Thursday, August 21, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Holiday photo cards: What do they say about you?

Hoildays Photo Cards

This product image courtesy of Shutterfly shows an example of a Shutterfly holiday photo card. The holiday photo card might be the only piece of snail mail you send to your loved ones all year. (AP Photo/Shutterfly)

By
From page C4 | December 04, 2011 |

By Samantha Critchell

The Santa hats, beach background or dressed-up dog in the holiday card photo might be saying more than “Merry Christmas” or “Happy New Year.”

The image can be a snapshot of the past 12 months: where you’ve been, what you’re thinking, your outlook, your outfits.

Yes, it’s a big message to come in a 5-by-7 envelope, but you already knew a picture could be worth a thousand words. Now consider that this card might be the only piece of snail mail you send to your loved ones all year. While email and social media makes it easy to stay in frequent communication with far-flung friends and relatives, those tweets, texts and updates can be deleted or forgotten as quickly as they arrive.

A holiday card, in contrast, “is really a chance to make a statement,” says Kemper Johnson, visual director of MyPublisher.com, an online custom publishing site.

“You’re creating your own greeting card. It has meaning, and most people you’re sending it to know will know that it’s your home in the background or the vacation you were on, or it’s an introduction to you and your family to a new friend,” he says.

So are you the traditionalist who lines the family up in front of the fireplace? The goofball who each year dresses up her Chihuahua in a new sequined frock? The proud parent who wants to show off the family’s football star and best ballerina on the same card?

The right photo will look different for each family, and likely will be a different type each year, says Meg Bohnert, card stylist for Shutterfly, the online photo site. You’ll know it when you see it, she says.

Her advice: “You want a photo that is ‘in a moment.’”

That doesn’t mean perfect, though. Sometimes it’s the frame shot just before or after the posed photo that better captures the real family dynamic.

Next, think about color. That means not only the background and text but also the hues of your clothes or the setting, says TV style adviser Jeannie Mai. “Color is what will jump out of the envelope first.”

White, for example, is a way to “hit the reset button” and convey a change, either in look or lifestyle, she says, while peach or blush tones say “romance — that you’re feeling lovey dovey.”

If you like a strong, polished look, consider browns and grays mixed with black, suggests Mai, who hosts Style Network’s “How Do I Look?”

She envisions her own card this year to feature a natural, woodsy setting with fresh greenery. “I want my card to say to my recipient that there’s a new year ahead and a lot to look forward to.”

Other tips:

* Black and white: This is either nostalgic or modern, says Johnson. With the traditional trappings — those Fair Isle sweaters, plaids or snowy landscapes — your message is one of a classic, timeless holiday greeting, he says, while something sleek without clutter is more sophisticated and subtle.

There also are practical reasons to use a black-and-white image. If there’s too much clutter in the background, it’ll be tempered, and will neutralize clashing colors.

* Coordinated clothes: “Matching outfits can do a couple of different things,” San Francisco-based photographer Jennifer Chaney observes. “It can say, ‘We’re very traditional,’ it can say, ‘We have a sense of humor’, but it also can convey that you don’t have a lot of creativity.”

She suggests everyone wear something in the same color family or have one matching accent piece. “You’ll look like you belong to the same family but that you have your own style.”

* Gallery: Using multiple photos can bring a family together, even if it’s hard to get them together in one room. “It’s the quick fix if someone is away at college or for grandparents who want to show all their grandkids,” Bohnert says. “You can tell a lot of stories this way.”

* Antler ears, Santa hats and fake moustaches: “The joke has to be an obvious joke,” Chaney says. Clever wording will help here. Think “Awkward Family Photos.”

* Pets: As much as he’d like photo cards to show every member of the family right down to the goldfish, Johnson warns that pets can steal the thunder, so mind the pecking order and how that comes out in the picture.

* Outdoor setting: It’s often the easiest shot, has the best light and it’ll probably have the most easy-going feel, Bohnert says. The family will probably come off as less stuffy and more playful.

Don’t feel limited to a pine-tree background. If your best photo was from your summer vacation, share that with your friends. They want to see you when you feel happy and at your best, Bohnert says.

If you want to make it feel a little bit more “holiday,” trim it red and green or add candy-cane stripes.

* No people: You don’t need people to make a personal photo card. An artistic landscape from that blockbuster trip, a sunrise picture from your deck or the wreath that hangs on your door can say just as much.

* New Year’s: Want to stand out from the crowd? Send a New Year’s card. “That says, ‘I’m always late’ or ‘I’m really optimistic,’” according to Bohnert, “but you’ll remember getting that card.”

Comments

comments

The Associated Press

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
    Here’s a guide to Fifth Street etiquette

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    Marsh trial still scheduled to begin Monday

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

     
    The show must go on: DMTC celebrates 30 years

    By Bev Sykes | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Yolo Federal to hold photo contest

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Katehi will speak at Chamber’s community luncheon

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Village Feast offers a taste of Yolo County with a hint of Europe

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    NAMI support group meets Sunday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Free electronic waste recycling service offered

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Sign up soon for Sac City’s fall classes

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Fish-friendly river water intake takes shape

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Grandmothers support group meets weekly

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

     
    Animal Services issues warning about rabid bats

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Peregrine School is open for tours, registration

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Museum sets brick dedication date

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Meet K9 officer Dexter at Davis Senior Center

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Qigong class starts in September


    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Join the fun at the DMTC Gala on Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Poets will read their original work on Thursday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

    .

    Forum

    Where are the Water Police?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    I really miss cal.net, too

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Many thanks to Brooks Painting

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Will you help serve Davis’ senior citizens?

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

     
    Frank Bruni: The trouble with tenure

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A6

    .

    Sports

    Aggie coaches nearer starting lineups for Stanford opener

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    A’s lose to split series with Mets

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    River Cats clip Redbirds

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Giants cruise past Cubs in Chicago

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Scoring machine propels Republic to another win

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    49ers’ Dawson still learning to kick in new stadium

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    Wineaux: A sparkling prescription for a new disease

    By Susan Leonardi | From Page: A7

     
    Free classical concerts set at Covell Gardens

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    ‘La Cage aux Folles’: a refreshing take on a classic

    By Bev Sykes | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Dora Mae Clark Anderson

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Thursday, August 21, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6