Tuesday, October 31, 2023

How To Take Your Own Holiday Card Photos

Photo greeting cards are a popular choice when it comes to sending holiday cards in the mail.  They tend to be a less expensive option, and there are no shortage of styles from which to choose!  Traditional, modern, whimsical, colorful… there’s something for everyone!  More than the design, what makes a really good photo greeting card?  We think it is the quality of the photograph you place on the card! We also tend to think less photos can be a stronger statement than cramming a bunch of photos into a small card. That is, only if you have a really great photo! 

 

Many people choose to hire professional photographers to capture the whole family.  While we do love a good professional photo shoot, it isn’t always budget friendly and sometimes it can be hard to schedule! 

 

How can you get a winning photo to use without hiring a professional?  We have a few ideas for you!   These are general tips that you can use with just your Smart Phone.  

 

Find a friend, neighbor (or go completely DIY) 

First things, first. Ask your neighbor, friend, or neighborhood babysitter to come over and take some family photos.  You’ll need 15-20 minutes of their time. If you are unable to get someone, iPhone has a countdown timer that you can set.  You can get an inexpensive tri-pod that holds an iPhone or Smart Phone on Amazon, too! 

 

Plan your outfits 

While matching outfits can make for a great photo, we tend to prefer coordinating colors and even throwing in patterns to give a cohesive but not corny look.  Choose a color combination, such as khaki and blue, and look for shirts and pants within that. Jeans is always also a classic look.  Another idea? Dress everyone in holiday pajamas! 

 

Plan your setting 

In almost all cases, photos taken with natural light is preferred.  We recommend shooting in the evening, right before sunset and never shooting during the height of the sun. (Avoid the hours of 10 am – 4 pm).   We love the idea of shooting photos around the Christmas tree at night, too.  Turn off overhead lights, don’t use a flash, and just use the light of the tree!  You could also prepare hot chocolate and have everyone sitting around the table talking.  Sometimes the most natural settings and actions can produce the most authentic photos. 

 

Know Your Phone 

Some basic advice but make sure to have your phone charged.  Shoot in the right camera “mode.”  For iPhone, use the live setting so that you can work around closed eyes and funny expressions when editing.  Try several using the portrait mode.  Your exposure (amount of light that the shutter lets in) can be adjusted.  On your iPhone at the top, you can adjust the exposure to let more light in if it’s dark.  

 

Edit or Not Edit 

With high-quality cameras in our pockets and a plethora of online editing tools at our disposal, it is very easy to get a high-quality result.  If you need to edit after the shoot, try Adobe Lightroom to brighten your photos. Remember that is almost always easier to make a photo brighter, you ca not easily make a bright photo darker (hence why it is best to avoid very sunny photo shoots).   

 

In these apps, you can adjust the light and add filters that suit the mood.  (We tend to shy away from the over-filtered look).   Other photo editing apps to try are Snapseed, VSCO, Pixlr, and Afterlight.   

 

 

With these simple tips, you are sure to have a great holiday photo to use for your holiday photo greeting cards! The hardest part will be choosing which card to use. Here are some of our recent favorites.  

 

This Beloved Season Foil Pressed card has real foil and has the option for different die-cut shapes. A simple and festive message, this card has room for just one perfect photo! 


 

Digital Holiday Photo Cards by Stacy Claire Boyd (Beloved Season Foil Pressed)

 

We also really like these “Fa La La” whimsical greeting cards that feature a full photo. They are available in 130 lb or 260 lb weight. 


Digital Holiday Photo Cards by Dabney Lees - Fa La La LaLa La with Foil

 

This card has an abstract “Merry” message that helps feature the photo that you choose. 

 - This card is also available with two paper weights. 



 Digital Holiday Photo Cards by PicMe Prints (Abstract Merry)

 

 

Finally, we have so many holiday photo mount card options – many with “create-your-own” features allowing you to specify the foil accent color as well as various background and trim colors.

 

One of our all-time favorites! 


