Picture Perfect Holiday Cards

Nov. 18, 2006 – AMSTERDAM, NY – Americans are poised to send nearly 2 billion holiday cards this year, according to the Greeting Card Association. And with the average American household receiving about 30 cards, you want your card to make a lasting impression.

According to area photographer Jennifer Young, if you had a photo card in mind this year, you can maximize the success for the perfect photograph.

“The holidays are a time to celebrate the year, reflect on memories and share your good fortune with one another. Holiday photo cards are the perfect way to keep in touch and send your holiday cheer to those on your list,” says Young, owner of Forever Young Photography (www.fyphotography.com) in Amsterdam, NY. “With the right pictures, your greeting cards will be the talk of the town.”

Whether it’s for the entire family, or just children, following these top tips for getting the best holiday card photo will help:
1. Try a Formal Approach. “Creating your own amateur portrait studio at home is easy,” says Young. She suggests finding a large, well-lit area where you can bring in some kitchen chairs or stools to help pose members of the group at different heights to create a staggered effect in your rows.

2. Check out the background. “Look for a background that draws the viewers’ eye to your subjects’ faces,” she says. White snow, pine trees or cloudy skies make perfect backdrops.
3. Get Closer Than You Think. “Crop in closely so your friends and family don’t have to squint to figure out who is in the picture,” suggest Young.
4. Coordinate Your Colors. “Whether your photos are formal or informal, they’ll make a much more attractive presentation if you use colors that complement your intended card design,” she says. Young explains that the clothes don’t have to match perfectly, but even a subtle thread of complementary colors running through the portrait will help pull it all together.

5. Balance the Lighting. “Even when shooting outdoors, you’ll need to use fill flash to eliminate facial shadows and a tripod to steady the camera,” says Young. If your camera has a fill flash or portrait mode, it should automatically provide a soft flash that won’t overpower the surrounding light sources.

6. Match the Mood. “There are many card designs available, so you should be sure to match your picture with the mood of the card you’ve chosen,” she says. Some cards have a very simple color frame, with traditional accents like sprigs of holly or snowflakes; others have more whimsical borders, with multi-color patterns and shapes.

7. Leave it to an Expert. “Photographers are not just technicians,” Young says. “A professional understands how to capture images that are right for a family and convey the message required. Their experience enables them to obtain successful results in any situation.”

Young also suggest try not waiting until the last minute. “It’s best to be prepared and think ahead about these things,” she says. “Most people wait until the last minute and are forced to take a less-than-average photo with their digital camera.”

For more information about Jennifer Young or her services, please call (518) 843.5650 or Jennifer@FYPhotography.com.


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