Featured Favorite

Real cards created by real people like you!

Christmas Card Ideas - Featured Favorite
When it comes to unique Christmas card ideas, we love the way our Christmas Package Tied With Twine Christmas Cards are tied up like a gift, which makes them so fun to open. Eryn, who created this card for her family of four, agrees.

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How to Pick Out Clothing for Your Christmas Photos

Picking out clothes for a family photo is always stressful. For ten years and over a dozen photo shoots, my goal has been perfection—the perfect combination, the perfect colors, that will come together in one perfect photograph that I can put on a card or hang on a wall.

Here are a few tips that I hope will help you save time when pulling together your family photo ideas, so you can achieve your own version of ‘perfect’ without all the stress.

first pic
This year I wanted a muted, natural palette that didn’t distract from our outdoor location. I am collecting family photo ideas all year long, and as a mother of four I’m also shopping for kids’ clothing all year long. The trick is having a place to keep all my ideas, so I’m not struggling to find them later, when I actually need them.

Create inspiration boards. This allows me to add things, try different color palettes and move things around to establish my final look. Here is a peek at my Holiday Clothes 2013 inspiration board on Pinterest.
How to Pick Out Clothing for Your Christmas Photos
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Photography Tips from Photographers

Getting ready to take family photos can be a daunting task filled with questions. (What should we wear? Where should we go? How do we get a photo that doesn’t look forced?) We asked a couple of our favorite photographers for some photography tips that might help you feel better prepared for your upcoming photo session.

Tips from Christy Bode Photography & Sarah Halstead Photography:

1. Find someone who shares your style.
Photography Tips from Photographers Themselves
When choosing a photographer, make sure you like their style and their quality of work by reviewing their website, blog and Facebook page. If you only ‘sort of like’ their photos, or ‘sort of like’ their style, definitely keep searching! You want to love your images and finding a photographer with a style you love is the first step. ~Christy

2. Plan what to wear.
Photography Tips from Photographers
This is the most common question I get from families. My advice is to definitely plan your outfits ahead of time. Doing this will help you love your photos even more. With that said, it doesn’t need to be stressful, and don’t be afraid to ask your photographer for help or ideas. I typically recommend dressing the girls first, then go to the boys. If you have all boys like I do, that means starting with yourself. ~Christy

Photography Tips from Photographers Themselves
It is best to color coordinate versus matching. For example, if everyone is wearing the same solid color colored shirt, it may end up looking more like a uniform. Family photos are fun-everyone should get to show their personality! I recommend choosing an outfit scheme of 3-4 colors. Textures and layers show up nicely in photos. Always avoid logos. Timeless looks are the best vs. a current trend. Simple attire with solid colors or small patterns is key! ~Sarah

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4 Steps to Christmas-Card-Worthy Family Photos

Now that Fall is upon us and family photo sessions are being booked for this year’s Christmas cards, we have pulled together some of our most helpful suggestions for each step along the way. Yes, you can get Christmas-card-worthy photos done while enjoying every moment!

light colors 4
Step 1. Clothing options.
If you are going to get professional photos taken, you’ll want to start thinking about what to wear for your family photo. Do you want the family to be wearing light colors, or are brights more your style? Will you need to take a colorful background into consideration, or will your clothing add color to the photo? If you need some ideas and inspiration for your family photo ideas, be sure to read our blog post, What to Wear for your Family Photos, and check out our Christmas photo ideas Pinterest board to get you started.

light colors 3
Step 2. Book your photographer and talk to them about your style.
Once you know you want professional photos taken and have started thinking about your clothing options, start scouting out local photographers. You’ll want to look at their website and see if the photos they have taken match your style. Once you have chosen a photographer, set up a session and send them your favorite family photo ideas. Are you going to use props? Is it going to be on a beach, or in the woods, or maybe you want to do it in the snow? Local photographers can offer suggestions for locations in the area.
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More Christmas Card Photo Ideas

We’ve chosen some of our favorite new Christmas cards to illustrate how clothing choices and the use of photo filters in your Christmas card photos can dramatically change the way your cards look. (Of course, starting with one of our awesome Christmas card designs doesn’t hurt!)

If you already have your card picked out, be sure to show it to your photographer because, aside from letting him or her know the style of photo you like, it can inspire location, posing, propping or lighting ideas. Knowing whether you may want to try black and white or a photo filter is important, too. Here are some Christmas card photo ideas from our new collection we wanted to share.

