I love giving photo gifts for two reasons:
1. They always win. Some might say that giving presents isn’t a competition. I say they’re sore losers.
2. They can often be done at the last minute for those of us who are mega procrastinators. (It makes life more interesting! Like a race!!)
So, let’s cover some of the photo gifts that totally rock and will make you the hero of the day. You don’t even have to tell them that you made it like an hour ago.
(Note: If you don’t have your own decent photo printer, photo gifts become less convenient what with the ordering and picking up and all that nonsense. Last minute gifts are totally a worthwhile reason to get your own printer – along with preserving your own memories and whatnot. We use the Epson 3880, which is pretty big, but pretty awesome too. That particular one has been discontinued, and the current model is the Epson P800.)
1. Framed Print
The simplest gift is a framed print or canvas. You can give an artsy shot, or a shot you have of the lucky recipient. All the more reason to always be taking photos of your friends. This gift is classic, easy as pie, and definitely high points for procrastability.
In fact, I’d highly recommend keeping a stack of standard Ikea white frames on hand for this very reason (and we do!).
A couple tips to take this one up a notch.
• If you have the time, you can order a canvas print instead, which looks very snazzy. I have gifted my parents many stunning photos of myself (those lucky ducks). We’ve used Canvas on Demand with good results!
• For super bonus points, fire up Photoshop and add some text, make a collage, or both! Get creative!!
2. Picture Stand
This is a fun one – you’ll see the version I made for myself in the photo at the top of this post! Head to your local craft store, and find a tiny easel. I’ve found these at many different stores (like Michaels, or the Dollar Store) or you can find a ton on Amazon, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find!
Then print out a bunch of photos, all the same size, to fit on your easel. I like to print them with a white border, to give it a bit of a classier feel. Square images look a bit different, in a good way, but you can just go with standard 4x6s. Try to keep them all the same orientation.
Now you can just set the images on the easel, and instantly have a unique way to display photos, that makes it easy to swap to a new one!
(Don’t want to do it yourself? Artifact Uprising has a product that is just like this, but with a sleek wooden block instead of an easel. Very gorgeous!)
Cheesy? Amazing? Bit of both!?
This Christmas we gave everyone custom mugs. MUGS FOR ALL! Seriously, it was a giant box of mugs. We did a lot of winning.
Here in Canada I’ve used London Drugs – they will even have your mug printed the next day, which totally helps the procrastibility factor. They had some neat colours to pick from too! I used their dimensions, and made my own design with nice colours and fonts to spruce it up a bit, but seriously, just one big picture on a mug is still cool.
You can also get them from Zazzle, and probably any other online custom printing outfit.
We liked the mugs so much we made them for ourselves. Instant fav.
I haven’t gotten a lot of stuff printed from Apple, but their custom calendars are pretty handy. It’s a bit of a pain having to using iPhoto to make them, but once you get all your photos in there, it’s not too bad. I like the ability to add photos for birthdays!
These do take a while to order, so you need to be on the ball. (Not really my forte…)
Albums win the most, but also require the most forethought and effort. It’s worth it though!
I’ve made albums of all the photos I’ve taken of a friend over the year, images of a special place, or images from a special day or trip that we spent together.
I’d recommend Blurb albums, they have tons of options and tools to make designing as straightforward or custom as you want. Here’s our full review of their ProLine albums!
(I’ve also heard good things about Artifact Uprising’s albums, but haven’t tried them myself yet!)
So there you have it, five photo gifts that win you major points. I’ve personally given all of these, and I can guarantee big smiles and giant hugs. And, if you’re really lucky, you might even make someone CRY! Nothing better than the satisfaction of making our loved ones weep…