Christmas Card 2014

In Photoshop, Portrait by mark0 Comments

How to print custom Holiday/Christmas cards at Costco.

For this years holiday card I wanted to to try something new. I wanted to completely avoid the stale Costco card selection that we all use.  At this same time I still wanted to use Costco photo services because it’s the best value for the buck.

If you want Costco to print a custom card it’s pretty easy.  Just follow these steps.

  • Create your image and be sure to crop at 6″ x 7 1/2″.  Leave a 1/4″ bleed around the edge just in case.  (I left about 1/2 inch but that was too much.)
  • Export you image with 300 DPI
  • Go to’s photo center online and upload you image
  • Then go the the Greeting Cards page where you can select a design
  • On the Select A Design page there is a column on the left.  Click the “More” link
  • Select the “Custom Template” with text saying  “Place your own 6 x 7″ 1/2″ Image here. Full Photo”
  • Select you image,then fit the image to the template.

That’s it.

For my card I added some text because that’s you do with holidays cards and Lori insisted. :p  The final image printed at Costco looked like this.



I left about 1/2″ of bleed but that was way to much.  It ended up printing just like this.  It also printed darker than I wanted but in the end I was pleased with the result.

This photo is composed of three images.  The snow flake is CC image I got off flickr, the “magic dust” which is actually a photo of the night sky and  the image of the kids taken in my bedroom.  To create the glow I used one Canon Speedlite with a 1/2 stop green color overlay on the flash.  I placed the Speedlite on a mount just behind the kids facing the camera lens.  I edited out the Speedlite and only used it’s halo.  This is what the original looked like.

Christmas Card outtake


I used my Canon 5D Mark II.  Settings are: Exposure was 1/200 at f/9.0, ISO 160, Lens Canon EF70-200 f.2.8 at 70mm  I wanted to share what my photoshop layers looked like but Lightroom did something to the file and flatten that damn file.  Ugh.

It was a lot of fun to make.  The hardest part of making the image was getting the kids to freakin focus!    I think I’ll be doing more of these kinds of images form now on.

Happy Holidays.




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