Photo gifts are a fun and innovative way to show someone you care about them. But before we get into the details - what exactly is a photograph gift?
A photo-printed gift is simply a gift you've had custom-made, with a photo of your choice printed on it. This can be a photo of you, one of your friends or a family member, a famous person, an animal, a landscape, a classical work of art, or a work of art you created yourself - pretty much anything you could ever want to have printed on a gift.
Oftentimes you can even add a personal message or your favorite famous quotes. There are many, many possible photo gift ideas.
So. What kind of objects can you give as photo gifts? With the amazing printing technology available now, you can print a photo on just about anything.
Here are just a few ideas of what you can give as a photo gift:
• Bags (e.g. reusable shopping bags)
• T Shirts
• Blankets and quilts
• Bed linen
• Greeting cards
• Playing cards
• Business cards
• Mouse pads
• Puzzles (e.g. photo puzzles)
• Notebooks and journals
• Even pens and pencils!
No longer are we satisfied with buying a gift from a store that has a generic design on it. We don't want the same t-shirt or mug everyone else has (boooring!) - we want unique something and personal, something we can truly call our own and something that is particularly special just to us.
And so, just like in the old days, we go for homemade gifts, but not all of us are creative geniuses, and for some of us, even trying to make homemade Christmas cards, Valentine cards or Halloween cards can quickly turn into a nightmare.
We fear that we'll end up with homemade gifts that are very much custom gifts indeed, but, well, poor in quality. And we don't want that.
Plus, even if we are creative and handy with tools, we don't really have the time to come up with a lot of imaginative homemade gift ideas, let alone create all those homemade Christmas gifts, homemade Valentine gifts and homemade birthday gifts, not to mention homemade anniversary gifts, homemade wedding gifts, homemade baby gifts and homemade baby shower gifts!
It's just too much!
We wrack our brains to come up with some easy homemade gift ideas, but no matter how we look at it, it takes more time and effort than we have available.
Personalized gifts with photos printed on them provide a happy middle ground between home-made and store-bought. Using a wide variety of photo gift ideas you can get the professional quality of a store-bought gift, but with the personal touch of something you made yourself.
Together these factors combine to create memorable, unique gifts that are sure to please, get plenty of use - and earn you many sincere 'Thank yous'!
You know someone who is into dogs?
Snap a bunch of photos of their dog, pick the very best one, and have a vendor of photo gifts make a set of beautiful photo mugs with Fido on it.
You know someone who loves the classic impressionist paintings of Renoir?
Give them a photo gift with one of Renoir's paintings printed on it.
Imagine a set consisting of custom cushions and fluffy personalized blanket with classic paintings on them.
What's not to love!
All the old classic paintings (where the artist has been dead more than 60 or 70 years) are in the public domain, so you don't have to worry about copyright.
All you have to do is find a photo of the painting that is of really good quality, contact a vendor of personalized gift items, enter the photo and/or message or famous quote you want to use.
Are you a woman, wracking your brain to come up with unique Valentines Day gifts for men?
Snap a photo of yourself in sexy lingerie (or, if you are the really daring type: in your birthday suit), find a vendor of personalized photo puzzles and have them make your man a personalized Valentines Day gift the likes of which he has NEVER seen before!
To find a vendor of personalized gift items you can look around on this page and other pages on this website or just google
what you need, you know, something like: personalized gifts, custom cushions, photo blankets or photo quilts, personalized anniversary gifts, photo mouse pads, personalized fathers day gifts, custom Christmas cards, personalized mothers day gifts, customized t shirts, photo playing cards, personalized business gifts, photo coasters, custom aprons, unique personalized baby gifts, etc. etc..
For example, one photo t shirt might cost you e.g. $40 to print, whereas 10 of the same photo t shirts might only cost e.g. $250 altogether (for a cost of $25 per t-shirt - mind you, this is just an example).
So the moral of the story is: if you want to print a large number of items, say if you want to give everybody in your family a set of photo mugs or photo t shirts with a picture of you on them, then do them all at the same time, with the same printing company, rather than one by one.
Now, with that said, there's also a flipside to this. When you see the savings available from ordering in bulk, it can be tempting to order a larger quantity than you actually need.
Remember - you're not actually 'saving' money if you buy more than you need, even if the cost per printed item works out lower.
(In the example above, if you buy 10 photo t shirts for $250 instead of one for $40, but you only need one or two, you haven't saved money - you've wasted about $200).
