There are a variety of ways you can turn a favorite digital photo or family snapshot into a memorable card.
A digital camera will let you snap away until you capture just the right mood or expression, and they're extremely easy to edit at home, so you can set errors right immediately. Perfect the image, experiment with fonts, and play with flourishes. Then print and send as many cards as you like.
If you're going to make your cards with digital images, there are some particulars to keep in mind. Most important, use a camera with at least 3 to 4 megapixels. This will ensure that the photos, whether 4 by 6 inches or 5 by 7 inches, are sufficiently crisp.
Other considerations apply to both film and digital photography. Before you start shooting, for example, clear away clutter. A neat and simple background will keep the focus on your subjects.
Because indirect light is the most flattering, you may want to pose your family several feet away from a curtained window, or turn a lamp so its glow is reflected off the ceiling or a nearby wall -- don't place it directly in front of or behind the subjects. Set the flash to "fill," so that it softens any unflattering shadows but isn't too bright.
If you're shooting outside, avoid the squint-inducing brightness and harsh shadows of high noon. Early morning or golden hour, the time around sunset, are your best options. Once you've snapped the perfect shot, paste your picture onto a card, and write out a greeting. Or use a desktop publishing program to create a layout that includes both a photo and message. Whatever you choose, you'll have a great card to deliver good tidings.