Snap a great Christmas card photo
Greeting cards are among the first signs that the holiday season has arrived. Mailboxes are filled with cards and email inboxes have new messages popping up each day wishing others well. Many of these greetings feature family photos.
A Shutterfly poll conducted by Ipsos in 2021 discovered that, while traditional holiday messages are by far the most popular missives at 63 percent, younger age groups show more interest in other types of cards, such as photo cards (between 34 and 38 percent depending on age group). Fortyone percent of people polled prefer to receive photo cards. That means holiday well-wishers may want to brush up on their photography skills.
• Keep cards in the back of your mind. While the Norman Rockwell-esque family tableau or a wintry Christmas scene is a go-to holiday card, any photoworthy moment throughout the year can suffice. Keep a lookout for ideas while vacationing or enjoying time together as a family.
• Avoid busy prints. Stick to solid colors when posing for holiday photos; otherwise, recipients’ eyes may not know where to look when viewing the photo. Photo subjects should coordinate, but wardrobes that completely match can seem contrived.
• Plan around nap times. If photos involve young children, schedule the photo shoot to occur when children are wellrested and fed. Now may be the time to offer kids treats they don’t normally get in an effort to reward patience and happy smiles.
• Avoid red eye. Proper lighting can help avoid the occurrence of “red eye” in photographs, which happens when the flash bounces off a wide pupil. Asking subjects to look into bright light before the photo, or utilizing a camera that snaps a small burst of flash before the actual flash, can help alleviate this problem.
• Embrace candid shots or mixups. Some of the funniest and most memorable photos are when things didn’t go according to plan. A crying infant or a parent looking away from the lens may not be magazine worthy, but don’t be so quick to discard those less-than-perfect snaps.
• Zoom in tight and cropped.
Card recipients want to look at you and not the surroundings. Avoid landscape shots on holiday cards, and be sure to focus on the subjects’ faces as much as possible.
• Angle correctly for flattering photos. Adjust your body posture to look your best. Turn the lower half of your body to the side and then adjust the upper half to move slightly toward the camera to appear more svelte. Position the camera lens at eye level or above to avoid double chins in photos.
• Show off your sense of humor.
You can show friends and family you like to laugh by posing in funny ways or by mimicking pop culture references in your photo cards. Recreate childhood photos of yore, or imitate photos from album covers or movie posters.
Relax and have fun with holiday greeting cards. Plan outfits, watch lighting and catch kids at the right time to create memorable cards.