card inspiration from Pinterest

by Carol Swaitkewich

As fall comes to a close and winter starts to make an appearance, that’s when I start to think about my own family Holiday cards and pictures.

Last year wanting something different, but not knowing what, I hit Pinterest to get some inspiration.

When I am looking at Pinterest, or anywhere online really, for an image as inspiration I, of course, am not wanting to copy a picture exactly. If a pinned image strikes me, I ask myself what it is that I love. Is it the light? The pose? The location? The prop? Then I use that “thing” in my own image, in a way that’s me.

In this particular case the thing in the image that struck me was the prop. I knew I wanted to make these for a shoot with my 3 daughters.

card inspiration from Pinterest photo

Following the pin instructions (The only thing this post didn’t mention was how much food colouring to use. I used 20 drops per balloon. Don’t be afraid to use lots) I made these in my kitchen sink and set them outside to freeze over night.

card inspiration from Pinterest photo

I guess I should have looked at the forecast as it didn’t get much below freezing and there was still water come morning. Not giving up I threw them all in my basement deep freeze only losing one in the process. Yes balloons hold A LOT of water ;)

I used a rainbow of colours for the ice balls and those colours in turn became the inspiration for the rest of the shoot.

A colourful container of Christmas ornaments, a trek through my girls closets to find coordinating outfits, and the perfect holiday cards from Michele at Pinkletoes Photography and I was set!

card inspiration from Pinterest photo

All I needed now was more snow!

Two weeks later , a couple of inches of snow on the ground and a day that worked for all of us, I set up my scene… In -25C weather. Yikes!! I’d have to get my girls in and out fast!! Fortunately, being older, they usually take direction really well and we were out of the cold in 15 minutes flat!

card inspiration from Pinterest photo

card inspiration from Pinterest photo

card inspiration from Pinterest photo

card inspiration from Pinterest photo

I was thrilled with the resulting images and my cards!

card inspiration from Pinterest photo

card inspiration from Pinterest photo

card inspiration from Pinterest photo

Now… What should I do next year? Pinterest? Here I come!

card inspiration from Pinterest photoCarol Swaitkewich, Winnipeg
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Carol lives just outside of Winnipeg, MB, Canada with her husband of 14 years and their 3 gorgeous girls – 4 if you count their free spirited (read:crazy) dog Ruby. With a love of babies and photography that goes back decades – her mom used to call her Anne Geddes as a teenager – it is fitting that her favourite subjects are newborns. A lover of coffee and earl grey tea lattes, chocolate and wine…well anything unhealthy actually…she often indulges while her nose is stuck in the latest fiction top seller. Carol’s simple equipment line up includes her Canon 5d mark II, the nifty fifty and the 24-70mmL.

Read all photography tutorials by Carol Swaitkewich.

sponsored giveaway!

card inspiration from Pinterest photo

Want to win a 10×10 Zen Layflat Folio book from today’s sponsor, AsukaBook?  This folio is perfect as an in-studio image display, client add-on, or by itself as a thoughtful gift. The Zen Layflat Folio offers a sleek way to display photo favorites.  The folio is seamless, layflat, and press printed with exceptional quality 6-color printing.

To enter to win, simply comment below by telling us what your favorite Christmas card you’ve ever sent out was.  All comments submitted by next Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at noon EST will be entered into the random drawing to win this great prize from AsukaBook.  Winner will be announced right here on the afternoon of the 19th.

giveaway update!

Congratulations to Twyla who said, “Last year was my son’s first Christmas, and the first Christmas we had even sent out cards! It was just a nice posed family photo of the three of us. I chose an adorable outfit for my son, and then chose accessories that matched some of the subtle colors in his sweater to try and unify us in the photo. It turned out really nice and everyone loved them =)”  I will email you shortly on how to claim your prize!

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27 Responses to “card inspiration from Pinterest”

  1. Jennifer B.
    Nov 12 2013 at 1:33 pm #

    My favorite card ever was last year – The cover had a shot that so clearly demonstrated the love between my 2 and 3 year old – walking, holding hands and talking to each other in their own little world. Love this post though – great ideas!

  2. Jessica
    Nov 12 2013 at 1:46 pm #

    I sent out my sons foot print as a reindeer for a Christmas card. The Grandparents loved it!

  3. Nov 12 2013 at 2:00 pm #

    My favorite card was one my husband and I sent out 3 years ago. It was the first time doing christmas cards and we made the ugliest sweaters you could imagine and did the silliest pose ever. This was the beginning of a new tradition for us. And now we include our son in the silly christmas card photos!

  4. Rachel r
    Nov 12 2013 at 2:19 pm #

    My favorite was the year my second son was born! Cause we knew two kids (and one in heaven) completed our family the picture of the four of us together was by far my fave picture and I used in our cards that Christmas!!

