The Secret To Great Holiday Cards

The no-fail secret to creating holiday cards that perfectly represent your life.
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Amanda Carter Gomes
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The no-fail secret to creating holiday cards that perfectly represent your life.
Image Credit: Jenny Jimenez

Image Credit: Jenny Jimenez

Growing up we were not a family who dressed up and headed out for an annual family portrait, nor did we display a lot of photos around the house. Captured moments were mostly left to small, framed photos conservatively displayed on dressers in bedrooms and perhaps one or two extras were shared for posterity during the holidays. I never found this practice to be good or bad, but do recall poring over gallery hallway displays at friends’ homes and spending hours flipping through photo albums at my grandmother’s house in both curiosity and envy.

Image Credit: Jenny Jimenez

Image Credit: Jenny Jimenez

Fast forward to my adult life. Until a few weeks ago you could not find a framed image of my own family in my home. Family portraits were something I had unconsciously avoided and unbeknownst to me, I had fallen into the same pattern as my parents. But as the holidays approached and cards needed to be ordered, I realized that I wanted not just a current photo of my children to share with our friends and loved ones — I wanted a current photo of our family.

Image Credit: Jenny Jimenez

Image Credit: Jenny Jimenez

I reached out to a friend whose photography skills I had long admired, and replying she sent me an introduction message that outlines how she approaches her work:

"My aim is to capture true expressions, personalities and how you naturally interact with each other. Often, these moments are found during your normal daily activities or rituals (meals, bedtime, bath-time, back-yard playing, story-time, etc.) so I prefer to start in your home. It's the place where you're most comfortable, you have everything you need and the images speak to where you are at this time in your lives."

Image Credit: Jenny Jimenez

Image Credit: Jenny Jimenez

It turns out it that I had not been opposed to displaying family photos, but rather I had yet to discover someone who could accurately capture my tribe: the beauty, the messy, the mundane and all the love in between. This one paragraph perfectly summed up what I never knew I was looking for, but, turns out, what I had always craved: "images that speak to where you are at this time in your lives." 

I booked a session and in doing so discovered the simple secrets to success in the way of holiday cards: a photographer you love who takes photos that reflect your life, and a selection of cards that reflect your style! We always trust Shutterfly for all of our specialty card needs (holiday or otherwise). 

For the first time I have images of us all (that I love) to feature in cards (that I love). Now, all that's left to do is narrow down the selection... and finally start a gallery wall of my own! 

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