Holiday Photo Mount Cards by Sweet Pea Designs - Inline Beaded Border With Foil

Holiday Photo Mount Cards by Sweet Pea Designs - Inline Beaded Border With Foil

 

 

You can see more here! 


 

We can’t wait to start seeing your photos and holiday card orders stream in!  Remember, we can help you design something that perfectly complements your photo!

 

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Fall Football Entertaining

We can hear the unmistakable 4 musical notes signaling just one thing….. football!  It’s back and there’s something about the sports season that brings such comfort and excitement to Americans. It’s here and back in a big way. 

Even if you are not a huge fan of one team or even the game itself, one can find joy in hearing player success stories, having your family and friends gathered on the couch, and we find that it is a perfect excuse to cook and entertain. What game? It’s just another excuse for a party! 

 

More Than Paper has you covered this Fall ’23 Football Season with some fun food and d├ęcor items to keep it festive and fun for all your football entertaining.  


What To Eat 

Above all, we love serving sliders for football games. They are the perfect finger food and are substantial enough to make a meal of it. Everyone can graze along throughout the game. Have one, have 4 – whatever suits you!  You can get creative with your sliders – they aren’t just burgers, either. Here are some slider ideas: 

 

-       Chicken Parmesan Sliders 

-       Taco Sliders

-       Italian Meatball Sliders

-       BBQ Chicken Sliders

-       Ham & Cheese Sliders 

-       Pulled Pork Sliders 

-       French Dip Sliders

-       Buffalo Chicken Sliders 

-       Reuben Sliders 


Other nibbles that we like to serve on game day are: 

 

-       Pigs in a blanket

-       Sausage Balls 

-       Crab roll ups

-       Pizza Puffs or Mini-Pizzas 

-       Little Smokies 

-       Chicken Wings 

-       Bacon crisp crackers 

-       Spinach Balls 

 

And of course, what game day would be complete without chips/dip or veggies and dip? Ones that we love: 

 

-       Spinach & Artichoke dip 

-       Siracha Chicken Dip 

-       Louisiana Shrimp Dip 

-       7 Layer Dip 

-       Greek 7 Layer Dip 

-       Beef Enchilada Dip 

 

We love trying recipes out on Pinterest. Visit Pinterest and type in any of these menu ideas and you will find a host of bloggers ready to provide you with recipes. What will you choose? 



Serving Your Food 

We like to set up a football-themed table with football-themed serving pieces in the dining room, which is close to the game. There are all sorts of table runners you can score off Amazon.  For serving dishes that are festive, try this one found at More Than Paper that work great for sliders and other big items.


Your personalized football plate will be used for seasons and you’ll have fun pulling it out each fall.  These platters are made from Thermosaf® resin and are shatterproof, microwave safe, dishwasher safe, oven safe for warming up to 300°. They are also BPA free, melamine free and made in the U.S.A.!  Personalize it with your last name or initials or monogram. 


Platters by Kelly Hughes Designs (Football)


We also have this corresponding Lucite Tray available in small or large that work well for serving drinks!
Large Lucite Trays by Kelly Hughes Designs (Football)

You can really amp up your drink serving game and consider these foil-stamped personalized napkins with a football theme.  Choose your team name or your own last name and get creative with how you personalize the napkins. 


Football Personalized 3-Ply Napkins by Embossed Graphics


And how about some personalized drinkware to top off your decorations! These cups come in clear or frosted finish. The frosted ones are reusable and top-rack dishwasher safe so you can use them all season!

 

Football Party Tumblers by Rytex

Be sure to check our website for football stationery and invitations, too. If you are hosting a football-themed birthday party or hosting a Superbowl party, you may want to send paper invitations that are more formal but still cute and festive.  Check out all your options here.

 

Wishing you a great football season in 2023. Whether you are just there for the snacks and entertaining or you’re a die-hard fan, we hope you embrace the season and all that it has to offer.  Share your pictures of football entertaining on our Facebook page!