The Giving Season


Disclaimer: I don’t want to freak anybody out with this post. Please note—I am well aware that it is only October. However, I intend on beginning a series on taking great holiday photos for great holiday cards.


Did I just hear a collective gasp? Please catch your breath and let me finish.


I promise that my intention is not to create a pre-holiday frenzy. On the contrary. My only desire is to encourage you to actually enjoy shooting photos for your holiday cards and create something you’ll be proud of and giddy to send out to friends and family. And, one way to start out on the right photo foot is to afford yourself some extra time to play. Yes, play. Isn’t that the greatest word?


I figure we all spend a lot of energy, time and money on sending out our annual holiday cards so we owe it to ourselves to make it a pleasurable experience. If we’re going to do it anyway, we might as well enjoy it, right? Getting started now only makes it that much easier to have fun with it. And beyond that, wouldn’t it be amazing to have your cards done early this year? I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking YES. I just knew you’d come around. A little change of perspective makes all the difference.


Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa…whether you have kids or pets, both or none of the above, you can create totally awe inspiring holiday cards with your photos and enjoy doing it. If there was ever a community that could do it, it’s this one. And since this is a community and we love sharing, I will be asking you to chime in on our conversation during the series with your own thoughts, tips, tricks, and photos (of course).


So, to properly kick off what we are calling the great greetings! series, let me begin by offering you a little something to think about. The holiday season is about giving. So, what if you considered your annual holiday card as a little gift (not an obligation or a chore)? Just imagine, you, as the amazing women, and talented photographers that you are can offer the world a little joy, love, humor, hope, and inspiration via your photographic images and a piece of mail. That’s pretty amazing when you think about it.


So, get ready and we embark on our journey toward creating some holiday magic this season in grand Shutter Sister style.


  1. says

    hmmm. today i noticed an envelope on my bookshelf (dare i say envelopeS), addressed, but never sent, from LAST year – yes – i think i will starting early this year is a fantastic idea, and what better way to be motivated, by making it fun?

  2. Kathleen O. says

    Fabulous! (even though it is NOT even Halloween – gulp) I was just trolling the online stores looking for something different in the way of photo cards…and, duh, perhaps what should be different is my PHOTO! Good to get the wheels turning.

  3. says

    I can’t wait to see what you have to help guide me through this! I swore last year I will not do the hokey family portraits at JCP again. They just really scream 80s family to me anymore. I know I can do better, I just need the practice!

  4. Janine says

    Wonderful! My sister asked me if I would take the pic for her Christmas card. Her kids are 14 and 10 so hopefully it will be an easy one. Can’t wait for your always helpful tips!

  5. says

    I’ve gotten started with all parts of the card, except the photo! I look forward to seeing the creativity flow here…and will certainly check back for inspiration! :)

  6. dr lyn says

    OK — once my breathing returned to normal (as I already feel behind on all my creative projects) — I’m loving this prompt. Every year I make a photo calendar for my mom as a Christmas gift. I know this. I do it Every. Single. Year. And yet, without fail, I am still gluing and photoshopping December 24th while everyone else relaxes by the fire.

    My vow, in writing, here and now: I start earlier this year. Cards, calendar — the whole shebang.

    Thanks, Tracey, for the post!!

  7. says

    I’ve been lurking for a while and now I am compelled to "speak"… I am **so** excited to see what you come up with. This may mean that everyone may get their holiday cards before the end of the holidays!

  8. NotAnna says

    Last year I gave up on Christmas cards permanently and started a new thing: Chinese New Year cards. Gives me at least another month. Year of the Ox starts Jan 26. Now, where can I find a photogenic ox?

  9. says

    love the idea of chinese new year cards ! living in Scotland Hogmanay or New Year is still a really big holiday so for years I did all my cards post christmas. Hand made and kind of exhausted myself. Last year I BOUGHT CARDS ! and the sky didn’t fall in and it was much easier all around. Unless I can find a fabulous image and get them printed by I’m just going to go the easy route !

  10. says

    This is a great idea – finally some purpose for all those shots of tree lights and candles I end up with each Christmas! Thanks for the inspiration:)

  11. says

    I want to start taking better quality pictures like I see in other sites, that the lighting is amazing. Do you suggest a certain camera or lens? I have a baby on the way, and I want to invest as soon as possible.

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