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6 Tips to Creating and Ordering Christmas Cards from a Family Photographer

If you guys have been here a while you know that I love Christmas cards. I love creating our family Christmas cards, receiving Christmas cards in the mail, and hanging Christmas cards in my kitchen so I can admire them all season long. That said, between my love of Christmas cards and being a photographer for the past 4 years, I would consider myself an expert. Here are my answers to the most commonly asked Christmas card questions.

1. Where to buy your cards?

You can purchase Christmas cards through my online shop! With my shop, you are guaranteed a higher quality Christmas card. I also recommend that you give Etsy a look because there are so many options. You can buy a card design that is easily personalized and then upload the jpg to a blank card on Costco or Shutterfly and order them there.  I recommend Minted, Canva, Shutterfly, and Costco.

2. What pictures should I use?

Normally, I only use pictures from our family photo session, but this year the photos are a mix of family photo session photos and iPhone pictures. (for reference –  the main picture on the front is a family session photo and the photos on the back are a mix of session and iPhones.) This works because, on the back, they’re small and they blend together well. If you have bigger images on the back, I’d recommend picking either all session pictures or all phone pictures because the difference in quality can be eye-jarring.

3. What should my caption say?

Your card style will dictate this but we really love doing a fun/funny card each year and have a significant amount of writing. This year we’re doing “which is the lie”, last year we had “10 things we learned in 2020” another year we did top 10, you can also do a count down or up like 1 move, 2 kids, 3 dogs, 4th year going to Morro Bay in the summer…etc. Don’t overthink the caption. It doesn’t need to be an eloquent speech. Just list things that happened that year or just sign your family names if that’s what works for you. Keep it simple!

4. How many cards should I order?

Personally, I order enough for everyone on my list and 10ish extra just in case I forget someone or Dan wants to give them out to co-workers. 10ish extra should be enough, there’s no need to over-purchase cards.

5. When to order your cards? 

I order my cards the week before Thanksgiving break. Then they get here with plenty of time for me to slowly get them ready. If you are addressing and mailing your Christmas cards yourself, I recommend getting them as far in advance as possible so there’s less pressure and you can chip away at them bit by bit. Some of these sites offer to address and mail your cards for you, which might be worth the investment if it eliminates stress for you.

6. If you are planning on mailing your cards yourself…

Keep your address book in a google sheet. Then if your computer crashes (which has happened to me three times) you’ll never lose everything you need and have to recreate it all. Learn from my mistakes, put all your addresses in a google sheet this year! And bonus, you can sync your google sheet with Avery.com which is what I use to print out address labels with cute designs. No more writing out 100+ addresses by hand!

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