Monday, October 19, 2020

Tips for your Holiday Card Photo

Judging from the volume of holiday card orders that we have already received by mid-October, it’s our estimate that people are thinking about their holiday correspondence earlier than ever before.  Be it all the extra time at home or that people are just anxious to put the year behind them, there is no sign that the trend of mailing friends and family a card during December is slowing down. We wrote a helpful post in 2013 about tips for taking the perfect holiday card photo. Some good ones but certainly much has changed in seven years. We’re back today with a much updated 2020 version on how to take the best holiday card photo.

Tip 1:  Try a filter (within reason)

With the rise of Instagram and photo apps, plus the immense progress that camera phones have made, it’s pretty easy now to take a really good photo.  Professional photographers still have a place of course, but if you’re on a budget, it’s easy to find resources at home.  We recommend though, that you don’t go too wild with photo filters.  Ultimately, you want it to look natural and not overprocessed.  Try these top photo filter apps if you are a newbie here.  We love the ability to pump up colors, fix blemishes, add natural light, and more!    

  • -       Instagram
  • -        Tezza
  • -        Snapseed
  • -        Vsco
  • -        A Color Story
  • -        Afterlight
  • -        Adobe Lightroom

-        Also, consider buying presets for your Adobe Lightroom Mobile App. We love Light & Air Photographers beautiful aesthetic. Their collection of presets is available to install into to the app and make it so easy to find your look.  PRO TIP: Make sure that the application and filter that you use doesn't distort the resolution of your photo.  You will still need a high res photo to use with your photo cards. 

Tip 2: Get by with a little help from your friends

Sure, there are lots of selfie sticks and camera tripods available these days (even phone timers!), but see if you can get a good friend or neighbor to help take some photos of you and your family.  Best to get someone with a good personality and even someone who can make you laugh.  Try to avoid directly staring at the camera and posing with cheesy, canned smiles.  How do you do that?  Be natural. Have your “photographer” friend talk to you, ask questions, tell funny stories, interact with each other, all while the photographer is snapping away.  We find that some of the best photos are ones that capture a moment.  Ideas to try:

-        Have everyone play a game of telephone – whisper something in each person’s ear and the last person has to say it.  This can get silly with little ones.  It usually produces a natural laugh when it comes out!  

-        We know a professional photographer that tells fart jokes nearly the entire session.  Okay, it’s not the classiest moment, but you know what gets little boys to laugh?  Fart jokes.  We’re going to bet Dad smiles, too.

-        Jump and move around.  Sometimes the action shots turn out the best.

-        HAVE FUN.


Tip 3:  Take a lot of photos.

Does this go without saying?  Probably.  You’ll need to get dozens to find one that is “perfect.”  From people closing their eyes to you being picky about your hair… there are never enough options from which to choose.  We also suggest mixing up your location.   Take several by the trees, some on the front step, some by the back of the house against a pretty wood or brick background (we do recommend them all being outside!)   Get options, options, options.   We don’t think you can have enough.


Tip 4:  Don’t sweat it too much. 

Ultimately, you are sending these cards to your family and friends who love you and want to see YOU. Does it matter if everyone is matching and your lipstick is perfect to those people?  Ask yourself for what reason are you really sending the cards.  This isn’t a marketing campaign but an expression of connecting and staying in touch.  Show the real you. All too often people lose that perspective.   Keep it real. And given the 2020 we have all had, really anything goes – your family and friends will just be happy to see you!


More Than Paper is so pleased to help continue the tradition of sending holiday cards this time of year. We’re proud to have clients return year after year and see their children grow.  We’ve recently added a lot of letterpress photo mount cards.  Some of our new favorites are show below.  Do you like any of these?

When do you plan on ordering your holiday cards? Take advantage of early bird specials and get ahead this year. We look forward to helping you!

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Halloween Alternatives

Halloween is fast approaching and like many of our holidays and events scheduled in 2020, there’s a good chance that this spooky night is going to be cancelled. For safety reasons, it certainly makes sense to at least modify how we are approaching Halloween. But how do you tell children this news without letting them down, once again? We’re big on back up plans and getting creative. Today we are sharing some ideas for alternative Halloween plans.   

Decorate like you’ve never decorated before

Luckily, this is one thing that doesn’t need to change.  Decorate your heart out – indoors and outdoors! In your dining room, living room, or kitchen, we love these festive bats that our owner, Debbie, cut out years ago from black construction paper. She brings them out every year. 

Be sure to touch all areas of your home… even places you wouldn’t think of like the bathroom! How cute is this? It’s not the bathroom but the batroom!

Outside, you can go all out with orange, purple, and green lights. If you have never been one to have inflatable characters on your lawn, 2020 could be your year to do so.  The tackier and wackier the better, we say! Your neighbors and those passing by will love your outrageous Halloween spirit.

Candy on a stick

This is a new trend to emerge out of the pandemic and one that could work for a socially distant Halloween.  Buy Halloween candy, wooden dowels from your craft store, and tape.  Secure the candy package to the wooden dowel with tape, and place in your lawn spaced out. Invite your neighbors to do the same and schedule time when a few kids at a time can “trick or treat”.  We think this could be a fun way for smaller kids to still experience the thrill of getting candy.  




Treat yo’self (and the ones you love)

We have lots of ideas for Halloween baking and cooking for yourself and the ones you love at home.  Why not dress up in your costumes?  Have a family party!  Create festive cupcakes like these for everyone to enjoy. 


Or get inspired by these other haunted treats! We’ve included some healthy options, too – like this pumpkin faced veggie tray.


Or these adorable fruit snacks! They’re incredibly easy to make. Cut bananas in half and add two (mini) chocolate chips for eyes.  For the “pumpkins”, use Cuties and cut and insert small pieces of celery for the stem.


These “graves” are just Milano cookies with “RIP” painted in black frosting (with bloody red….).  They rest in chocolate pudding covered in Oreo cookies. These are incredibly easy to make.  


Two other ideas for you are these Jell-O Cups that look like candy corns, and these Rice Krispy Monster Eyeballs. So much fun to make, especially with the kids.


Even if you can’t find time to make some special Halloween treats, just changing out your placemats and plates for the day will bring a smile to your children’s faces.  We have plenty of options. Be sure to check them all out here!  Of course, at More Than Paper, we are also all about the presentation so if you do get creative in making some delightful Halloween treats, be even more “extra” and serve them on one of our create-your-own platters where you can completely customize the colors for the season!


So, however you are able to celebrate Halloween this year, we hope that you find creative and exciting ways to keep the traditions alive and even to create new ones.  That’s what 2020 is all about, right? Adapting and finding the silver linings.  Be sure to share how you celebrate Halloween in 2020 on our Facebook page. Happy almost Halloween!