The holiday season is always full of family, friends and great times. It's a joyful time of year where everywhere you look is full of lights, decorations, and food. It's also a time of year when your mailbox fills with Christmas cards.
I am sure you noticed the wide variety of styles holiday cards that you receive. Some make their cards by hand. Others are generic looking with a personal message written on them. But the ones that always stand out the most are the cards with family photos.
They are an excellent way to send your loved ones more personalized Christmas cards easily . Most online card retailers provide this as a do-it-yourself online service and offer hundreds of pre-made designs for you to customize with you own images and text.
But how do you select the right pictures for your holiday photo cards? I have compiled a few tips to ensure you choose the best Christmas photography for your Christmas cards this year.
A lot of families choose to hire a professional photographer to take pictures for not just their holiday cards, but the double it as their yearly family portrait session. Using professional images helps ensure your photos will be color corrected properly for print and that they look as great as they can. Don't get me wrong, pictures from camera phones can look great, but never look quite as vibrant and well-posed as a professionally done portrait.
Today, options for professional photographers are vast. Of course, there is always the big-box department store photo departments, like Sears or Wal-Mart. But many professional photographers offer much more creative portrait sessions at very affordable rates. They will come to you or offer suggestions of scenic parks and outdoor settings, providing a much more unique experience.
Ensure you are using images that are high-quality, print resolution images, otherwise you risk your images printing blurry and pixellated. Images from a professional photographer will be of the right quality.
However, if you are taking your portraits or using images taken throughout the year, be sure you use images that aren’t too dark or over-exposed. Images taken at night sometimes will appear grainy, due to the low-light conditions. These imperfections will certainly print this way on your holiday photo cards.
You also want to avoid using images taken directly from a social media account. When images get uploaded to a social media account, like Facebook or Instagram, the files get compressed to a smaller resolution. It is always best to use the image files that come directly off your camera. Doing so will ensure your images are a print-ready resolution.
Candid Photos vs. Posed Portraits
Posed portraits look great. A good photographer will pose everyone properly and ensure everyone is looking at the camera and smiling. But as you may have noticed, the most memorable Christmas cards you receive every year are the ones where people aren’t posed. People are laughing, looking at something else. This type of image is known as candid photography.
Many people prefer this style. The photos look much more natural and exciting. In between setting up for each shot people, especially kids, are looking at other things. They are goofing around and distracted by the things around them. Photographers nowadays have gotten into the habit of capturing these moments during a portrait session. Consider using images like these on your personalized Christmas cards this year.