Photographic Greeting Cards
John HuegelWinter is greeting card season. While many people buy cards, others choose to make their own greeting cards featuring their family or other subjects. If you are the do-it-yourself type, consider making your own greeting cards. These tips will guide you to create some truly great, high-quality cards you will be proud to send.
Here are some tips for creating great holiday greeting cards.
1. Pick an Interesting Theme. If you're doing a family shot, think up something creative. The setting does not need to be winter or holiday themed. In fact if it is non-seasonal, your recipients may keep your card out for more than just the winter season.
2. Use Existing Images. If you had a great holiday trip, consider using one of those images. If you have some good photos of the kids around the house, use them.
3. Get Outdoors. Often, lighting is better outside. Find a good scenic location and compose the image. Then grab someone nearby and ask them to shoot. Almost anyone will step in to help. Or, prop that camera, set the timer and run! Sometimes the timer-race photos are quite funny.
4. Get Exposed. Consider forcing the flash on your camera to fill in some highlights around the eyes. Most cameras have the opportunity to do this. Just a touch of flash will remove shadows or bags under the eyes, and will not appear artificial if used lightly.
5. Edit for Impact. Crop, level and edit your image carefully so the important stuff is left for your viewers to enjoy. Consider some interesting edits such as watercolor finish, sepia, softening, and other effects to create the desired mood on your images.
6. Choose a good printer. Flat glossy cards are inexpensive and easily made, but to really wow your friends, consider using a professional card printing service to make coated, folded cards. The quality of many online labs is first-rate. Expect to spend $1-2 for small runs of cards made this way. Larger quantities may cost less per unit. Try web searching for "holiday cards".
7. Don't Break the Law. If you are considering using a professionally made photograph, remember that you cannot use anyone else's images on your card without their permission. Even if you bought a print, you don't have the right to scan, copy or otherwise use a professional image.
Designing your own holiday cards is a great way to develop your photography, editing, design and computer skills.
Have fun creating your cards!
John Huegel is a photographer in the Erie, Pennsylvania area who specializes in Seniors, Dance Studio, Families and other groups. He is active in many charitable and volunteer activities in the Erie area. His work can be seen at jhphotomusic.com; Source: ©2008 John Huegel
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