I love holiday themed photos for my kids and family as much as anyone (I’ll even admit here that I love them for my pets too!), but I think we all tend to forget to consider using photos from other sessions throughout the year for holiday cards and gifts.

This year I used photos from my March session in my holiday card and I was thrilled with the result so I thought I’d share them here on my blog and hopefully inspire some new holiday card and gift ideas for you as well.

Aren’t the photos great? My kids were all such great sports to go along with my last minute idea for updated family photos in the snow. As the children of a photographer the novelty of a session has definitely worn off for them so I appreciated them going along with it.  The snow on the ground was a beautiful touch and also not something usually possible for holiday photos. Holiday themed photos need to be taken in October or November before the snow comes along in order to have cards and gifts ready in time for gifting.

Photos with snow on the ground aren’t a necessity either when designing your family’s holiday cards or making photo gifts. This was not the first time I’ve used photos from non-holiday sessions in my holiday cards, calendars, photo mugs, prints, and ornaments. There isn’t a session location or time of year I wouldn’t include in my cards and photo gifts.

Why use non-holiday themed photos in your holiday cards?

Warmer weather

If your children are on the young side or are sensitive to the cold, choosing a session for your family between June to September is likely to be your best option. Young children and babies aren’t the best at hiding when they’re not feeling comfortable and warm so if you’d like smiling faces in your holiday cards and the cold tends to lead to frowns you’re better off using Spring and Summer photos in your card designs.

Better print quality

“Huh?” you might be thinking”, but it’s true; the time of year can affect the quality of cards and print products. Retailers tend to be swamped with print and card orders in the lead up to the holiday season and they are typically printed in high volume batches. With much more demand and less time for quality control and calibration of the printing equipment the colours in your prints and cards are less likely to be accurate when you order them at the busiest time of year.

Healthier times

Now more than ever before we are all affected by the inconveniences of illness, even minor colds can foil our plans and schedules. In our area the worst of the cold and flu season always seems to hit us during the Fall months when holiday sessions are in full swing. If you’re keen to avoid the risk of having to cancel your session at the last minute when illness strikes, a session at another time of year might be a better option as the need to postpone due to illness is much less common at all other times of the year.

Stand out from the card-crowd

If you’re looking for something a bit different this upcoming year for your holiday cards and wall art or would like a change, why not pick a session from a different time of year and use the images on your holiday cards and gifts? The possibilities are endless and I’d love to see what everyone can come up with or how they use their different photos. I promise not to judge if your family shows up at the beach this Summer for a session wearing Santa hats, I’ll know exactly what you have in mind and might even break into Christmas carols in the sand! I’d also love to see a card this year from my clients using family photos in the gardens with pretty flowers or amongst the blossoming trees. Think of how nice it would be in the Winter to have a reminder of warmer times and beautiful Spring flowers and share that with your family and friends through gifts and cards.

Avoid the rush

For many of us life starts to speed up in October and doesn’t really settle down until the New Year. By having your family photos taken earlier in the year you will be ahead of the rush and so much more relaxed when you place your card and print orders. Shipping times are the slowest in the lead up to the holidays so you need to be fast to make sure everything reaches your friends and family in time. Remembering the chaos in the lead up to the holidays every year and checking one thing off your holiday to-do list will leave you with more time to relax and enjoy the holiday season with your family.

Why not book a session and order your cards and gifts early this year?  Your November-self will thank you!

Upcoming sessions can be seen here. Have an idea you’d like to see come alive? Email us here.