The trick is to 'keep it real'.
In order to create good photo gifts, you need good images.
A poor quality image on your computer will still be poor quality when it's printed on a t-shirt (in fact it might seem even more poor when it's printed).
So, it's important that you use good quality images to begin with.
And, if you want to add some extra cool effects to your images, you can make use of editing programs to do this.
When it comes to image quality, obviously the camera used will have a big impact here. If you want the photo to be superb, consider hiring a professional photographer - they will have cameras and lenses that can produce extremely high-resolution images that a basic digital camera just isn't capable of.
That said, most modern digital cameras are more than capable of producing images of a good enough quality to be printed on photo mugs, photo tee shirts, custom calendars and books with a professional appearance.
As for photo editing programs, if you've got some graphic design skill you can go ahead and use something advanced like Adobe PhotoShop - but for an image editing beginner this is more trouble than it's worth.
PhotoShop can do pretty much everything you can think of to an image, but it is an expensive program to buy, and all those options make for a very steep learning curve.
The same is true for GIMP (an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program) which has been called 'the free PhotoShop'.
GIMP is a freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring, but the learning curve is really steep.
Instead, if you have little or no graphic design experience and skills, but you still want to add cool effects to your images, there are some free and easy-to-use applications you can take advantage of.
Paint.net is one handy online tool you can use to edit and add effects to your photos.
BeFunky.com is another easy-to-use online option which lets you add all kinds of interesting effects to photos, like sepia tones and embossed or engraved effects.
Pixlr (from pixlr.com) and FotoFlexer (from fotoflexer.com) are yet another couple of useful alternatives. Experiment to see what suits your needs.
With a bit of creativity you can create all sorts of cool t-shirt images using simple editing tools (you've no doubt seen parody images of the blue and red Obama face outline t-shirts. You could even do this with your own face!).
If you have the right equipment, like a high quality photo printer, you'll be able to create some gifts yourself (such as photo birthday cards or photo Christmas cards).
But for a really professional look, and for objects like mugs, aprons, coasters and blankets which you can't do at home, you'll want to make use of a printing service.
This can be a tough decision, as the service you choose may be the difference between a poor result, a gift that's 'just okay,' and a gift that stands out as being excellent.
Price should obviously be a factor in your decision, but it shouldn't be the only factor. There are many reasons why a company may offer low prices - they may be the best and most efficient, but they may also be using low-quality materials or rushing their printing procedures, which could lead to mistakes.
Take a look at the company as a whole and get a feel for whether they can produce quality gifts at reasonable prices.
Check out their website and read their 'About Us' page to get a feel for what they aim to deliver to their customers. Also, check if they have a money-back or replacement guarantee for customers who aren't satisfied with the product.
Now you know the basics of planning and ordering photo
presents - let's take a look at the variety of gift types you have to choose from.
These range from photo greeting cards to photo books, to photo mugs, to custom t shirts, to photo puzzles, to personalized playing cards, to photo blankets, photo quilts or custom cushions, to custom nursing gifts, to personalized business gifts, to personalized stationery, photo mouse pads and personalized pencils and pens. And more than that, too.
Many of us send out a batch of Christmas cards at the end of every year, but it's easy to get tired of sending unimaginative cards you picked up at a stationery store, which only have a basic Christmas-related design.
Instead, why not use the Internet to find printable Christmas cards or, even better, create custom Christmas cards?
You might modify the printable Christmas cards on your PC, or you might create custom Christmas cards which include a picture of you and your family, or a scene you think represents Christmas?
Most people you send these custom Christmas cards to will appreciate them much more than a basic store-bought card. And it's not just for Christmas you can use this idea, either.
On the Internet you can find and use many kinds of free printable greeting cards, such as e.g. printable birthday cards, printable Valentine cards, printable Easter greeting cards and printable Halloween greeting cards - as well as find online stores and websites that allow you to create custom photo greeting cards using your own photos and images.
The cool thing about free printable greeting cards and photo greeting cards is that they're pretty easy to make yourself at home if you have a decent printer.
You can also have a lot of fun creating your own postcards when you're on holiday. Say hello to your friends back home with a real photo postcard you took yourself.
Much better to have a postcard with a picture of yourself standing in front of the pyramids or the Cristo Redentor statue than to just send a generic card, right?
