for family photos with some really good, easy-to-follow tips on location, lighting and poses. They also talk through the pros and cons of hiring a professional vs. taking your own photos. A big con for me is that professional photographers can be expensive and I am cheap, but maybe a photographer will cost less than hiring fake kids. Hmm.
In the meantime, I have been researching where you can get great cards. You know, once you have the perfect photo. Here’s what I’ve found.
Where to Find the Best Holiday Cards
Maybe you’re a show off and you have a very photogenic child who just sits and smiles and poses in a delightful non-pose every time you pull out the camera. You have just so many pictures of your child looking absolutely perfect that now you’re sitting at your kitchen table asking how on earth you’ll be able to choose just one shot. Shutterfly to the rescue: Their holiday photo cards can be customized with multiple photos, in some cases up to six pictures per card. Just so you know, I will eat my shoe if I ever have enough good pictures of my children to fill six spots on a greeting card. But if you have a half dozen great pictures of your kids from this past year, this is the option for you.
Tiny Prints has a lovely collection of cards — so many, in fact, that if I had to pick my favorite cards in the collection, I couldn’t. They also have a nifty tool that lets you see how the card of your choice would look with your photos on it, which prevents me from wanting to just give up and ask for them to send my cards with the models on it instead of my own kids. Because those kids are smiling and happy. And so far, mine are not.
I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking: “Melissa, I thought you said you were cheap!” It’s true, I am. So I often buy my cards at Exposures after the holiday on clearance for the next year (avoid year-specific designs if you do this). Sometimes I get deals so cheap I couldn’t write “Happy Holidays” on a piece of notebook paper and save any more cash. Of course, this means I have to opt for a photo mount card (the kind where you slide your picture into the little slots in the card) but hey, I’m saving money! The key when choosing cheap cards is to steer clear of a lot of ornamentation. It’s just too easy to go wrong with a fussy design, simple is always easier to fake.
It’s already December, though, so I don’t know what you’re doing sitting around reading this. You’ve got cards to mail.