Wondering which printing service to use for your photo Christmas cards this year? I've just reviewed 3 popular printing websites - Minted, Optimalprint and Vistaprint - to help you decide which one is best for you and your budget!
(Pssst! Scroll to the bottom of the post for a quick side-by-side comparison!)
You coordinated the cutest outfits. You spent a Saturday morning at the tree farm with the photographer or perhaps had a fabulous indoor shoot with the 'big guy' himself! Now it's time to share all those beautiful images with your family and friends!
Clients and friends have often asked me which site I use to order my own family Christmas cards and to be honest, I've used a few different ones in the past. I've never sat down to do a side-by-side comparison - UNTIL NOW!
This year I designed similar Christmas cards on three different printing service websites to compare the features, options and pricing for each. Here's are the results:
1. Vistaprint (www.vistaprint.ca)
If you're looking for the best value for your dollar when it comes to personal Christmas greeting cards, Vistaprint is the way to go. For starters, products are printed and shipped from Windsor, Ontario which means no surprise duties and quicker delivery! Cards can start as low as $1.07 (based on an order of 150 cards) The more cards you order, the lower the unit price. Standard white envelops are included for a $1.00 regardless of how many cards you are ordering.
Vistaprint's site offers over 1000 Christmas designs with an option to filter down by number of photos, card size, card type (folded or flat), orientation, embossing, themes - this makes finding the perfect design super easy. And for the super-creative, Vistaprint offers users the ability to upload or design their own card (tweaking a pre-existing design is also easy to do!)
When it comes to adding your own greeting, the site offers about 150 different fonts. Another great feature of Vistaprint holiday cards is the ability to customize the inside or reverse side of your cards with photos and text at no extra cost - perfect for those of you who like to include more photos or a little update about the family. This bonus feature is almost like getting two cards in one!
Christmas card designed on Vistaprint.ca
The single largest disadvantage to using Minted is the price. Cards are produced and shipped from the U.S. (shipping starts at $15.00 USD) and all prices are in American dollars. And personally, I didn't like to see Minted's logo printed on each card.
Christmas card designed on Minted.com
3. Optimalprint (www.optimalprint.ca)
If you want no-fuss Christmas cards as quickly as possible, Optimalprint is the way to go!
Optimalprint has over 500 designs available but if nothing really grabs your attention, you can upload your own design! Just like Vistaprint, each design includes text and/or photos on the inside or reverse side of the card. Cards are priced as low as $1.30 (based on an order of 150 cards) but unlike Vistaprint, envelopes will cost an additional $0.25 each.
Optimalprint is based out of Norway but products are printed and shipped locally and fast (at the time of writing, my cards could arrive in as little as 2 days). Optimalprint also boasts strong customer service with a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee.
Christmas card designed on Optimalprint.ca
To make things super easy for you guys, here's a side-by-side comparison of each site:
Do you have a site you like to use for creating your Christmas cards? Tell me about it! I would also LOVE to know if this review was any help to you. Leave a comment or send me a message!
Happy Holiday card designing!
Don't forget these 5 essential things to make the most of your family photoshoot!
Your kids are adorable. You wish you could stop the hands of time just to soak up all that cuteness! So you book your favourite photographer to capture these beautiful family moments so you'll be able to look back on them forever!
And somedays your kids are all sorts of wrong! It feels like a goat rodeo and you're counting down the hours until bedtime and a glass of wine. So how do you make sure the stars are perfectly aligned for the day of your shoot and your children are perfect angels and you leave the devil-spawn kids at home?
This may seem super obvious but it's such a big one! We all know, kids do best when they get enough sleep. Plan your shoot for a day and time that works best for kids' schedule. Photographers LOVE their golden hour shoots - that sparkly, magical time right before sunset. During the summer months that's right around 8pm - also known in most parenting circles as the witching hour! If your kids tend to turn into little monsters as the sun goes down, this is NOT the best time to schedule your family photoshoot.
But did you know that a lot of photographers offer sunrise shoots as well? If your kids are little perky balls of sunshine at 6am this could be the perfect time to schedule your shoot!
Rest is also key for older kids (ahem, and adults) which means not over-scheduling the day before or the day of your photoshoot.
And since everyone is going to be busy getting dressed and ready, keep it simple. Today is not the day to introduce Brussel sprouts! Find something that works for your kids that you know they'll eat and will fill their tummies. My kids LOVE banana-peanut butter sandwiches (known as Elvis Presley sandwiches at our house - hold the pickles!) It's a quick and easy snack and with a side of milk, hits all the major food groups.
Littler ones are probably going to need some snacks to keep them happy during the shoot. My best advice for this is something like Cheerios. They don't make a mess, they're easy for little hands to eat and most importantly, they won't leave traces of food on your child's face.
*A final note on food*
I know how tempting it can be, but please don't bribe your kids with candy or chocolate during the photoshoot. It's totally ok (and applauded!) for rewarding them with a treat when it's all over but waving a Timbit around to get them to smile or look at the camera is distracting and can often make things harder for the photographer.
No amount of Photoshop is going to put hands back on your kids' arms!
3. Dress for the weather
I have a whole post dedicated to what to wear for your family photoshoot. You can check that out here. But I'm going to reiterate the importance of dressing for the weather - especially when that weather is on the colder side. Even if you do not want to wear them in the photographs, please have hats and mitts for everyone in your family, regardless of age, if the weather is even just a bit chilly. Oftentimes, it will take a few minutes to walk to your first shoot location and in that short time noses can start to drip and cheeks can turn red from the cold.
Adults can do a fairly good job at not letting the cold bother them but kids? FORGET IT! They get a grimace on their face and take on that awkward stance of pulling their shoulders up to their ears and tucking their hands inside their sleeves. And let me tell you, no amount of Photoshop is going to put hands back on your kids' arms!
Even in summer and fall when it's fairly mild, temperatures can drop quickly as the sun starts to set and an extra sweater can really come in handy to keep everyone warm and happy.
4. Bring ALL the things
Okay, not ALL the things but here's a quick list of what to bring along depending on your children's ages: