Create Unique Christmas Photo Cards
Christmas photo cards have always been around especially when people got tired from the usual Christmas greeting cards that were sold over the counter.
Customized Xmas photo cards are a good way of personalizing the Christmas greeting cards that we love to send, and at the same time we get to see our faces on these cards (which I believe, adds up to the excitement in creating these).
It’s easy and fun to create too, after you’re done, just print it out and you’re good to go.
But before you grab your camera and start designing your own Christmas photo cards, it’s best to take a step back and read a few tips on creating the best Christmas photo cards that you and your family will enjoy creating and giving away to people.
1. On Background or Setting
In shooting subjects (not just in photography, but in shooting video too), it is always best to have a “background to foreground” approach, which means that before you start worrying on what your subject/s will wear, you have to pick the perfect background and setting first.
I suggest you pick a location that gives off a Christmas feel: a beautiful, backyard with snow or a postcard-perfect view of the snow-capped mountains are perfect settings for Christmas photo cards.
If you are living in a place where there snow is absent nor any scenic view is around, just choose a place where Christmas can be felt: a garden with Christmas lights, in front of a fireplace, along a busy Christmas-decorated street, or even your well-decorated, colorful house will do.
As always, bokeh (out-of-focus) elements within a frame around the subject will ALWAYS be popular, so whip out your large aperture lenses for this type of shot!
Just remember, backgrounds must not be vivid enough to steal the spot light from your subjects, so make sure you choose a nice background that is just there to “compliment” the Christmas mood.
2. On Clothing
This is where the fun part begins: you have all the artistic freedom to choose which clothing you would like!
Dress up as Santa’s elves, or maybe have you and your family, or whoever your subject is, wear the identical clothing (though this can be quite tacky unless done right)!
In one of our early family’s Christmas photo cards, I dressed up as Santa Claus, while the rest of the family dressed as elves. My cousin, being an attention-seeker, did something different: he was the reindeer. My point? Be creative, dress up and do not worry about being too silly or spending the money for costumes, you only get to dress like that once a year anyway (or maybe re-use it for Halloween LOL).
3. Static Christmas Subjects
Don’t ignore the lowly decorative Christmas props such as food and such. They can be great subjects to have in many cases and they’re easy enough to shoot that would work for any recipient, not just family members and friends.
A nice cup of chocolate with marshmallows near a frosted window, a Christmas feast carefully spread on the table in front of some candle lights, a lonely snowman in front of a brightly lit house can all be meaningful, personal, yet generic enough to send to neighbors, co-workers, etc.
4. On capturing a festive mood
The usual smiles would do to capture a festive mood, but I have a tip if you want a more candid shot: never let anyone know that you are shooting them. The key is to keep shooting and be prepared to anticipate good moments.
Wait until someone tells a joke and everyone bursts out laughing on the dinner table, or shoot the exact moment when every member of the family raised their wines together before they drank it up.
Shoot the nephews and nieces throwing snowballs, or grandparents hugging other relatives, in other words, a more candid shot will definitely show off a more festive mood than the typical “smile and shoot” type of photo card.
5. On other creative ideas
Creativity does not stop once you pressed the shutter and selected the best photo, you have to do some enhancements on it!
If you think your lighting is a bit weak, then add some by adjusting the exposure a bit. A bit blurry on some parts? Then sharpen those parts. You can also add a few elements such as pine trees, mistletoes, or candy canes, it’s all up to you!
A bit of warning though: do not flood your photo with too much added elements unless you’re really adept in image manipulation, or else these will be the first ones to be noticed instead of your subjects – not to mention it’ll look very tacky.
Another would be to use fancy borders. A white border may do, but you can also use a different color (avoid neon colors, please!) depending on what you think will best fit the costumes that your subjects are wearing. Maybe you can find Christmas-y ribbon and snowflake patterns as well.
And there you have it, tips on how to create a nice Christmas photo card that will definitely bring the Christmas spirit to every recipient!
Happy Holidays to everyone, and happy shooting as well!
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