Saturday, November 16, 2013

Photo Gift Ideas From My Favorite Photo Sites

(Update: After writing this post this past weekend, I have discovered Pinholepress.com. You can create personalized memory games with your photos, wall decals, wine bottle labels and all sorts of other fancy things!) 

I take a lot of photos. A LOT of photos. As of today I have taken over 3000 photos this year, both with my camera and my phone. What do I do with those photos? I put them on a share site, and that is about it for most of the year. Occasionally I get them printed out and put them in frames around my house. But come Christmas time I love to use those photos (not all of them of course :) to make photo gifts for people. There are so many different things you can do with your photos that you might not know about, so I thought I would inspire you and share some of my favorite sites.

1. Blurb. Everyone loves a photo book. And nowadays they are easier than ever to make. I have been using Blurb.com since it's launch back in 2006. It is the best book making website out there. You will get the highest quality for the most affordable price. I started using them long ago because they offered the most variety when it came to page layouts. Since then other sites have gotten just has customizable, such as shutterfly.com, but the quality of your printed pages are far superior when you create with Blurb. The wonderful thing about this site is that once you create your book, you can actually sell it on their site! You basically become your own publisher. Pretty amazing stuff.
photo c/o blurb.com

2. Shutterfly. I have a love/hate relationship with shutterfly.com. I started using Kodak Gallery (anyone else remember when it was Ofoto?) back when I got my first digital camera in 2001, and then Kodak Gallery merged with Shutterfly, so I obviously just started using Shutterfly as my photo sharing site. Because it is so easy for me to create photo gifts on their site due to all my photos being there, I use it a lot come Christmas time for family gifts. I have made things like fleece blankets with photos on them, photo cubes, photos printed on glass, plates, cups, photo ornaments and key chains to name a few. All of them are of decent quality, and are loved by everyone that has received them. I also get photo books printed by them, but for some reason every photo or photo book I get printed by them is not up to par. The photo prints tend to be off color and the books are always a little funky. Most people don't notice these little things, but I am pretty picky when it comes to my prints so I don't usually get them done via Shutterfly (I go to Costco). I do recommend them for all those fun photo gifts though, as the resolution of the photo doesn't have to be that great for the gift to come out nice.
One of my favorite things I made on
Shutterfly was this iPhone case
3. Printstagram. I am obsessed with Instagram. OBSESSED. I have hundreds of square photos that I have taken and shared on the IG app. I even have IG friends - people I have never met in person, most who don't know my real name (I am bostonbabymama - check me out!) but whom I have developed "relationships" simply from commenting on each other's photos. Crazy, I know, but I love it. On Prinstagr.am (that is the web address) you can print your Instagram photos on beautiful thick card stock, in two different sizes - one being this 2x2 mini squares that are so fun for the kids to look at and play with. You can also get these "tiny books" made that that are only 1.5 inches square and are magnetized so kids can also play with them on the fridge. In the process of making these for my girls right now! 
How freaking cute are these!
photo c/o prinstagr.am

4. Artifact Uprising. This site is for the passionate photographer, who wants unique, quality, long lasting products to showcase their photos. I have personally never ordered anything from them, but they have come highly recommended by a few of my professional photographer friends. They tell me the prints are top quality, as well as their other products. One of the more popular products is their photo with wood block, which allows you to quickly showcase a different photo via the wood block stand. Another great thing about this site is that you can do all this directly from their iPhone app!
photo c/o artifactuprising.com
5. Gifts for the Baby:
Photo Stacking Blocks - If you are looking for a gift for your baby this year, check out these Photo Stacking Blocks. I will be filling them and giving them to Val, or I should say Santa will be giving them to Val, this year. She loves looking at photos so I hope she will love these took!
Customized Board Books - I am also planning to do a customized board book from Pintsized Productions for Valerie this year. This site, which came highly recommended by a friend, allows you to customize your own book for your baby, with your photos and text. Can't wait to see how it turns out! 

7 comments:

  1. I like the idea of board books. I still have fond memories of those I had, though they were first used by me so long ago. Those and the fabric books. I like the idea of customizing them specially for your own children.

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