This is the year. You’re determined to send a holiday card and you want to include photos. If this is our first time down this road, there are a three considerations: timeline, people, and style.
What’s your Timeline?
Do you want this to arrive before the holidays? Or are you content with having it arrive sometime before the New Year chimes in? The timing can affect whether you can involve a professional photographer. You need to allow enough time for scheduling the photo shoot, ordering the card, processing (1-2 weeks) and then sending it. Some card companies offer a mail option which does all the work for you. However, that’s an extra cost to factor in.
Who’s in the Photo?
The people to include in your card is a pretty important decision. If you want a family group photo, then there are more pieces to the puzzle. But don’t despair, you might already have a photo that you can use. It doesn’t have to be taken within the past month. Something from the current year is best.
What’s Your Style?
If you want something done professionally, then you’ll need to get this scheduled pronto. Some photographers have Thanksgiving or holiday specials so if your family will be together at that time, you might just hit the timing perfectly. Select a photographer with experience so that your financial investment pays off. We learned the hard way, that the local discount store deal isn’t always a sound investment. It does get the job done but not always a timeless decision. I’m thinking this faux fall background doesn’t exactly say “Classy” does it?
Using a professional photographer is a good opportunity to kill two birds with one stone – to replace that out-dated photo on your mantle and to share on your holiday card!
If you go with some candid shots, these don’t have to be posed or even coordinated. Just look through photos you already have. Find moments that tell the story of a family event or milestone. Look for those photos that draw you in or capture rare events. You don’t have to use just one but be careful not to use too many. Keep in mind, the more photos, the smaller each one will be making it difficult to truly see the moment shared. Lesson learned….
You can easily take your own photo using your smartphone to get a pretty good picture. Just make sure you’re in good lighting. Coordinate the clothing so individuals don’t stand out. One person in a white t-shirt next to the rest of the gang in dark colors – you get the picture! A familiar environment such as your backyard can work nicely. Just pay attention to what’s in the background. Remember this is an opportunity to share an update on your family – it doesn’t need to be perfect.
For a themed photo, be mindful of your subjects. One year we thought it would be cute to feature our son and the dog as “Santa and his Reindeer” theme. Instead of Cute we ended up with Confused! Paying attention to the background would have been smart – notice the basket of tulips on the hearth!
Making the Card
Selecting the photos is the hardest part. The next step is to select the card style and publisher. Over the years I’ve used Costco, Walgreens and Tiny Prints. Look for a style that matches your preferences and pricing to match your budget. Just upload the photos, add a personal message, your signature and place the order.
If you’d like some help with the mechanics of choosing photos and creating the card, let us know. We’ve been down this road before and can help you get this done! Just contact us and set up a phone call to learn more about how this works.
Next Step – Writing the Holiday Letter!