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This year’s holiday cards are sure to be noticed; just combine a few of these fun tips and let the smiles begin! Photographer Emily Wilson offers up some great possibilities for holiday greeting cards.


Her whimsical photo of a family standing in front of a gingerbread house was accomplished by taking a photo of each family member individually, with the exception of the couple who were shot together.

“To alleviate the shadows for the individual family members, I had them stand 3-4 feet from the wall. I was about 6-8 feet back from them,” says Wilson. “It is their distance from the wall that corrects for shadow.”

Next Wilson printed the photos, cut them out, and then placed them in front of a real gingerbread house decorated with cotton batting and fake snow in order to create the frosty illusion “To blur the background, I stood 4-5 feet from the gingerbread house and zoomed in using a long focal length (129mm). I kept the shutter speed as low as it could be (1/160 @f5.6) and used only natural light.” The ISO was set at 800.

FamilyThe toasty fireplace family portrait was actually taken in July, making it necessary for her family to decorate and dress for the season.
“From my experience, it has always worked best to have the parents in the center and build a composition of kids around them,” says Wilson.
Wilson used a tripod for the shot. If a photographer needs to be included in the photo, like Dad or Mom, a camera with a timer is a great option. Her lens was set at a focal length of 32mm, the exposure was 1/40 @f8 and the ISO was 400.

Even in the middle of summer, spray on snow is still available at your local craft store. It can be removed with glass cleaner when your photos are completed. Wilson sprayed the icy window, then softly wiped in a circular motion that mimicked a swirling snow blast. Dressed in her scarf and hat, the young girl peeks through as her sister blows fake snow in the background, creating the perfect image of snow dancing around a child’s smiling face.PinkGirl

Who can resist a snowman, especially for a holiday card? The Styrofoam balls in Wilson’s photo are actually just about four and five inches across!
“I backed up the camera until the proportions matched up [with the subject],” says Wilson.
The photo was shot using natural light. “I set the f/stop as high as I could (1/40 @f16) while still hand-holding the camera. You could definitely use a tripod here,” adds Wilson.
The focal length was 59mm, and the ISO was set at 80


Friends and family look forward to holiday cards, especially with their loved one pictured. Make this year’s photo unique!

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