Five great ways to use your photographs as holiday gifts

BlogHer Original Post

Since I spend almost every day of every year photographing at least something, around this time every year, I'm always torn between buying gifts for people, or actually using the huge archive of images that I have at my disposal to give meaningful gifts to friends and family.  And so this year, as I start to do a little research for the types of gifts that I'm considering giving, I thought I'd share some of my finds with you.

1.  Photobooks.  Thanks to great services like, making beautiful, professional-grade photo books is just a matter of picking the images and adding the text.  A wonderful way to commemorate weddings, births or other life events for the special people in your life.

2.  Calendars.  Another great way to share your photographs is by making them into calendars.  There are just so many different formats for creating your calendars: has links to several tools that you can use; however, I'm partial to this free template that you can download from Shutter Sisters, to create your own free-standing desk calendar, if you have Photoshop.  I've used it myself for my own calendars, and I'm a big fan.

3.  Jewelry.  I've always loved the look of glass tile pendants, so I have to say I was pretty thrilled to find this DIY kit to create 5 photo pendants on Etsy.  Such a great way to make meaningful gifts for mothers or grandmothers with photos of their children in their lives; or, in the alternative, use your favourite abstract photos to create gifts for everyone.

4.  Digital photo frames.  One of the best gifts I ever gave my father was a digital frame -- he and my mother complained that they were never able to receive current photographs of my daughter, only ones that were months old.  Now, any time I take a photograph of my daughter that I think they'd like, I email it directly to a special email account, and it automatically is displayed in their home.  My sister also emails photos of her kids to the same address.  My parents love having an ever-changing display of their grandchildren.

5.  Photo of the month club.  I'm actually in the process of conducting a photo drive on my site, collecting photographs for sick children, and it has me thinking:  for those of you who are avid photographers, why not give the gift of a 'photo of the month' club?  Offer to mail a new photo to a friend on the first of every month for a year, perhaps with a quote or a kind sentiment on the back.  It's meaningful, inexpensive, and will likely make their day, 12 times in the coming months.

Karen is a writer and a photographer in Houston, Texas.  You can read/see more of her work at Chookooloonks.


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