Step 2: Start shooting photos!
As I like black & white and old towns, I visited historic Jerome, Arizona to shoot some rolls. I focused mainly on architecture and primarily gates & doors. Unfortunately my photos were film based so I don't have scanned versions to share in this step.
If you don't like the random artsy photo idea and have a photo of the recipient (and their family if applicable) that could very well work. Another option is to use photos of the recipients pet(s) if you have any photos of them, people always like pictures of their pets. Especially so if they have Chihuahuas (a phenomenon which I do not understand in the least).
Another idea is to make a list of your recipients and what they like, then go shoot photos related to those likes. And by likes I don't mean consumer goods that they want. Here are some examples:
A friend that likes to read? Maybe a shot in the library of bookshelves or book spines, you could include the spine of their favorite book perhaps (make sure not to use a flash!), if you are gifting a book to that friend the card will complement the gift.
An architecture buff? Visit the historic district downtown for some old building shots.
A friend who likes bicycles? How about a shot of a bike rack full of bikes.
A guitar musician? How about a shot in the music store of the "Wall of Guitars".
See where I'm going? This also gives you a chance to reflect on your friends and family which we so rarely do in today's hectic lifestyles.