You have a few days left to get those Valentine’s photo cards ready for the school parties next week. Need some inspiration? Here’s what my girls & I did this year. Keep reading for help with props, posing, gear & printing info.


Photo Valentine cards have a lot more personality than the cheap grocery store options. Plus, grandparents love Valentines like this. And, what could be a better way to subtly share your photography skills with the other moms in your kid’s class? I’ve gotten several photography clients because of the Valentine’s photo cards we’ve made over the years.

The confetti shots are the ones my daughters liked the best, so that’s what I’ll print. We’ll attach Blow Pops to them to continue the theme.

Valentine 2


  • Bow & arrow from Etsy.
  • Heart confetti – we punched this ourselves using red and pink card stock. I have a tiny heart-shaped hole punch and another that’s a bit larger. We used them both. I would suggest trying this with tissue paper rather than card stock, if your punch is sharp enough to cut the tissue. The stock was pretty heavy for blowing and made for some funny fish face looks!

Posing and Shooting

  • Bow & Arrow – When shooting, make sure that the arrow is parallel to the ground so that you can see the heart. Also, direct your subject to bring that back elbow down towards the body so that it’s not getting chopped off. Focus on the eyes for some shots and the arrowhead for others.
  • Heart Confetti – Have your subject practice the technique without confetti before shooting.
    • Hold hands in front of neck or upper chest (not hiding the face) and slightly out towards the camera
    • Maintain eye contact with the camera
    • Take a deep breath and blow without filling your cheeks like a chipmunk
    • Maintain a smile on your lips and in your eyes while blowing. This was hard for my 7 year old, but easy for the 10 year old.
    • Remind yours not to hunch their shoulders the way my older one did!
    • Put your camera in burst mode and tell your subject to blow gently when they hear the camera start
    • Focus some photos on the eyes and others on the confetti in the hand

valentine 3 copy

The Gear

  • Backdrop paper – narrow white
  • Backdrop stand – set up inside garage door. If you have great light in your garage, you might not need the external flash described below
  • External flash – I used one of my Elinchroms, but a Speedlite would have worked just as well. (As of the afternoon of February 5, 2015, the price on that Speedlite at Amazon is great!)
  • Flash bounced off umbrella


Valentine 3

How to Print

Mpix has great, Valentine’s photo card options, some of which are customizable.  We used this one. To customize, I changed the following:

  • Removed the Sending You Love and Happy Valentine’s Day graphics from the front.
  • Changed the back side of the card to a solid hot pink. Added “To:” and “From:” text areas on the back so that my girls could fill in their names and their friends’ names.

To receive your order by Thursday, February 12, order from Mpix by noon CST Tuesday, February 10 and select Expedited Shipping.

Other Ideas

Need more inspiration? Look at these Valentine’s photo cards I’ve created in the past: