Every time I make a photo book, photo calendar or slideshow, I’m surprised by how long it takes to complete. Playing with photos is fun for me, and I can get lost in the activity without being aware of time passing. When you’re creating a photo gift for someone else, be sure to allow both time for creating the gift and time for it to be made and delivered.
We live in a wonderful age where technology makes so many things possible. When it comes to photo products, you can have a picture printed on almost anything. Mugs and t-shirts, sure, but how about aprons or ties or phone cases? Print your favorite photos on canvas, wood, metal or glass to decorate your home. Enlarge a photo as big as a poster or make a collage of photos into a fun shape. Tell a story by combining photos and words in a photo book.
I like to follow a number of companies that make these kinds of photo products. Special offers are a great way to try something new. Signing up for a company’s e-mails allows you to learn about sales and discounts to try out a new product.
Christmas and Hanukkah are big gift-giving holidays that seem to approach very quickly. Allow yourself time to select the appropriate photos, make and order your gifts, and allow them to be created and shipped. Photo gifts require a bit of forethought to pull off, but if you miss the deadline for creating a gift, you can always give a gift certificate for someone to make a product themselves.
Here are a few tips for making photo products that will be enjoyed and appreciated:
- Have a vision – Is there a theme to follow (How our family celebrates Christmas, a year in the life of our family, our family tree)? What one photo or group of photos will suit the gift? Are you capturing a lifetime or just the most recent X number of years?
- Gather photos – Do you need to get copies from other people to complete the project fully? Are the photos you need in digital format for an online order? Do you need to print hundreds for a physical scrapbook?
- Choose a vendor and/or photo organizer – There are many companies making photo gifts at many price points and quality levels. There are also people who will do the work of creating the gift for you. What are you willing to spend and for what end result?
- Get started – Allow time to focus on the project and arrange the photos and designs in the way you want them. Come back to it in a day or two and see what changes you think need to be made. You might need a third or fourth review before you’re satisfied.
- Order the photo gift – Look at the estimated shipping time and add a week just in case. Allow time to re-order the gift if something was done incorrectly or with poor quality (don’t be afraid to call a vendor on a blurry result).
Photo gifts take more time to pull together than pulling a gift off a store shelf, but they are so much more rewarding, too. The recipient will appreciate the effort, even if they don’t know just how much effort it took. What photo gifts and displays will you start planning today?