Holiday hellos


Lots of options for getting the greeting card right

Photo courtesy of Jill Norton  This image was used on a holiday greeting card produced by photograper Jill Norton of Evanston.


With each holiday season comes the chance to send a family greeting card that illustrates the obvious: your children are getting cuter every year. To get the picture right, retailers and photographers from Chicago to cyberspace offer all sorts of options for a festive card.

Many photographers offer a holiday card option. Jill Norton of Evanston customizes greeting cards with a photograph of your child shot in a setting familiar to the family, such as a playground. "I try to capture the personalities of the kids," says Norton, "whether they are being shy or having a temper tantrum." Norton sells a 150-card package for $300 for families who want to bypass her more expensive portrait session and create a single photo for a greeting card.

But home-shot portraits can also make a memorable card at a reasonable price. David and Laurie Hayball, authors of How to Photograph Your Baby's First Year, advise parents to select a theme or color scheme for the picture, such as wearing red outdoors among green pine trees.

The Hayballs also note that natural light outdoors or in a room with lots of windows is much more flattering than a camera flash. On the day of the shoot, recruit a helper to entertain the kids and try different angles and poses to capture the children's best grins, the Hayballs recommend.

Motophoto sells the popular slimline cards and folded cards for $1.79 each. Pick from more than 50 templates to customize your card, or pay $20 extra for a personalized message. The film processing retailer will even take your family's portrait at most of the chain's 13 stores in the Chicago suburbs.

Web sites such as offer customized cards from the convenience of home. You submit the digital image, write the festive message and select the season-specific border. Cardstore addresses, stamps and mails the cards. Holiday cheer reaches everyone on your list. Cardstore sells 5-by-7-inch folded greeting cards with envelopes for $1.79 each in a pack of 25 and 4-by-6-inch postcards for 89 cents each, among other options. Prices do not include postage.

Crafty kids and parents will enjoy decorating their own blank greeting cards that have a place for a snapshot (or self-portrait) on the front. Dick Blick art stores in Schaumburg and Wheaton sell boxes of 10 cards for $4 to $5.

To learn more about Jill Norton, visit Do-it-yourself greeting card information can be found at, and

Angela Schneider

Kids Eat Chicago

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