Photosanity mom of two, Heather Maloy, lives in Winston Salem, North Carolina and first joined Photosanity in 2012 after seeing two friends Jen and Jenna "totally transform their photography." We are recognizing Heather this week for her winning holiday photo card that she shared on the Photosanity Peer-to-Peer Facebook group.

Heather, who is currently taking the Photosanity Workshop, shares her photography transformation, holiday photo card tips and how her photography has developed since moving earlier this year from NYC and welcoming her now five-and-a-half month old daughter.

Prior to Photosanity, what was your biggest photo frustration?

Oh gosh, too many to count. A disorganized mess of storage, iPhone photos getting lost in the shuffle, trying too hard instead of taking beautiful shots of real life moments.

About the winning photo...

Why is this photo special to you?

I’m so in love with watching my kids fall in love with each other. I had no idea it would be so amazingly visible. I am thrilled to have gotten a moment of it on film!

Did you take this photo specifically for your holiday card?

Um, sort of. I was feeling totally uninspired for this year’s holiday card and rather annoyed with myself that I felt the need to top last year’s epic-ness. Alethea wisely suggested I “capture their personalities and their life right now.”

I knew she was right, but it was hard throwing out the clever (and heavily staged) ideas I was working on. I figured I would plan on attempting a mini photo shoot and if a great one came my way organically then I’d go with it. My camera happened to be on the counter and they were being sweet on the kitchen floor and I snapped off a handful before I had to ferry them upstairs to bed. I was so relieved to have caught this moment; I cleaned it up and ordered my cards almost immediately.


How Heather captured the moment...

Lens: 35 mm lens
Settings: ISO 3200, f1.8 1/100

How Heather created her holiday photo card...

My past cards have taken me DAYS... narrowing down a bunch of photos, editing them, choosing and customizing card designs, narrowing THOSE down, getting second and third opinions and then finally ordering. I’ve used (and loved!) Minted for the past 3 or 4 holiday cards, so I turned to them again.

Motivated by the Photosanity Holiday Card Workbook (spoiler alert: there’s wine at the end!), I took the picture at bedtime on Wednesday, ordered the card before lunch on Thursday and approved the proof before dinner. They were delivered Saturday morning while I was drinking my coffee. Hello, holiday magic!

I’ve finally finagled my desktop printer to play nice with Word’s mail merge. I print the addresses on the flap and the front of my envelopes. The font matches the card (Jacques and Gilles from and I saved myself from addressing 200+ cards! Hoorah!

As soon as my photo stamps from arrive, it will go in the mail and I’ll be one of those annoying people whose cards are out by 12/1. Ha!

About holiday card preparation...

What is your biggest holiday photo card challenge?

Capturing both kids equally, adorably and together. She can’t sit yet, he can’t sit still. Oy.

What is your favorite holiday photo card and why?

By now, everyone has seen the Pinterest photo of the little guy driving the Cozy Coupe with a Christmas tree tied to the top, but it was still novel last year. We lived next to a hotel in NYC so the cabs would line up along the curb in front of our building and Riley (Heather's four-year-old son) looks like he’s really driving in NYC traffic.

It’s soft and glowy and our friends are still talking about it. The guys at our parking garage hung it in their window and never took it down! It’s my favorite, though, not just because it’s cute, but it totally captures his innocence, the magic of the season and is 100% New York-y. It will always remind me of the best parts of raising a family in NY. As if that wasn’t enough, the message on the back was our announcement that we were expecting a baby in June. I really, really loved that card!

What are you most looking forward to this holiday season?

Our first Christmas in NC! Hot chocolate by the fire! Stockings hung by the chimney! Riley’s first bike! Molly’s first Christmas tree! But mostly, more of the magic… sweet memories and moments with my family.

About the photo challenge

The Photosanity PADF (Photo-a-Day Friday) Challenge takes place weekly in the Photosanity Peer-to-Peer Facebook Group. Each Friday a photo theme is set and photos are due the following week. Detailed feedback is given on three selected photos and a winner is chosen.

Membership in the Photosanity Peer-to-Peer Facebook group is free to anyone who purchases or has purchased a Photosanity workshop or service. It's a great way to connect with other like-minded photo-obsessed parents at all levels - it's an amazing community.

If you have made a purchase and would like to join, fill out this form and you will be admitted once your eligibility has been confirmed.