Photographs make very personal gifts. With today’s technology your pictures can be placed on a wide variety of surfaces and objects making them unique gifts. Who do you want to give a very personal gift to? If a picture is worth a 1,000 words, what do you want to say?
While you’re thinking about that, let’s look at the lead time needed to make a photo gift. Start with a time to sort through and choose the best photos to use. You may need to gather photos from several different places first. The selection process will go faster if you focus on the person receiving the gift and choosing the best photo. Don’t linger and reflect about how cute Johnny is in this picture. Give yourself a deadline of just one day for this task!
If you have the digital image on your computer, great, you’re ready to start creating. If you have a printed photo you will need to have it scanned. Scanning should not take that long for a few photos done locally, a day or two at most. If you are going to do a larger batch of prints or slides then you need to give yourself a week at least, more if you are sending them out. I like to scan at a bit higher resolution, 600 dpi, so that I can enlarge the image if needed.
The design might take some time depending on how many photos are being used or how many pages, if you’re creating a book. It also depends on how comfortable you are with the software if you do it yourself. The other option is to have someone else design it. This will take less time than learning software (even using drag and drop templates), and you need to give some time to look at proofs, usually via email.
Printing is usually the most time consuming part of the process. A simple photo print is a day, but a book can be a week or more, plus the shipping time. I usually tell my clients to give themselves three to six weeks so there is plenty of time for each step, and if one part takes a little longer than expected, there is some flexibility without missing the deadline completely. The earlier you start the project, the better chance of getting everything back with time to make corrections if there is a printing error. This doesn’t happen often, but I’ve had times when there are glitches and the printing needs to be done over.
Now for some ideas: We tend to think of photo gifts as pictures we give grandparents or other relatives to show how our family has grown over the year(s). Don’t forget those pictures that show you having fun with the recipient, or being together in a special place or at an important event. There is more than just putting the picture in a frame these days.
On the wall –
Framed – Either as a single photo or a collage, you can find frames that hold multiple photos or take multiple frames to make a collage on the wall. You can also make poster prints and frame them or leave them unframed. Posters or celebration boards can have multiple images and text which can be nice for children’s rooms, milestone birthdays, anniversaries and other events that you want to remember. Even if you are going to frame that printed photo and hang it on the wall, you should consider scanning it as a backup before you put it in the frame if you don’t have another copy.
Frameless – There are some great options for printing that special photo or photo collage on wood, metal, canvas, or even wall paper! Take a photo from you last vacation and make a unique memento by printing on a different material than photo paper. Plak that… does some great work on wood. It has a very rustic feel. There are several companies that print on metal, usually aluminum. It has is a sheen that makes the photo almost glow! Those same companies usually also have an acrylic version as well for a more traditional look. Canvas gives yet another look and feel. You can get larger sizes in canvas than are available in some of the other materials. We recently found a company, Wemontage, that will even let you print your photos as a removable wall paper collage. If you have a large area to cover, or multiple photos that you want to use, this might be a very cost effective way to go. Then there is the photo calendar. I really like the kind that lets you keep the photo as a 12×12 or 8×8 print after detaching the calendar section. It’s like giving two gifts: a calendar and 12 photo prints.
On the desk –
Some of the same framed and frameless items are available in a desk or table size. Then look at any flat surface and you can most likely get a photo printed on it! Your mouse pad, desk calendar, cell phone cover, tablet cover, etc. are all possible places to customize with your photos for that special someone’s office.
In the home –
From kitchen to living room, there are objects that you can enhance with your photos. Coasters with family faces or vacation shots, cutting boards, trivets, mugs, water bottles, playing cards, clocks, puzzles, ornaments and so much more! Many of these are great values in terms of the impact they have.
On you –
I have two neckties with my boys on them. It was the best Father’s Day present and my sons get a kick out of people when they realize who is on the tie. You can get images on T-shirts, pillow cases, bags, aprons and more. There is even jewelry customized with a photo.
Most of these you can simply find a vendor and upload your photo(s), pick what you want the photo(s) on and order. Some you will need either a photographer or a personal photo organizer to order for you. Others you might want to design prior to uploading. Design services are another option photo organizers can help you with. The printing time will vary depending on the product and where they are coming from. If you start now, there is time to find, digitize if needed, design and order some fabulous and very personal gifts for the holidays. You do need to START NOW to make sure everything is back in time. This is even more important if you need help with the process. We can help you. Leave a comment or give us a call!