Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Last Minute Holiday Photo Cards

By Christina VanGinkel

It is not too late to make and send personalized Christmas or holiday cards this season. Thanks to the wonders of your digital camera, you can make them yourself, with a photo printer, or you can take the really easy way out and have them made by a company, such as Shutterfly.com. Either way you choose, the options for you to personalize your cards is nearly unlimited. When just a few years ago, personalized cards had to be ordered weeks, even months before the holidays, even the biggest procrastinators among us can now send out personalized cards that look as if we spent half the year preparing to make them, and the other half actually creating them.

Joining Shutterfly or one of the other online photo print places is easy, and if you are a new member, many of them, including Shutterfly, will reward you with a complimentary number of prints free of charge to introduce you to their fine quality of printing. This is a good way for you to examine their prints and determine if they meet your expectations.

At Shutterfly, once you are a member, simply sign in and head to their My Projects section where you will find the entry point to their store. Click on Holiday Cards, and then choose Greeting Cards, 4 x 8 Photo Cards, or their Photo Mount Cards. Each choice offers numerous design options, such as selection of the border and text. You upload which picture you want used with your choice of card, and from there, choose if the cards will be mailed to you, or believe it or not, you can send them your list of names and addresses, and they will not only create the cards, they will mail them for you! Now how simple is that. Other online places may offer similar deals, so be sure to check their shopping portals. I like Shutterfly simply because they offer quality work, and have always been pleasant to deal with, they have always offered a fast turn around time for any order I have ever placed with them. Even if you have been past member of Shutterfly, but have not shopped there recently, be sure to check out their new pricing, as they are now offering their 4 x 6 prints for just 19 cents!

If you choose to make your own, at home, choose a program such as Microsoft Picture It! that has a built in selection of cards pre formatted. You then simply add your chosen photograph to the pre made layout, and print on your photo printer however many cards you need. Editing each card to make each one individual is easily accomplished, and going this route is a good idea if you plan to personalize both txt and photos from card to card. For example, if you want to use a picture of the family on the cards being sent to other family members, but would like to use a winter scene on those cards you will be sending to business associates, along with a more generic text, this can be easily accomplished. Whichever way you choose, spread the holiday cheer by sending personalized cards this year!

No comments: