This is prime photo-taking season thanks to those outdoor gatherings, vacation activities, and summertime smiles and tans. Many people choose a favorite summer photo for their personalized Christmas cards, so remember to keep your camera handy for these remaining summer weeks.
If your memory card is getting full, upload some of your summer snapshots to one of the many Internet sites available to store and share your photos with family and friends. Facebook aside, here are some of our favorites.
Flickr by Yahoo: Free account users can upload 300 megabytes of photos and two video clips per month. Or buy a Pro account membership for $24.95 per year which allows unlimited photo and video uploads.
Picasa by Google: Automatically stores photos shot on an Android cellphone and offers impressive photo editing features. This service is free for 1 gigabyte of photos (which is approximately 300 photos), $2.49 per month for 25 gigabytes or $4.99 a month for 100 gigabytes of memory.
Snapfish by Hewlett-Packard: Provides unlimited photo storage capacity, but all visitors must sign-up for a free Snapfish account before they can view photos posted by others. The storage service is free of charge but charges for orders of photo prints and album books.
1000memories: The tagline for this free site is ‘a new shoebox for your old photos’ as its companion free app for Apple and Android phones allows users to scan old photos and upload them to the site for storage and communal viewing.
We still have many beach days and barbecues left this summer, so remember to always bring your camera along so you have many choices for your Christmas cards with photos this year. The talented LookLoveSend design team is busy creating spectacular holiday cards, so start browsing anytime for a great selection this holiday season.
While we’re on the subject of photography, let’s break for a moment from our favorite subject (weddings) to our other favorite subject–kids–ours and yours. To take advantage of summer’s bevy of photo ops, have your camera at the ready. With the potential for getting some great shots this summer that will become favorites worthy of a frame or this year’s photo Christmas cards, make it count when you click and snap that camera. In a pinch, smart phones can get the job done, as long as you upload the largest file size possible to ensure quality.
Don’t be shy…ZOOM in!
Chances are your favorite picture will end up being a close-up of faces. No matter how good or bad your zoom lens, just step in to get close to your kids. This tactic also ensures no one will even notice what they’re wearing, so don’t sweat the whole outfit thing. Leave the seasonal surroundings for when you create Christmas cards online later on, and your summer shots will make terrific candidates for family photo Christmas cards.
Flash outside, natural light inside.
You can use the flash outside to reduce shadows on faces. In fact, the pros are more apt to use a flash outdoors than inside, where they will work with natural light whenever possible. Override your auto setting and turn the flash on next time you are outdoors and see what happens.
Be click happy.
Live the moment rather than staging one. Let your camera run and try not to keep checking your LCD display when something good is going on. Remember that today’s digital cameras won’t run out of film! The most you’ll have to do is DELETE what you don’t want to keep…later.
Crouch, kneel, lie. Do whatever you need to do in order to get eye level and avoid the through-the-peephole distortion that happens when shooting from above. Plus, kids will respond more naturally, just as they do when an adult gets down to their level to speak with them.
Create Photo Christmas Cards from Summertime Memories
With so many original holiday card designs to choose from at www.LookLoveSend.com, you’ll find plenty of options to turn your summertime memories into fabulous photo Christmas cards that family and friends will treasure. All of our personalized holiday cards print on premium quality paper, whether you choose a smooth matte or gloss finish.. Print on the backside of a flat-type card, or upgrade to a fold-over card for including a letter or additional photos. We’ll make it easy to shop, personalize and order your family photo Christmas cards with us!
We’ve already warned you about extending a wedding invitation to a known Uncle Bob, but what about the all those other wedding guests who bringing along their iPhones, compact cameras and handheld camcorders? Everyone has a few Facebook friends who feel that they need to photograph and post everything they do in order to feel like it really happened. But think for a minute about the bride and groom who’ve just said their vows and turn to see their closest friends and families – all looking at them through a lens.
While many churches have no camera policies, it is not uncommon for couples getting married in non-traditional locations to also ask guests to turn off their devices, at least during the ceremony itself. From the perspective of the bride and groom, it may be difficult to connect with guests when they can’t even see them through electronic devices held to their faces. And from the perspective of the wedding guest, sharing the celebration through a viewfinder really could diminish the moment as part of that guest’s focus inevitably shifts to focusing and operating the camera or camcorder.
So if you feel strongly about having an ‘unplugged’ wedding and the full attention of your guests, what is the best way to make your request? Either post a sign that is clearly visible or add a note in your wedding program of events; a simple request is all it takes:
The bride and groom have asked that you share their wedding fully and not through the lens of a camera or cell phone.
We suspect the unplugged wedding will become more commonplace as couples strive to connect more with their guests. And a perfect way to thank unplugged guests is via a photo wedding thank you card, featuring a favorite pose from your professional wedding photographer. For stylish wedding stationery elements including wedding invitations, programs, and thank you cards, shop the growing selection of designs at LookLoveSend.com. And enter our monthly sweepstakes for a chance to win $500 off your wedding stationery order with us!
If you are a wedding photographer, you know exactly who ‘Uncle Bob’ is. Just google it. Uncle Bob is the guest who receives a wedding invitation and owns an expensive camera, so he attends the event and designates himself as the non-professional who is going to take fantastic photos to gift the couple. Uncle Bob is usually just 2 steps behind the official wedding photographer, waiting until the professional sets up the perfect pose and then moving in to snap his own version of that coveted shot.
Professional photographers and many couples themselves do not like Uncle Bob at the wedding. Here’s why.
- It is plain impolite to interfere with a paid professional hired to provide any service on someone’s special day. It’s like bringing your own music selection to compete with the DJ, or pouring wine despite the presence of a bartender. It’s just plain rude.
- No couple wants the integrity of what they are buying to be compromised (or potentially compromised) by a non-professional wannabe.
- During key moments of the ceremony and reception (processional, vows, first dance…) it can be distracting enough to have one photographer buzzing in the background right behind the couple, let alone two.
- When Uncle Bob capitalizes on a pose setup by the official photographer, the photo subjects may have to smile once for Uncle Bob and then again for the photographer – instead of just once. Also, eye contact may be directed towards the non-professional camera, thus ruining the professional (paid for) shot. Highly annoying.
So if you enjoy taking photos and receive a wedding invitation anytime soon, please be considerate. If you really want to bring your camera along, introduce yourself to the paid professional to get agreement on how you might take photos without interfering, or focus on candid shots rather than duplicating his official posed portraits. Just don’t be an Uncle Bob!
Some peculiar features of today’s wedding invitations are actually remnants of the way life was a century or more ago. Some of these features can seem peculiar if you think too much about them, standing strong while the reasons for them have faded. Knowing more about their origins can help you decide for yourself how important they are for creating your unique wedding invitation.
Here is a bit of insider history behind three wedding invitation features we learned from expert event planner Mindy Weiss in her wedding planning tome, The Wedding Book:
Calligraphy and Elaborate Fonts
Why are so many people drawn to fancy font styles for their wedding invitations? Why is hand calligraphy still the standard for addressing envelopes in the age of computer labels? Besides the fact that weddings continue to be one of our most traditional and formal occasions, the explanation of these formalities is that penmanship (and literacy in general) historically was the domain of the clergy. Monks were the go-to authors of wedding invitations, commissioned the upper class who could afford their skills. Today, their influence lives on in typeface styles such as Antique Roman and Fancy Gothic, to name a few.
The Inner Envelope
The sending of letters in the 1800s was not the postal service as we know it today. The dirt and grime of unpaved streets and contact with so many hands made preserving the clean invitation envelope possible only by using another outer envelope. The inner envelope was protected, and therefore required no mailing address or sealing. Today’s invitations do not require this elaborate assembly, though the inner envelope may have usefulness as a way to invite individual family members such as children.
Oil-based ink that was used exclusively in early engraved printing took much longer to dry than today’s water-based inks. Placing a slip of tissue paper on top of the printing prevented smearing. It was one of those things people liked the look of and continued. With our modern sensibilities toward wastefulness, however, using tissue paper isn’t necessary. In fact, points out Ms. Weiss, tissue paper may look more like an anachronism.
Find a huge selection of fabulous, unique wedding invitations at www.LookLoveSend.com. When you are ready to create your own wedding invitations, our designs can be personalized with your choice of fonts that have been thoughtfully selected for the design. Tissue paper and inner envelopes notwithstanding, our wedding invitations have all the high quality details you want for a stylish wedding day. Enter our Wedding Invitation Sweepstakes today for the chance to win $500 towards your choice of a wedding invitation suite.
Ever get turned down by someone whom you asked to be your bridesmaid? Did one of your bridesmaids continually demean your dress choice or hairstyle? Didn’t stop hearing about how her name should have been on the wedding shower invitations since she covered for a lousy Maid of Honor?
Most of who’ve been bridesmaid, bride, maid of honor, and in any order thereof, have experienced a few bumps in the road. We’ve identified three scenarios that easily lead to some drama. There are many more examples, so we’d love to hear about how you handled your bridesmaid dramas.
DRAMA CASE 1: She Gets Engaged
Losing focus on helping you (the bride) or constantly comparing her own wedding planning choices to yours are potential points of contention in this case. Make sure she’s still interested in seeing you through your special day as a bridesmaid–it doesn’t hurt to ask. Engaged bridesmaids can be the best bridesmaids since they’ll be asking the same of you!
DRAMA CASE 2: She Covets the Maid Of Honor Title
Coveting the title more than the responsibility is definitely a red flag. It’s easier to handle if it’s obvious that your sister or other special family member is your MOH, but even then you still might need a sit-down chat. Start the conversation by expressing your delight and gratitude that she is going to stand next to you at the alter on your special day. State simply that’s you’ve chosen your MOH for reasons that matter to you. If she (bridesmaid) feels under appreciated, you can offer another special role doing something she likes. Just ask her what she would like to do!
DRAMA CASE 3: Penny-pincher!
Name calling isn’t fair, since we all know the expense of being a bridesmaid. But those of us who’ve been on both sides of the alter know communication with a fair dose of generosity is the right mix. First express how meaningful it is to you and your friendship that she play this role in your special day, while also acknowledging the associated expense. Make sure you are sensitive to varying financial situations. Give your bridesmaids choices so they feel some control over the costs, such making wedding day salon services optional, offering to cover alterations, or gifting accessories you’d like them to wear.
In the meantime, send your hosting bridesmaids or Maid of Honor to www.LookLoveSend.com for fabulously original and stylish wedding shower invitations. All our wedding shower invitations are printed on the same beautiful, premium quality papers as our unique wedding invitations. You can also coordinate your shower invites with a wedding invitation design. With your approval, orders ship the next business day.
Bachelor party season is in full swing. We’ve already shared some tips on planning the right type of party for the groom and the best timing for the event, but going beyond the details written on the bachelor party invitation – here are some logistical tips to make the event itself go as smoothly as possible. As told to ‘You and Your Wedding’ magazine, Jonathan Thompson shares tips from the 20+ bachelor parties he has survived.
- Control the Number: Keep the crowd to less than 12 to avoid over-complications for restaurant reservations and keeping track of all guests as the night wears on. If you are planning an elaborate event, have another informal get-together at a local bar to give those less immediate friends and family members a chance to celebrate the groom together.
- Budget Carefully: Plan on a rough target budget per guest and stick to it. Be mindful of your guests’ budgets.
- Create a Competitive Vibe: Men are innately competitive so harness that spirit by dividing into groups if possible. Whether it’s a round of golf, a scavenger hunt, or paintball game – the element of competition always adds excitement and interest.
- Designate someone to handle the money: Ask guests to chip into a central pool of money used for cover charges, drink rounds and other incidentals. This will ensure spending fairness and eliminate the need for math calculations when faced with a huge bill at the end of the night.
- Make Introductions early: There are bound to be guests who don’t know each other so introduce everyone early on to get the party started on the right foot.
If you’re planning a stand-out bachelor party, spring for designer party invitations online to set the tone for your event. LookLoveSend has a small but quality collection of easily customizable designs, available in quantities as low as 10 and always with next day business shipping.
What do the owl, chevron stripes and gunmetal gray have in common? Not much, except that they’re printed on everything everywhere these days. This trend-setting trifecta of icon, pattern and color are still so hot right now in the fashion, decor and print world that it’s hard to imagine them disappearing anytime soon.
The Wise Old Owl Gets a Makeover
Owl Baby by Genevieve Gail
Owl Baby Shower Invite
The vintage, homespun owl from the seventies has been remade into an adorable, attractive little critter pal. Designers don’t expect to see the 2012 owl craze die down anytime soon. The updated version of the wise old owl is especially popular on children and baby items. Less sage and wise and more cute and cuddly, with expressive round eyes, today’s owl is a perfect partner for baby and kids. He/she is also a safe gender-neutral critter to welcome baby and appears on everything from baby shower invitations to nursery bedding and decor, baby books, photo albums and baby announcement cards.
Response Card from the Indian Summer wedding invitation suite by Dianne Kappa
Chevron Runs Deep
The sophisticated, modern lines of chevron stripes have energy and pizazz. They are appealing on a versatile collection of items from clothing to pillows to stationery. Designers cite this pattern’s origins lie in ancient pottery, but it’s also a variation on the flame-stitching by early American artisans that later evolved later into traditional and Colonial American upholstery. The Chevron of 2012 is often seen in a bright, bold color. It may seem a tad overused in some spaces, (hint: feel dizzy?), so we like it’s limited use as an accent piece, as seen here on LookLoveSend’s wedding response card from the Indian Summer wedding invitation suite.
Gray Marries Bright Warm Colors
We’ve noted that Tangerine Tango is indeed the “it” color of 2012, but yellow has followed closely. Both colors appear everywhere in design, and have taken a noticeable liking to being paired with a warm hue of gray. Yellow and gray weddings in particular are especially popular, marrying cool sophistication (gray) with lively energy (yellow). Each alone on its own isn’t as good as the two together–how appropriate!
You’ll find all these popular style trends available to you in the personalized stationery at www.LookLoveSend.com. Our designers their own bring unique perspectives to these latest trends to create pieces that are one-of-a-kind. Next time you’re shopping for baby shower invitation online or if you need to create your own wedding invitations, visit us for stylish quality.
Ice Cream! As much of the U.S. continues its record heat wave temps, we reach for the cold stuff to help us beat the heat. Last weekend my family spent almost 20 minutes waiting in line for mint choc chip cones… and the line was even longer when we left! Summer means ice cream for many of us, so if you are planning a special celebration this summer – be sure to include this sweet treat.
'Sweet Treats Childrens Birthday Invite' by Eliza DeVogel
Hosting a child’s birthday party this summer? Most kids absolutely LOVE creating their own sundaes and it can’t get much easier to setup a production line of ice cream flavors, sauces, whipped cream and candy toppings. Create birthday invitations online and set the mood with this vintage-inspired birthday party invitation available in blue, green or pink (we just love the cupcake and ice cream cone smiley faces!)
For a more sophisticated ice cream touch, consider making an ice cream cake; it’s surprisingly easy to do, looks impressive, and can be customized for the occasion. This neapolitan ice cream cake recipe from domestic diva Martha Stewart contains very few ingredients, is quick to prepare, and eliminates the need to fire up the stove in this summer heat.
Even if you don’t have a summer birthday celebration coming up, indulge in a few scoops this weekend because July is National Ice Cream month and the third Sunday of the month is National Ice Cream Day. Happy Scooping!
For summer-inspired stationery such as birthday party invitations, thank you cards, and wedding stationery, checkout the growing selection of designs at LookLoveSend.com. We offer order quantities as low as 10 and all cards ship the next business day following your order.
Is it odd that I should find myself thinking about the holidays in the middle of summer? I find thoughts about the upcoming season seep in during weekend getaways or when I’m at the beach. Something about having a little extra time and getting outside my everyday environment gets the day-dreaming going, aided by magazines with way too much eye candy for my home and wardrobe. I deal with this by relegating all the things I would like to put in my house or on my kids onto my imaginary Christmas list.
I also think taking so many terrific photos of my family during the summer has something to do with it. Occasionally I’m even pleased enough by a photo of all of us to consider using it in our personalized holiday cards. But one challenge always seems to be how these vividly colored summertime photos feel out of place later in the year when viewed in the light of…well, gray and cold.
Color Options in Personalized Holiday Cards
Color is, as always, the key. With seaside pictures in shades of blue and gold, lake pictures of deep green and blackish blue, and kids dressed in the sherbert colors of summer, how can I use these wonderful photographic memories in seasonal holiday card designs?
Snow Beads by Sneha Sheth
Christmas Fonts Frame by Lauren Poole
Single Snowflake by Linda Facci
|Using a Black-and-White photo
||Evolving holiday colors
||Photo-less (or tucked inside)
Black and White Photos
For starters, black and white photos are a clever way to turn a seasonal picture into a timeless one. The contrast of black and white works so well with any card design, but especially when put against the rich reds and greens typically associated with holiday and Christmas cards. As we’ve noted before, black and white tends to draw attention to faces and expressions and works beautifully for personalized holiday cards.
Evolving Color Choices
Second, colors in today’s photo holiday cards have evolved way beyond red and green, or the more neutral holiday silver, gold and blue. Earth tones like brown, or multiple shades of greens, reds give way to magenta, these are all great options that breathe new life into the traditional red and green Christmas card of yesteryear.
Photo-less Card Designs
You can still include a favorite photo without incorporating it into the holiday card design. There is no rule that says your personalized holiday cards have to have a photo of your family. In fact, some of the most striking designs come without a photo, giving you the option to include it inside the card or not. Going this route also lets you control who gets which photo, which may be especially helpful if you make holiday cards for different groups of people on your list.
You’ll find a huge selection of holiday cards you can personalize with or without a photo at www.looklovesend.com. Our cards print on premium weight card stock on your choice of a matte or photo-gloss finish. Choose a flat card or folded card to print additional photos or include more text. Coordinating envelopes can be pre-addressed for an additional charge.