  5. Andrea G.
    Nov 12 2013 at 2:20 pm #

    My favorite was one where my 3 kids were dressed as angels, with 3 separate photos showing their personalities below.

  6. Asheley
    Nov 12 2013 at 3:14 pm #

    Last year’s card was my favorite. I managed a beautiful shot of my 6-month-old with the Christmas light bokeh behind her.

  7. Nov 12 2013 at 3:35 pm #

    A couple years ago, we sent out a really good picture of my husband, oldest son, and me. We just had some amazing photos taken of our family, now including my second boy. I can’t wait to send them out!

  8. Lindsey
    Nov 12 2013 at 3:36 pm #

    My favorite featured a photo of my husband and I (and my baby girl) when we graduated from college! I was so proud of myself and my family for what we accomplished that year!

  9. Nov 12 2013 at 4:10 pm #

    The first year my husband and I got married. I loved having a card from the both of us. :)

  10. Nov 12 2013 at 4:38 pm #

    Great photos! But I think the ice balloons, though cool, weren’t really showcased in the photos. I noticed the ornaments more, and of course, your beautiful girls. Nevertheless, cool idea!

  11. Emily V
    Nov 12 2013 at 6:35 pm #

    My favorite Christmas card was the first card we sent out after our fourth child was born…….I loved getting so show off all my children to our family and friends that live far away. :)

  12. Nov 13 2013 at 7:51 am #

    My fave was last year’s card that had photos from our family travels from the year – including a close encounter with a moose! I originally heard the moose and thought it was a bear and told the kids to get in the car. Now when my son sees the image he recalls my panic and we get a good laugh! Cards with family memories associated are the best!

  13. Lacey B.
    Nov 13 2013 at 8:27 am #

    My favorite Christmas card was the one I sent out last year with our family blowing fake snow. My little one had the most fun throwing that snow around. I am looking forward to this year as it will be our first Christmas as a family of four.

  14. pam
    Nov 13 2013 at 9:17 am #


  15. Nov 13 2013 at 10:05 am #

    Carol, those images are awesome! And such cute girls you have!
    My favorite card would probably be 2 years ago. I put my daughter in her Christmas pjs and let her jump around on my bed with a white comforter over it. Simple, but really fun!

  16. Nov 13 2013 at 10:36 am #

    We haven’t sent them out every year, but we did last year & I think they were my favorite. The pictures were a lot of fun- kids throwing leaves in the air, posed family shots. I really loved Carol’s card!! :)

  17. Nov 13 2013 at 11:21 am #

    My favorite was a brady bunch themed card. We have 3 boys and 3 girls so I did head shots of them and then my husband and I. The front of the card had the usual brady bunch grid on the front and merry christmas in brady bunch style font.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  18. Kim L
    Nov 13 2013 at 9:38 pm #

    A couple years ago, I used a family picture that was snapped when we took a day trip in early December to a local ski hill. The four of us where in our bright ski jackets with rosy cheeks from the days activities. I still smile when I think of that photo.

  19. Amanda Harper
    Nov 14 2013 at 9:22 am #

    Probably the first one we ever sent out. We only had one child then and it was really not the greatest. It was just a great time, just the three of us. We now have 6 daughters and get one great pic of all of us is SUCH a challenge for me.

  20. Amanda C.
    Nov 14 2013 at 11:48 am #

    My favorite Christmas card was the first one we sent out together… we had just gotten engaged and were so excited to send our first “official” Christmas card as a couple. :)

  21. Christine b
    Nov 14 2013 at 3:37 pm #

    The card I sent out last year…just my kids being kids. No posed shots. Loved that! Great post.

  22. Nov 15 2013 at 5:05 pm #

    Great shots! I love this idea! My favorite Christmas card was before we had kids, I had knit two hat with knit reindeer ears and antlers that my husband and I wore. I was happy he’d take the photo with me, he was happy we looked goofy.

  23. kari
    Nov 15 2013 at 6:09 pm #

    It was the year I had my first child!

  24. Twyla
    Nov 17 2013 at 12:16 am #

    Last year was my son’s first Christmas, and the first Christmas we had even sent out cards! It was just a nice posed family photo of the three of us. I chose an adorable outfit for my son, and then chose accessories that matched some of the subtle colors in his sweater to try and unify us in the photo. It turned out really nice and everyone loved them =)

  25. Nov 21 2013 at 4:30 pm #

    What beautiful photos!

  26. Nov 25 2013 at 8:32 am #

    Are you kidding, Carol? These are SO adorable! Love all the little pops of color!

  27. Novella
    Dec 08 2013 at 9:59 am #

    Thanks Carol for the great idea. It’s definitely cold enough here in Winnipeg for this project!
    Your photos are beautiful – love the smiles!

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