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© André Costantini

Sending and receiving holiday cards is one of the season's simple pleasures. Most of us are bogged down with busy schedules and may find it difficult to stay in touch throughout the year, but as that year winds down, we suddenly find greetings in our mailboxes that catch us up with our loved ones and keep us connected.

Photo holiday cards and photo gifts allow us to see how family and friends have changed over the course of the last 12 months. If you have a toddler, the changes that take place within just one year's time are significant—and so you'll want to take photos that capture the unique essence of your child that typically only emerges during this fun but fleeting stage.

André Costantini recently photographed his own young daughter with the new Tamron SP 45mm VC USD lens, which offers an F/1.8 maximum aperture, a 11.4 in minimum object distance (the closest focusing distance in its class), and cutting-edge glass technology that allows photographers to maximize their creativity while maintaining superior image quality. Plus, it's the first time that image stabilization, via Tamron's proprietary Vibration Compensation (VC) feature, has been incorporated into a fast standard 45mm prime lens for full-frame DSLR cameras.

"For photographing toddlers, 45mm is an ideal focal length that comes without a lot of distortion or compression," André explains. "It's an ideal working distance when you're dealing with this age: If you have too long a lens and you're far away, you won't be able to engage that well with the toddler, but if you're too close, the child may try to grab at your camera. This lens lets me get in close without being too close myself—yet I'm still able to interact and elicit reactions. And it's helpful to have that F/1.8 aperture, especially because some of the photos here were shot inside with available incandescent light and I needed to shoot as wide open as possible."