More Christmas Card Photo Ideas

We’ve chosen some of our favorite new Christmas cards to illustrate how clothing choices and the use of photo filters in your Christmas card photos can dramatically change the way your cards look. (Of course, starting with one of our awesome Christmas card designs doesn’t hurt!)

If you already have your card picked out, be sure to show it to your photographer because, aside from letting him or her know the style of photo you like, it can inspire location, posing, propping or lighting ideas. Knowing whether you may want to try black and white or a photo filter is important, too. Here are some Christmas card photo ideas from our new collection we wanted to share.

Make your colors count
Merry Merry Picture Frame Christmas Cards
Twinkle Lights Photo Book -- Christmas Cards
The red sweater, green pants and scarf on the little boy in our Merry Merry Picture Frame Christmas Cards absolutely make the photo, especially with the white snow, dog, and relatively colorless background to make the colors really pop. Similarly, the bright colors of the shirts on the kids in our Twinkle Lights Photo Book Christmas Cards match the card’s bright color palette. If you want a bright card, wearing bright clothes is one way to achieve that!

Let your card wear the colors
Joy Full Christmas Cards Sparkly Wishes Christmas CardsTall Tale Photo Christmas Cards Vintage Treescape Circle Photo Christmas Cards
Another way to emphasize bright colors is use black and white photos, and frame them in a colorful card to let the holiday message stand out. To make sure your photo looks great in black and white, wear darker colors than your skin tone so faces are highlighted. And if you are starting with a color photo and adding a black and white filter, try adding the contrast & sharpen filters or the vibrance filter to intensify the lights and darks in the photo. Four examples shown, clockwise from top left: Joy Full, Sparkly Wishes, Vintage Treescape Circle and Tall Tale Christmas Cards.

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Sending Love Any Time of the Year

While Valentine’s Day may be the usual day to send a love note, I had a different idea this year. I decided to send some love to my family and closest friends by tucking photo strips of my son and his ever-changing faces and poses into a note (I chose Long Distance Love from Pear Tree Greetings). My family and friends enjoyed the randomness of receiving a love note in April, so I wanted to share the idea with you. Below are the steps I did to send some love!
Sending Some LoveSending Some LoveSending Some Love Continue reading

Photography Tips – Kids Valentine’s Day Photo Shoot

I love sending Valentine’s Day cards. And I love taking photos. So, we decided to have an office Valentine’s Day photo shoot with our own kids. Fun day in the office, right? Then, we decided it’d be fun to make a video to share the results with you—not just our cute Valentine’s Day photos, but also a few photography tips on achieving some of those big smiles we all love. For added fun, we threw in some behind-the-scenes video footage because, as a photographer, I always wonder what the real ‘set’ looks like! So check out the video and the tips below to make your Valentine’s Day cards sparkle. :)

Now here are some photography tips and ideas to help you achieve the actual photos you saw in the video.

Valentine's Day Photo IdeasFor our main background, we painted a 4×4 section of plywood with chalkboard paint. Chalkboard paint wasn’t entirely necessary since we didn’t write on it, we just liked the black background against our garland. And speaking of the garland, you can get it as a free printable! It’s easy to cut out and a fun activity to do with your kids.

Photography Tip: Try placing something on your head and asking the child to blow it off. Just about anything works. I used a paper heart. It should either be something the child will physically be able to blow off, or that with a slight tilt of your head, they’ll think they did! Also setting the child on a box or a crate typically keeps them in one spot, long enough at least for a few quick photos!

Valentine's Day Photo IdeasFor this background, we used two sets of gold metallic curtains, right on top of each other. Inexpensive, and they come in many colors!

Photography Tip: Giving kids a prop like sunglasses allows them to interact and play with something, which keeps them occupied long enough for photos. And even the motions of taking off the glasses can be really cute!

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Using photo filters to enhance your photos

Using photo filters to enhance your photosThese days you don’t have to be a professional photographer to follow the latest photo trends. We all now have the ability to create special effects and filter colors and light with a simple click in our photo editing software—no messing with lenses, filters or film.

These three very different looking photo Christmas cards were created using Pear Tree Greetings’ easy-to-use Personalization tool. After choosing a card and uploading our color photo, we clicked on the photo filter tab and tried two different filters on it, saving each card to see which one we liked best. The first is the original photo; the second was made using the black & white, plus contrast filters; and the third using our vibrance filter.

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Top 10 Family Photo Tips

Family PhotoGetting ready to take the annual family photo for your Christmas cards, New Year’s cards or Thanksgiving cards? We see a lot of family photos, and wonder how our customers manage to take such great ones. To make your photo session easier, we’ve compiled our top 10 family photo tips, especially for those who have lots of family members to organize or little kids to corral.

10. Choose your time carefully
Make sure the kids are fed and rested. We all know what happens when we skip nap time, and even adults get cranky when they’re hungry.

9. Bring toys or treats
Don’t be caught empty handed. You’ll need to take quick action if you have to turn that frown upside down or want to reward good behavior.

8. Set a rain date
If you’re shooting outside, or are hiring a professional photographer, be sure to set a rain date in case someone gets sick or the weather isn’t perfect.

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