I get the original letter writer's dismay a little. Some of those photocards are a bit... bragsome, especially when they depict exotic vacations, expensive possessions, and so on. I confess to having rolled my eyes at a holiday greeting that shows off wealth or--and this is slightly worse, imo--the senders' charitable work and contains no personalized message or signature and is sent by someone with whom I have little contact.
If you're unable to do something as simple as interact with me on Facebook or Twitter, send me an email or a text message, or call me on the phone in an entire year, I do have a little trouble mustering interest in a card you didn't bother signing. To me, that sends less of a message of holiday cheer and more of a message that Everyone Should Find My Doings Inherently Interesting. To that attitude, I say: Bah. Humbug.
On the other hand, a photo card from those I'm close to and otherwise in touch with or one with a personal message of some kind, etc is perfectly lovely.
I wonder if the aunt's real complaint was that her niece doesn't pay her sufficient attention the rest of the year.