When it comes to planning the family holiday card, there are two types: those who have their photos taken, cards printed, and letters mailed by December 1 and those (AKA you) who just looked at the calendar and said: “oh no, not again”. Don’t fret, though—we’re saving you this year in more ways than one. First, we want to help you make inexpensive holiday cards with the tools you already own.
Here’s our guide to taking a professional-looking photo with just an iPhone (so you don’t have to hire an actual professional or pay your friend with the DSLR)—plus tips for finding the best deals on holiday shoes to wear for your photos.
Decide what you’re wearing.
Coordinating outfits with the entire family can be a struggle, but the perfect holiday card requires a solid plan. Inexpensive holiday cards are doable if your outfits are already in your closet! Pick a color-scheme—and, to save money, choose something out of your own closet. If you need a new pair of winter boots, then shop around first. Don’t buy before comparing prices—use a site like Purcado to easily compare prices on your favorite shoe brands or styles to know exactly where to shop to get the best deal.
Plan the shoot.
You can’t simply take the photo for your inexpensive holiday cards , you need to have a plan. Where will you shoot it? What time of day? Who will take the photo? Plan ahead. Pick a day that forecasts decent weather, then choose the golden hour to shoot—at sunrise or an hour before sunset. Choose a few good poses. Stagger the subjects, with some standing and some sitting, and always have adults hold children. Whatever you decide, just make sure it looks natural, not staged. Also, mixing in few different poses keeps the shoot fresh and gives you more options once it comes time to create the card.
Set up the shot.
When it’s time take the photo, you’ll need to set up the shot. If you or someone in your family is blessed with an iPhone 7 Plus (or better yet an iPhone X), set your phone to Portrait mode and go. You’ll be shocked by the ease of this “professional” photo shoot. Don’t have a fancy iPhone camera? It’s okay, Dad who hasn’t given up his iPhone 5, you can still take a great photo. Achieve perfect lighting by tapping and holding anywhere on the screen to lock AE/AF, and then slide your finger up or down to adjust the exposure. Remember, the best photos are taken outdoors, in good lighting, with a non-busy background (think: open field or brick wall).
Don’t forget to edit.
Every great photographer knows their job isn’t done when the camera turns off. Processing, editing, and touching up is an art in itself. But thankfully, it’s easy as pie—and you can do it all from your phone. Inexpensive holiday cards aren’t impossible—even when editing the photos. You don’t need a Lightroom subscription. For a low price, editing apps like VSCO can bring life to your image with unique filters and lighting options. Don’t see a filter you like? You can purchase the perfect coloring pack on the VSCO app for as low as $1.99—still cheaper than a professional photographer.
Make those inexpensive holiday cards.
There are also several apps that let you make inexpensive holiday cards straight from your phone. Here are a few favorites.
Felt. With this easy-to-use app for the iPhone or iPad, you can save time writing and sending countless holiday cards. With Felt, you can create one card to rule them all, plug in different addresses and send. No more hand cramps from writing, stuffing envelopes or fussing with stamps. Felt cards start at just $3, including postage!
Ink. With over 500 customizable card designs, Ink is the go-to app for creatives looking to make the perfect Christmas card. Each card starts at $1.99 (including postage!).
Shutterfly. Shutterfly offers an easy-to-use desktop or mobile app for designing your cards. Simply navigate to their site or download their app, upload your photos and start creating. Cards start at $0.76, not including postage!
Send, send, send.
Once you collect the addresses of friends and family, it’s time to send out your cards. All of these apps—with the exception of Shutterfly—will address and mail your cards for you, so you can skip this step. However, if you choose Shutterfly, you’ll have to mail them yourself. You could go to the Post Office and wait in line, but we all know how maddening that can be—especially during the holidays. Save time by ordering postage online—either at USPS or Stamps.com.
So, now you know the secret to an easy, fast and inexpensive holiday cards that still look amazing—what are you waiting for? Head to Purcado to find the lowest price on holiday shoes. Then, grab your phone, some festive sweaters and get to work!
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Best part? Our service really works to save you money (and it’s FREE to use). The average Purcado user saves 30% off retail price on the athleisure, fashion, and running shoes they actually want. Smart shoppers search with Purcado first—try us out today!