Nothing says the holidays are here like a greeting card. They give families the opportunity to say, “Merry Christmas,” “Happy Mother’s Day,” and “Happy Birthday,” to their loved ones, and are one of the most common ways to send a message of joy — or of sympathy. The Greeting Card Association reports that almost 90% of American homes buy greeting cards, and about seven billion greeting cards are purchased every year.
There are also several ways to put together your own creative card, including custom photo greeting cards, hand-crafted cards, and ones that are created using graphics from computer programs. With custom photo greeting cards, you can take pictures of your family from a professional photo lab, and add them to the card template you want.
But piecing together a high quality card takes time and effort. Here are few tips that you can use to take your own pictures, and give your photo cards the visual boost they need to make them look like professional prints.
Learn to Ignore Red Eye. Red eye is fairly common in photographs that use a flash too close to the camera lens, and it can ruin a perfectly good photograph. It might seem odd, but the best way to combat this is to continue taking pictures. By downloading the latest digital imaging software, you can re-color a person’s eye easily. The tools allow you to select the color that fits best, and fill in the red with a new color. So you do not have to trash that amazing picture with the one red-eyed person; you just have to make sure you have the right technology to make the changes, and no one will know the difference.
Snap Away. In a studio, a professional photographer typically shoots anywhere from 30 to 50 pictures for a one-hour session, and you should go with no less than that. By taking at least 5 or 6 pictures for every pose or background, you will be able to find the best one for your custom photo greeting cards. You will also want to play around with the image settings on your camera as you take the pictures. You can change the lighting, focus, shutter speed, flash, and a host of other things to create a different effect. For example, if you want your family picture to show people jumping for joy over a celebration, you may want to use a fast shutter speed to capture your family in mid-jump for a more dramatic effect.
Themed Background. Depending on the occasion, you will want to let your card recipients know exactly what your greeting is about. By creating a customized backdrop, you can set the mood for the entire picture. If you are sending a Mother’s Day card, you may want to shoot pictures of your mother’s favorite hobbies to add them to a unique custom card. For Christmas, instead of a traditional picture in front of a Christmas tree or the stockings on your mantle, you could piece together a multi-frame photo collage of different holiday items that indicate Christmas time.
Regardless of the holiday, a custom greeting card always adds a personal touch to any holiday or event. Using your own creativity, and a little help from imaging software, you can make your own photo greeting cards, and put a stamp on your individual creative style.