It's that time of year again. Like Memorial Day gives the greenlight to white pants, Thanksgiving signals the crossover to holiday card season. The most ambitious get their stack in the mail right after the feast. The rest of us? We're still licking envelopes on 12/24. Regardless, wherever you fall on the card-sending spectrum, the photo on your card can still be tops. Just follow these three fool-proof tricks:
Black and white hides a host of sins. So you've found a family photo that's pretty good—if it weren't for: Your gray roots. Your kid's acne. The fact that you're wearing red next to your husband...in maroon. But fear not. Just upload your photo to a card-creating site: We love Minted.com—but Shutterfly.com, TinyPrints.com and Snapfish.com are also popular. Then opt to "edit" your photo from color...to black and white. Voila! Buh-bye grays. Acne erased. And everyone in the family's now wearing shades of gray.
Make it matte. There's a reason makeup artists are constantly powdering the noses of their A-list clients. On camera—and in photos—excess gleem doesn't look good. So, if possible, opt for a card that isn't glossy.
Star cropping. Don't love your thighs? One kid giving another bunny ears? Repeat after us: Crop-out-what-you-don't-like. You may use either the "cropping" tool available on most photo editing sites—or just choose a card that slices off the offending detail. Circles, in particular (like this one at minted.com) hide all kinds of unwanteds (upper arm fat...a teenage son with his hand down his pants). And imagine all that this design can hide!
To illustrate these tips at work, I've even uploaded my own family holiday card, above. Black and white? Check. Matte finish? Check. A crop that hides the fact that my son dribbled chocolate on his shirt? Check. Happy holidays.