Thursday, December 11, 2008

Photography and the Holidays

Oh, the weather outside has been frightful,
and the central heating is so delightful.

Cold and rainy. That's what it has been like the past few days. I just haven't been that inspired to do any shooting recently. So instead of talking about a photograph how about something a bit different?

Now we photographers are usually proud of our images. We go to a lot of effort to get the perfect shot. Then we spend a lot of time with the image on the computer processing and editing it until it is as perfect as we can get it. What do we do with them afterwards? Some of us have web galleries to share them. Some of use will make prints from out desktop printers. Sometimes one might make it's way on to a computer display as a background. Others might display them with an LCD "frame". Mostly we horde them away on our computers where no one sees them again.

Well, this time of the year is the perfect time to bring out some of those locked away images and share the memories that they captured with those we love. Many of the on-line photo print services have products that give our images new life. Did you take a great portrait of your children or of your family this year? Why not turn that picture in to custom postcards and send it to your family? Of course, people have been doing this for many years. Now you have a bit more control over the design and final image quality.

Did you take some amazing landscape photographs on your vacation or road trips this year? Do you have a family member that loves seeing images of new places? Why not give them a hardcover book of your best photographs of the year? There are many on-line print services that will allow you to create your own high quality "coffee-table" photobooks for a reasonable price.

Do you have an athlete in your family? A new product that I have been seeing printing companies offering lately are life-sized cutouts. They will take your photograph of a person, blow it up to life-size and make a cutout image of just the person. Some of the cutouts that I've seen are cardboard stand-ups, others are plastic wall clings.

Coffee lover on your gift list? Have a coffee cup make with one of your images. What grandparent wouldn't love a set of coffee cups with all of their grandkids' pictures?

There are many other gift ideas. Good quality prints, particularly mounted and/or framed, will usually be favorites. Some printing companies offer novelty items such as keychains as well as other off the wall (or on the wall) products.

I personally use Mpix and have had great experience with them. They are not the only company out there. There are many to choose from with some offering quite unique and specialized products.

This holiday season why not use those photographs you have locked away in the bowels of your computer and create some unique, memorable and lasting gifts.

Keep shooting.


John Brainard said...


Thanks for sharing this. I've talked a few times about making Christmas our Christmas cards and will probably do that for Christmas next year. I've also thought about giving prints as gifts, but I haven't really been able to figure out which ones family members will like. I'd hate to give a gift that they have to pretend to enjoy! :)

I like the book idea. I've thought about doing books with my daughters, but not a book with photos from my whole collection. I just might have to do that. It's a great idea.

The coffee cup is another great idea! I have grandparents that would probably enjoy seeing pictures of my girls on their mugs.

Thanks for the suggestion of using Since you mentioned it a few months ago on your blog, I have used it a few times and have been very satisfied.

Thanks for the interesting and informative blog entry.

Craig Lee said...

You're welcome, John. That is part of why I started this blog after all. I'm glad you have been pleased with Mpix. I will have something to say about one of their services after the holidays. Since certain people read this blog, I don't want to give anything away. ;-)