There are two types of people when it comes to holiday cards: There are those who have their professional photoshoots scheduled and done before Halloween, cards printed and in the mail as soon as Thanksgiving passes, arriving in mailboxes promptly on December 1. And then there are those who happen to look at the calendar and realize, oh, crap, it’s December 8—do I even still have time to send out a card this year? (Like, ahem, yours truly.) Well, good news card procrastinators! The answer is yes, you can still get a holiday card out—and an awesome one at that. We’ve got the secret to easy, fast, and inexpensive holiday cards that still look like they were done by the pros—and all it takes is an iPhone. Grab your phones, some festive sweaters, and get to work!
First things first, set up the shot.
If you’ve got an iPhone 7 Plus, take advantage of Portrait mode (trust)—it creates professional-looking shots sans pricey photographer. Portrait mode will keep the subjects in your photo sharp and clear with a beautifully blurred background (something you could previously only do with a DSLR). All you have to do is open your camera, select Portrait, and follow the prompts (it will let you know if you need more light, distance, etc.)
Even if you don’t have a 7 Plus (or know someone who does), you can still get a great pic. Achieve perfect lighting by tapping and holding anywhere on the screen to lock AE/AF, and then slide your finger up or down to adjust the exposure. Or, make use of the FaceTime HD camera and snap a family selfie.
Now, time for editing.
Even gorgeous photos could use a little editing help—and there’s an app (actually, a bunch of apps) for that. For a free editing app, check out VSCO. Others, including ProCamera, Camera +, and Enlight, will cost you—but not much ($2.99 to $3.99)—and come with an array of easy-to-use editing features and filters. If you’re looking to create a collage of pics, use Moldiv.
Last but not least, make those cards.
There are also several apps that let you make your holiday cards straight from your phone. Here are a few favorites (and the deadlines you need to know to get them in time):
See? Holiday cards can be as easy as 1,2,3.