Make your colors count
Merry Merry Picture Frame Christmas Cards
Twinkle Lights Photo Book -- Christmas Cards
The red sweater, green pants and scarf on the little boy in our Merry Merry Picture Frame Christmas Cards absolutely make the photo, especially with the white snow, dog, and relatively colorless background to make the colors really pop. Similarly, the bright colors of the shirts on the kids in our Twinkle Lights Photo Book Christmas Cards match the card’s bright color palette. If you want a bright card, wearing bright clothes is one way to achieve that!

Let your card wear the colors
Joy Full Christmas Cards Sparkly Wishes Christmas CardsTall Tale Photo Christmas Cards Vintage Treescape Circle Photo Christmas Cards
Another way to emphasize bright colors is use black and white photos, and frame them in a colorful card to let the holiday message stand out. To make sure your photo looks great in black and white, wear darker colors than your skin tone so faces are highlighted. And if you are starting with a color photo and adding a black and white filter, try adding the contrast & sharpen filters or the vibrance filter to intensify the lights and darks in the photo. Four examples shown, clockwise from top left: Joy Full, Sparkly Wishes, Vintage Treescape Circle and Tall Tale Christmas Cards.

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Photography Tips – Kids Valentine’s Day Photo Shoot

I love sending Valentine’s Day cards. And I love taking photos. So, we decided to have an office Valentine’s Day photo shoot with our own kids. Fun day in the office, right? Then, we decided it’d be fun to make a video to share the results with you—not just our cute Valentine’s Day photos, but also a few photography tips on achieving some of those big smiles we all love. For added fun, we threw in some behind-the-scenes video footage because, as a photographer, I always wonder what the real ‘set’ looks like! So check out the video and the tips below to make your Valentine’s Day cards sparkle. :)

Now here are some photography tips and ideas to help you achieve the actual photos you saw in the video.

Valentine's Day Photo IdeasFor our main background, we painted a 4×4 section of plywood with chalkboard paint. Chalkboard paint wasn’t entirely necessary since we didn’t write on it, we just liked the black background against our garland. And speaking of the garland, you can get it as a free printable! It’s easy to cut out and a fun activity to do with your kids.

Photography Tip: Try placing something on your head and asking the child to blow it off. Just about anything works. I used a paper heart. It should either be something the child will physically be able to blow off, or that with a slight tilt of your head, they’ll think they did! Also setting the child on a box or a crate typically keeps them in one spot, long enough at least for a few quick photos!

Valentine's Day Photo IdeasFor this background, we used two sets of gold metallic curtains, right on top of each other. Inexpensive, and they come in many colors!

Photography Tip: Giving kids a prop like sunglasses allows them to interact and play with something, which keeps them occupied long enough for photos. And even the motions of taking off the glasses can be really cute!

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Merry Christmas from Pear Tree Greetings!

Pear Tree Greetings wants to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. Here’s how a few of the Pear Tree team members shared their merry wishes this year!
Merry Christmas from PearTreeGreetings.com
From all of us here at Pear Tree, we hope you enjoy your time with your family and friends over the holiday season. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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Christmas Card Shopping Myth #2: Perfect Family Required

If you’re like me, you’ve skipped sending Christmas cards more than once because you didn’t have a decent family photo to use. But these days, there are plenty of photo ideas for Christmas cards that work just as well, if not better than, the family portrait. Many cards now have room for several photos, which takes the pressure off finding one perfect photo and gives you an opportunity to get creative.

  • You can pick one great photo of each member of your family, close-up or candid. Some cards even have space to write about each photo, so you can say a little about what each person has been up to.Photo Christmas Cards -- Stocking Stuffers
  • You can show a series of photos from the a vacation to highlight some of your family adventures, or from a wedding or graduation where you all were gathered.
    Photo Christmas Cards -- Travels and Memories
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Featured Favorite

Real cards created by real people like you!

Blissful Bells Booklet - Christmas Cards

Here’s one way to inject a little fun into your family Christmas card ideas: get some great action shots of the kids next time you’re on vacation. This family’s photos and the playful design of the Blissful Bells Booklet Christmas card work together to make their Christmas cards a big hit.

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Using photo filters to enhance your photos

Using photo filters to enhance your photosThese days you don’t have to be a professional photographer to follow the latest photo trends. We all now have the ability to create special effects and filter colors and light with a simple click in our photo editing software—no messing with lenses, filters or film.

These three very different looking photo Christmas cards were created using Pear Tree Greetings’ easy-to-use Personalization tool. After choosing a card and uploading our color photo, we clicked on the photo filter tab and tried two different filters on it, saving each card to see which one we liked best. The first is the original photo; the second was made using the black & white, plus contrast filters; and the third using our vibrance filter.

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