our family Christmas cards, part 1

This year we’re officially sending out Christmas cards, using minted.com.
So last Saturday we headed out to take family pics.

I was going to set the camera on a tripod and hope for the best.  But then some friends asked if we wanted to photo swap….they’ll take our pic, I’ll take theirs.  Perfect.  And it totally fit with the vibe I wanted: casual, normal, just “us”.

I pulled together some bright colors and was happy that everything came from our closets!  The only item I purchased was the yellow/gray cardigan for Owen (he grows faster than I can sew and shop).

We met our friends in the afternoon and quickly location scouted the area….with 8 kids, under the age of 8.  I love dads and babies.

Then we pulled out the props, positioned bodies and repositioned,

And snap!  We got a photo! or two or ten.
Some with Owen squinting.

And some with Clara grabbing.

Eventually we landed on a winner.  Everyone is fairly normal.

Now time to pick out a card.
This is my first time using minted.com and I’m impressed with the holiday selection.  So many cute designs!  And I really love the options for the back of the card.  I know, it’s just the back…but isn’t it fun to flip it over for a little surprise?

I uploaded our photo and was able to browse all the cards with our photo inserted.  Super helpful.  And actually….it’s something I should have thought of before taking our family photo so I could think about the photo framing a little better.

The shot we selected is horizontal and doesn’t fit well in the vertical cards.  So I added a white box behind the photo and we’re set.

Now I just need to pick a card!  How am I ever going to decide?  I leaning toward Merry Merry.
I’ll let you know when the cards are done!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

And if you haven’t joined already, I’m hosting #happyholigram on instagram (find me @danamadeit).  It’s a little way for all of us to share our merry, festive, holiday photos with each other.  Just tag your photo with #happyholigram.  And every day or so I share a round up of my favorite photos in my feed!


  1. 1) Kendra

    I love how natural and non-Christmasy the picture is. It seems very “you” 🙂

  2. I’ve just ordered our Minted cards this morning. So curious to see the results next week 🙂

  3. 3) Carina Garcia

    Your family is so beautiful!
    I love the pictures!
    Kisses …

  4. 4) Hayley

    Never heard of minted.com, but their cards look cute! We used cardstore.com and got a wicked awesome discount! Yes, wicked awesome! And they are actually cute!!

  5. Love your pictures and the fun colors and the photo swap. We tried with a tripod (which worked last year but not so much this year) but got my sister to press the button on our camera and I liked them better. It’s great to be able to see your picture in all the different layouts.

  6. 6) neisha

    great family photos!!

  7. How cute!! I love the picture you guys picked. I wound up just designing my own card this year (instead of plugging it in) and ordering from vistaprint. They were doing an awesome deal – 50 for $15, with shipping, envelopes and a color back all included. LOVE.

  8. 10) Leigh Anne

    Your pics turned out sooo cute! I love the photo swap idea 🙂
    And the colors & style look just like you!

  9. Very very cute! We did a photo swap with my sister’s family once and it turned out really great…should do that again! 🙂

  10. Don’t feel bad about not browsing the cards beforehand! I did that when I was expecting my son and it totally caused “writer’s block” for me and my camera! I fell in love with one design for an announcement – all I needed was a vertical picture and I’d be done. I’ve taken thousands of baby pictures, but for the life of me, I could not get a great vertical shot of my own son! Finally I just decided to do a mini-shoot and see what I could come up with. Although I shot a few verticals, most of the pictures I took, and the ones I really liked were all horizontals. I picked one I loved and designed an announcement around the photo (http://rustsunshine.blogspot.com/2010/09/announcing.html), and I’ve been doing it that way (picture first, design second) ever since!
    Your photo looks great though…and if you cloned the wall above your heads you could easily turn it into a vertical shot. More room for Merry Merry too. 😉

  11. How fun! I love the casual “just you” vibe.. that’s what I really like in photos!

  12. Love Minted.com (although they are a bit pricey). They also have a good selection of cards from different cultures which is super nice!

  13. Very sweet!!! I’m too loyal to Shutterfly but I’m sure I would save money switching over to something else! lol!

  14. Nice picture!
    I usually just use the timer, we actually get great pictures with it. I think it’s because the kids think it’s funny to see me running back and forth and then everyone is trying to anticipate when the camera will go off, so we all end up looking excited in the pic.

  15. 19) Laura * Suman

    Love Lucy’s pigtails. Really cute. Can’t wait to see what you decided!

  16. They are fab. Wish I’d thought to do personal Christmas cards. x

  17. Hey dana, gorgeous pics as always and a very beautiful family. I love shooting the annual christmas card, it’s such a lot of fun.

  18. I love de pics! Beautiful colours and so joyful. Nice!

  19. 23) Cassidy

    Wait…is that the Stakers? Kind of looks like it. If so, we know them from HI. If not, they have some doppelgangers.

    • 24) Dana

      haha. yes! That’s them! Good eye!
      I grew up with Heather in Southern Calif. And now they live here in Austin.
      small world 🙂

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