This is going to be a re-posting of one that I wrote last December. The response was great, but several people commented that they wish they had gotten it earlier. So, I decided to re-post it this year – but get it out earlier in the season. So, here it is! If you didn’t make your own Xmas card last year – give it a try this one!
PS: I also updated this post with last year’s Xmas card. I’d mentioned that it was going to be quite a bit different – see what you think.
Each year I really enjoy creating our very own, personal Xmas cards for our friends and clients. It’s a way to share my “artsy” side and many have mentioned that they enjoy receiving a unique card with the personal touch. I’ll bet that you also have some great pictures that would make wonderful Xmas cards.
So, what to use for a subject – nature – animals – religious theme? The best answer I have is to have fun and make it anything you like. Now is the chance to really show off your creativity! I’ve included some examples in this post that I’ve used over the years.
This outdoor image I used one year – while it looks like it’s somewhere “in the wild” – was taken at the local golf course that’s a three minute walk from my front door. The point being is that you don’t have to look very far to find a nice image – even in your own backyard.
Another subject that works very well [though you may not readily think of it] is architecture. Of all the Xmas cards we’ve put out over the last ten years, the card with the picture of the orthodox church that I took in Russia has gotten the most comments. So, if you have all those pictures of churches you’ve taken when you traveled abroad – now is the time [probably the only time] that you’ll be able to make any use of them.
I’m sure that you’ve probably noticed that both of these first examples are black & white. Folks really like the “artsy” feel of black and white prints. Also, these are “hand-built” cards. By that I mean we took some blank card stock – sized our images to fit how we wanted them – made photo prints on our printer – cut them out – then used a glue-stick to attach them to the card. The final touch is to take a pencil and write the title of your image and your signature on the bottom. By the way, take the time to give some real thought to the title. The title – in relation to the image – along with the signature add a very “artsy”, custom touch to the card.
This last example is for all you folks who like to use your smart phones as your cameras. I used to download my favorite iPhone pics to my computer – now I use iCloud and everything I shoot on my iPhone automatically appears in a “Photo Stream” folder on my computer! How cool is that! From there I open them up and edit them like any other picture in Photoshop. The point is that even a 2 megapixel smart phone camera can produce a pretty good card-sized image. You never know where the image will come from or what it might be – but this one was taken at Griffith Park last Xmas when we were visiting our daughter in LA. Just two dogs bundled up on a bench behind a snack stand – but I think it makes for a great Xmas image.
Whatever you do, be creative. As for me, this year’s card isn’t going to look like any of these. It’s going to be something really different – think “bars” [the drinking kind] – “Xmas lights” – “reflections” – and “funky”. Here’s where I do a little updating. Like I said, this card was different. What do you think? Responses were all across the board. Some thought it was cool and others seemed to feel that it was just a bit too . . . too. . . whatever. Nevertheless, I enjoyed creating it
So, if you really want to give Xmas cards that people will appreciate, comment on and – yes – even keep and collect from year to year, this is the way to go. The costs aren’t much more than buying cards – it just requires some time in selecting and editing the image you want to use and putting the cards together. This year Give it a try. I think you’ll find out that your Xmas cards are going to be “keepers”. Best – Bill