Holiday card photos can be quick and beautiful

by Rachel B Posted on October 18, 2009

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The holidays are right around the corner and I haven’t thought about this year’s holiday card photo yet. I’m not panicking though, because I’m the queen of short cuts and have a few EASY tricks up my sleeve for quick beautiful shots.

No studio needed
Forget the fancy portrait studio. Just remember these lighting tips. If you’re shooting indoors let natural light flood your space instead of using flash (flash makes everything look cold and gives people red-eye). If you’re shooting outdoors, flash is encouraged. That extra burst of light helps even out shadows. And wherever you’re shooting, be sure the main light source is behind the photographer.

Stirling Star 5×7 Photo Card

Don’t go shopping
I know you want to go out and purchase matching outfits for your family portrait, but why waste time and money when you know you’ve got something great looking at home. Just wear colors that complement each other and try to avoid too many busy patterns.

Twinkle Flakes Scarlet Holiday 5×7 Folded Card

Get fun, candid, and close
No need to get all formal for your portrait—parents can sit and kids can stand, make a pyramid, or get a fun shot of everyone trying to make a pyramid. Also shoot between shots to capture candid, fun and unexpected moments.  Best of all, try some close-ups of kids or pets. There’s nothing cuter!

Stylish Snowflakes Black Holiday Card

Everyone included
Make sure you get in the shot too by asking a friend or neighbor to take some of the photos for you. You can even return the favor for their holiday card.

Yule Bough 5×7 photo card

No perfect photo? No problem!
I’ve saved the best shortcut for last. Let’s say you don’t even have time for a do-it-yourself photo shoot. Or you couldn’t get the perfect group shot. No worries! Use a collage card and insert images you already have, or insert several from your photo shoot!

Cheery Year Powder 5×7 stationery card

Got any Christmas cards or holiday card photo tips up your sleeve? Share them here. We welcome your input!

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Where's my photo?
  1. AnnAbbott Says:

    OOhh Rachel,
    I did the last think just to check out the 3free card offer from Shutterfly and they came out great. I used three different close-up photos of each of my kids that I took over the summer. Turned them sepia for a warm holiday feeling and put them in a 3-photo card. I got them yesterday and loved them. I will order those if my “day after Thanksgiving as I am putting up the Christmas tree” photo shoot is a disaster

  2. Joey Says:

    I always try to get a picture of my nieces and nephews and myself. Since one nephew lives 3 hours away, we aren’t together as often. I took the opportunity when everyone was home a few weeks ago and got our pictures done. Whew. Nothing fancy at all, but we got it done. I told my sister to be super fast. So we are all lined up, kind of funny!
    I always knew my 14 yr old nephew was taller than me but never realized just HOW tall until i saw him standing next to me. What happened to my little nephew that I could still pick up, now he can pick me up!!
    Now I just have to order my cards!
    i love the cards. i did those for my nephews birthdays. Superb quality!

  3. Joey Says:

    I also ordered some of the 5×7 flat stationary. I think those will become my favorites.
    I can’t wait to get those.
    Happy Holidays!

  4. CynthiaY2 Says:

    I just ordered my 5X7 Christmas cards!! I can’t wait to get them. I tried the 4X8 cards for Halloween and they turned out awesome so I’m like a little kid in a candy store waiting on my new cards.

more about Rachel B

Thank you for visiting “Picture More”, Shutterfly's Community Blog. My name is Rachel, and I come from a long line of photo enthusiasts. My grandparents kept a large (and heavy!) collection of family photo albums in their living room, which my sister and I loved looking through. My mother continued the tradition by becoming a hobby photographer (phrases like “smile, “hold that pose” and “let me get my camera” were a constant part of our lives). Now my sister and I are avid camera fans. She takes beautiful pictures of her children, and I enjoy capturing the many far-away places my husband and I visit. What I love about Shutterfly is that it helps me turn my photos into meaningful keepsakes like photo books, calendars, and photo gifts (I love my coasters, posters, mug and mouse pad!). My memories are now a part of my everyday life, not living in a shoe box or hard drive. And what I love about "Picture More" is that it will help us get even more creative with our pictures. I'm excited to exchange ideas with all of you!

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