Perhaps it’s all of the colors and lights that go up this time of year or that my retinas are still recovering from the visual overload of the midnight-to-dawn shopping marathon with my high school besties on Black Friday, but I’m finding myself wanting to monochrome every image I edit, especially when it is a part of a set like in the Christmas cards below.
Why It Works
Compliment, don’t compete – Even though the colors of the outfits below were beautifully coordinated with each other, turning the images black and white supports the design of the cards and helps punctuate the text. The red-and-white stamp and the green bow would have gotten lost among the bright hues of the original photos. Generally, if a photo’s “frame” (in this case, the card design) doesn’t compliment the colors in the image, try converting the photo to black and white. The same goes for the reverse: if choosing colors for design is more of a pain than a pleasure, you can never go wrong with a simple white mat and a black or neutral frame for displaying a colorful photo on your wall.
Lighten up – Holiday cards can be dense: greetings, photos, updates, design, and so much cheer. One way to let them breathe is by taking off the stuffy holiday sweaters, especially the ones with the reindeer and the candy canes and the snowflakes and the mistletoe. It’s Christmas, we get it. Now we want to look at your face, but your sweater won’t let us. Returning to the point above, your clothes should compliment you, not compete with you for attention. And they don’t necessarily have to be winter clothes. Even Kyle and Shay Payne’s family portraits taken in the middle of the hottest summer Oklahoma has ever seen work just fine in a Christmas card. And it doesn’t hurt that their kids are just.so.adorable.