Skip to Content
© Evgeny Karandaev |

4 ways to make your holiday cards stand out

Now that the holiday season is upon us, it’s time to crack out the cards. Sure, you can send your loved ones digital messages — but those aren’t nearly as heartfelt or personal as a hand-written note that comes in the mail.

It’s almost Christmas and if you haven’t sent your love and best wishes yet, here’s how to do it with maximum effect.

Here are four useful tips on how to make your holiday cards stand out this winter.

1. Make it personal

There’s nothing like using a photo, painting, a doodle or clipart of your family, pets and even distant relatives. Add some effects, a funny message and you’re ready to send your warmest holiday wishes. If you opt for print rather than digital format, you can change the shape of your card. Instead of square or rectangle, think of other shapes such as circles, triangles, ovals or hexagons.

For fun, you can also glue craft beads, rhinestones or pearls to the design to add a little dimension. Just be sure they’re securely fastened.

Last but not least, don’t forget the envelope! Color up your envelope with ink and stamps, or metallic markers, anything that shows you’ve put some thought and heart into sending the card.

If you need high-quality photos or inspiration for creating your own, visit Dreamstime and get inspired!

2. Background

If you’ve decided to use a photo of yourself or your family, make sure you shoot your photos while doing a holiday activity like baking cookies, picking out a tree, decorating the house, reading a holiday story together or singing carols.

You’ll never fail with the use and overuse of Christmas lights as bokeh — or the aesthetic quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image. Place subjects a good distance ahead of the tree or colored lights to produce the effect and use prime lenses with large apertures to give the maximum effect.

Playing in the snow, throwing snowballs and building snowmen make a fun background for images for outside photos. Dynamic action shots are the funniest this time of the year.

3. Props

You may think they’re not important, but you’ll bring a more festive mood with the right props. Props such as mistletoe for couples, colorful holiday blankets for families or wrapped gifts can be an entertaining addition to the shoot. Use fake snow or confetti to throw or blow out of hands for an added winter effect.

4. Clothing

Coordinate your outfits in both style and color. Holidays are a good time for silly and whimsical photos. Go for ridiculous sweaters and bold prints. Holiday-themed accessories like Santa hats, reindeer headbands and New Year’s glasses will create a lighthearted photo. You’ll make your card recipients laugh and that’s the Christmas spirit!

If you’re shooting outside and it’s a classical snowy winter in your part of the world, remember to dress in bright colors to create a bold contrast from the white snow.

Inspiration and fantastic photography are just a click away. Supercharge your visual creativity with photography from our sponsor,

Stop robocalls once and for all

Robocalls are not only annoying, but they scam Americans out of millions every year. Learn Kim's tricks for stopping them for good in this handy guide.

Get the eBook