Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Turn Ho-Hum Holiday Greetings Into Ho, Ho, Hot Stuff

Holiday greetings are an annual tradition. The average person will mail out 28 cards to family and friends. Setting greetings apart from others with a personalized photo can make the holidays that much more unique.

Instead of sending the same, mass-produced boxed greeting card to everyone on a mailing list, individuals looking for a personalized way to say, "Happy Holidays" can keep in touch with a photo greeting. Not only does it spread holiday cheer, it shows out-of-town recipients just how much the family has grown during the past year.

To make the holiday greeting special, don't simply point and shoot the camera any which way. Follow these pointers for flawless photos to ensure the holiday card is displayed on everyone's mantel.

Hiring a Professional

One of the easiest ways to receive a top-notch photograph is to use a professional photographer. He or she will have years of experience posing individuals to garner the best shot.

Because photographers have backdrops and lighting at their disposal, this can make the photo even better. Many photographers offer holiday photo packages that pair greeting cards with the purchase of a portrait. Holiday portraits mean an easy gift idea for parents or grandparents, too.

Have the photographer suggest some locations for the photo and what the family should wear. Oftentimes, it's best to avoid holiday colored clothing so the photo will be timeless and viewable year-round.

Keep in mind that photographers are very busy this time of year. For those considering hiring one, price around and book the appointment well in advance of the holiday season to ensure the photos will be available with enough time to mail or gift loved ones.

Do-It-Yourself Photo Greetings

Those who do not want to spend the money hiring a professional photographer can take very good pictures on their own. Here are some things to consider.

* First set the theme of the photo. Perhaps it's a candid shot of the children playing or a posed portrait. Having a plan means it can be put into motion.

* Set up the shot in a well-lit area and try to have light from all directions so there are no apparent shadows in the picture. Don't pose subjects in front of a window, though.

* Avoid posing in front of a fireplace cover or near mirrors. This will cause light to bounce back to the lens and create glare, red eye and shadows.

* Consider taking the photo outdoors. Kids frolicking in the snow or a more candid picture can make for an interesting composition.

* Regardless of where the photo is taken, be sure the background is relatively simple and will not detract from the image in the foreground.

* Zoom in tight on the subjects of the photo to keep the photo focused on the family and not the amazing backdrop. GG10B083

CAPTION: Holiday photo greetings are a unique way to send holiday spirit to loved ones. Photos can be taken by a professional photographer or by an individual with a good eye for detail.

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