Photo cards are cards with a photograph on the front, rather than a simple greeting, or a reproduction of a drawing or painting. There are a number of different styles of photo cards available, ranging from simple greeting cards with a photograph glued to the front, to specialty cards printed on photographic paper. Many stationery stores carry photo cards, along with supplies for making photo cards at home, and it is also possible to order custom photo cards from greeting card and printing companies.
Mass-market photo cards often include photographs of specific locations, so that travelers can send cards to friends with depictions of the places they visited. In the case of a folded greeting card, the inside is often left blank, allowing people to write a personalized message. Photo cards with generic images can also be used as condolence cards, congratulatory cards, or casual notecards.
Custom photo cards include photographs taken by the person sending the card, or by a friend or family member. Photographs of families and pets tend to be especially popular, but any image can be used for a custom photo card. Many people like to send out photo cards for the holidays, using the cards as holiday cards which broadcast news about the family to people who might be interested. Photo cards may also be sent out as wedding or graduation announcements, to jog the memory of the recipient.
A very basic custom photo card can be made by making or ordering photographic prints and attaching the prints to blank cards. Stationery stores often sell blank cards for this purpose, and it is also possible to start from scratch with cardstock which has been cut to size. It is also possible to run a card template through a home photo printer, generating custom photo cards at home which can include brief generic letters or notes in addition to the photograph. For more personalization, the interior of the card can be left blank for a handwritten note.
Some people rely on the services of a specialty company to make photo cards, sending out the images and the letter or greeting to be reproduced. The company prints the photo cards and provides matching envelopes for the convenience of the consumer. Several Internet companies offer this service, and locally-based stationery and printing companies may be able to provide it, or to offer a recommendation for a company which makes photo cards.