By Stacey Ilyse
(Kveller via JTA) – Growing up, I remember getting cards in the mail for Rosh Hashanah. They were always the normal, generic, Hallmark Happy New Year-type card.
Nowadays, people are much more tech savvy and can create really fun cards that reflect and show off who they are and their adorable kids and family. If you want to give your Rosh Hashanah cards a personal touch this year, here are five tips, plus a few resources, for creating and producing the picture perfect photo card.
- Type of photo
It’s nice to have a photo of the whole family on a card, which is harder to do when you don’t have someone else taking the photo. If you have the luxury of having professional photos done, great! Not only will you be able to cherish the images you have taken, but you can use them for many different purposes besides a holiday card.
I like the non-traditional type of image, the one that really shows off who the family is and what everyone’s personality is like, but at the same time allows you to see their faces and captures everyone in that moment of time.
There is nothing written in stone that says you must have a full family photo for a holiday card. Many parents like to just show off their kids! Taking a photo of just the kids is pretty common. This is also great if you don’t have the time, money or desire to get professional family photos taken, since you can act as photographer. You can do a combination of things for a card. You could take one photo of each child alone, which is generally easier to photograph, or do a shot of your kids together. But remember, they do not have to be facing the camera. People appreciate the candid, true-to-life moments.
- Where to go
Make it fun. Maybe take the kids to the beach, a playground they love, go on a picnic. Or maybe play with imagery: Rosh Hashanah is known for its apples and honey, that’s how kids remember it, so perhaps take a shot of a child with a big apple!
- What to wear
Please don’t be all matchy-matchy; just work on coordinating. People look best, and are generally more comfortable, when you allow them to wear the clothes that reflect who they are. If your daughter only wants to be a princess or your son Batman, then maybe that is how you have to photograph them. I would take a happy kid in a costume over a grumpy one all dressed up anyday! Also, yes, a baby might not yet know who they are, but I know that my daughter wears the clothes that reflect me! I am not a white button down and jeans kinda gal, so neither is she. Make their outfits fun, festive and nice, but true to them.
- Let there be light
Do not take photos during midday (noon to 3 p.m.) unless it is overcast. Then you are in the clear (ironically enough). Overcast days – or what is called “open shade” – are the best light. Look for spots that have large blocks of shadow, like that of a large building. Stick your little one in the shadow and shoot!
Don’t shoot under a tree unless its leaves are thick enough to create a solid block, otherwise you will get spotted light all over them in the images. If you are shooting indoors, shoot during the daytime and use natural light – most likely it will be from a window. Lastly, remember if you are trying to capture someone’s face and expression, you will want them to be facing the window light, not with their back to the light.
- Online resources
There are some resources for making already designed cards, where all you need to do is upload your image and tweak your text. Check out sites like Minted.com, TinyPrints.com and even Shutterfly and Snapfish. I use Minted for almost all my own personal photo-related cards.
For sites where you can design the entire card from scratch, check out Uprinting.com or Vistaprint.com. However, these sites usually require larger quantities of cards to be purchased. I know Uprinting offers 250 cards as its lowest amount. Thankfully the cost is not that high, it has great quality and gives you the envelopes as well.
Now that you have some ideas swirling around in your head, some inspiration to get you going, tips on how to take a nice photo, and resources to get them printed, go for it!
(Stacey Ilyse is a photographer and blogger.)