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Photograph your own Christmas card

Using your own photos to make a Christmas card is a wonderful idea for a host of reasons. Here are the creative suggestions and tips you need to make it happen.

Read time: 5 minutes


We’re firm believers that every photographer should make use of their photos, not just leave them there gathering digital dust. And as far as we’re concerned, there are few better ways to do that than with a Christmas card.

It’s far easier than some of you may think, it’s a great opportunity to showcase your work and see your own efforts behind the camera rewarded and, in the season of giving, it’s a beautifully personal touch that’s sure to be loved by friends and family.

You don’t have to rush out and get the perfect shot in the next few weeks – though this could be the perfect excuse to plan a shoot – because you’ve likely got a perfect shot in the bank already, whether it’s one from earlier this Christmas season, or an old one from a few years back.


Image This peaceful winter street scene would be perfect for a Christmas card (credit: Simon Matzinger)


What to shoot

Really, any winter photo has the potential to make a beautiful Christmas card, no matter the genre or subject matter. But if you’re short on ideas, here are some creative suggestions.

One safe bet is a wintery landscape. If you’re looking for full snow, this is where digging into the back catalogue comes in handy. If you don’t have a snowy landscape, don’t worry, as a frosty one can be just as good. Be sure to incorporate that beautiful low winter sun, too. If we do see some snow over the coming months, why not plan ahead for next year?


Image In some cases, a frosty landscape can be more picture worthy than a snowy one (credit: Craig Cooper)


If you’re not a landscape fan, a Christmassy street scene is another great option. It’s less conventional, but that’s never a bad thing in photography. Again, the presence of some snow is a nice touch, but by no means necessary. Try to get some Christmas lights involved – it’s a sure-fire way to capture the time of year.


Click the images to see a larger view

Image Some snow can make even ordinary details look wonderfully festive, but as the seen here, it’s certainly not necessary (credit: Matt Popovich and Jamie Davies)


Adding a subject to your Christmas card photo can introduce a nice point of interest. If you aren’t an experienced wildlife photographer, it doesn’t need to be anything too hard to capture. Think seasonal and try to convey a festive feel as you would with other types of photo. Nothing says Christmas like a robin on a bare, frosty branch.


Winter landscape

Image This simple winter wildlife shot would be perfect for an unconventional and eye-catching card (credit: Nick Fewings)


A Christmas card can be the perfect opportunity for a family photo. You can use one you already have, but to go the extra mile, take one especially, Christmas jumpers and all. Not only will it make a great card – especially for the extended family – but it’s a nice keepsake, and it could become a Christmas tradition to enjoy. Don’t forget the four-legged family members, either!

Our last simple yet effective suggestion is going macro. We’re not just talking true macro here, so don’t worry if you don’t have the proper gear or know-how. The right close-up shot can make for a beautiful card, and you may not even have to leave the house. Try shooting some Christmas decorations or festive plants like holly – you may be surprised by the results!


Click the images to see a larger view

Images As these shots show, even a subject that’s fairly simple and easy to capture can still make for a beautiful card (credit: Thomas Millot and Pauline Jurkevicius)


Printing your card

When you have your photo, the second necessary step is turning it into a card – and that means printing. There are a few options when it comes to creating and printing your card. The first is a completely DIY approach, but that will require access a photo printer.

You may want to leave your photo untouched on the front of your Christmas card and let it speak for itself, but adding some simple text in Photoshop can be a nice touch. When your card is ready, print it on photo paper. Presenting your Christmas card in a postcard style is the easiest approach, but by leaving one half of your print blank, you can fold it into a traditional card.

Printing photos at home may not be as expensive as you may think. Printers like those in the instax Share range can be picked up for less than £100. If you’re looking for suggestions, the SP-2 puts out great quality credit card-sized photos, and the SP-3 prints in a larger square format.

The second option when it comes to making your card is having it done professionally. There really are countless dedicated online services that offer bespoke cards featuring your own photos in a host of creative ways, so it’s certainly worth looking into yourself to find what suits your needs.

If you’re all about the quality of the photo, look to photo specialists like Jessops, which offers both photo printing and personalised card-making.


Will you be using your own photos for your Christmas card this year? Either way, we want to see your best Christmassy shots! Tag us on social media using the handle @PhotonewsPN.

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