Photo books are a great way to map out the life of an individual, couple or family, showing how someone has grown over the years.
In a way photo t shirts are the ultimate custom gift.
Most of us have had ideas for cool custom t shirts over the years, but often we never make them a reality because of the practical considerations of getting them made.
Now is your chance to follow through on that creative impulse, realize your wonderful photo gift ideas and have a custom t-shirt made for someone as a gift!
You can use a photo of them, or something they appreciate (a landscape, an animal - the possibilities are endless) and you can add your own funny message or famous quotes.
With the popularity of photo t shirt printing these days, it's not as expensive as you might think to produce a set of cool custom t shirts with a bit of fancy design and a photo of your choice.
So, if you know someone with an appetite for jigsaw puzzles, why not give them one with a photo you actually took yourself?
You can give them a puzzle that makes up a photo of their own face, your face, or just about anything you can think of (animals are a good choice for someone with pets). These are just a few of the many creative photo gift ideas there are.
By the way, many elderly people enjoy a good jigsaw puzzle, so a photo of the whole family in jigsaw form can make the perfect birthday gift for grandma or grandpa.
And to top it off, you can include some photo puzzle glue that will enable the recipient of the photo puzzles to glue the finished photo puzzle together and perhaps even have it framed to put on the wall somewhere.
Glued-together photo puzzles make for interesting wall decorations.
You can make photo playing cards with pictures of your favorite movie characters on them, personalized playing cards with pictures of cartoon characters from when you were a kid or anything else you care to imagine - the only limits here are your own creativity, so start brainstorming to bring out all the greatest photo gift ideas for your first set of personalized playing cards.
Often you can choose between just using one single photo or making a photo collage of your favorite and most treasure photos - just like we've shown in the picture to the right.
After all, people get to look at the personalized gift items every day, but they don't have to see them all the time as they will most likely be placed in the bedroom.
What kind of gifts work well for a business relationship? That depends on many things, like how well you know each other, whether your relationship is formal or casual, and what business you're in.
But good ideas can include things like photo books, high quality pens, or branded merchandise. If it's a particularly formal relationship, you probably want to stay away from things like t-shirts. Don't let your gift compromise your professionalism.
After all, not all customers are the same, and using a customized business card that appeals to a customer makes it more likely that he or she will keep it and use it later to get in touch with you. A wonderful and valuable gift for yourself and your business - how's that for photo gift ideas?
Any of these people will love getting personalized aprons.
Consider having a set of customized aprons with either a drawing or a photo of food as well as a short text like 'Master Chef', 'Cooks Are Hot' or even 'Hot Chefs Do It on the Grill' added for good measure.
Why not have a couple of custom shopping bags created for your family, friends or your lover? Do it right (which means doing it with consideration to what the recipient prefers) and the custom reusable shopping bags you give as photo presents will be an all time favorite.
As personalized gift ideas go this is a great one because reusable custom shopping bags so very useful.
Stationery with a proper, formal letterhead makes printed letters look much more respectable and professional and for your writing-and-drawing-happy friends custom note pads and personalized stationary of some kind may be all the rave.
But for anyone who still prefers the added power and flexibility of a stationary computer the mouse pad is a must.
So ... why not make a custom gift of a photo mouse pad?
Customized mouse pads can be made with any photo or image you like - from a photo of the recipient's kid or pet to a classical painting or even a daring photo of a half naked celebrity.
For users of stationary PCs custom mouse pads make a great kind of unique photo gifts.
Now you've got an idea of the broad range of products you can have photo-printed and personalized to give as a special custom gift.
But obviously, certain gifts lend themselves well to some occasions and not so well to others. Depending on the occasion and the personality of the person you're giving to, you'll have to be tactful and creative with the gift you choose.
Below are some photo gift ideas and guidelines to help you choose the right photo
present for various common special occasions.
Photo gifts make perfect personalized birthday gifts, whether it is birthday gifts for him (birthday gifts for men), birthday gifts for her (birthday gifts for women) or a landmark birthday that has you looking for 1st birthday gifts, 21st birthday gifts, 30th birthday gifts, 40th birthday gifts, 50th birthday gifts, 60th birthday gifts, 70th birthday gifts, even 80th birthday gifts, 90th birthday gifts or even 100th birthday gifts. But not all people are easy to bless with birthday gifts.
For the Person Who Has It All
There is at least one person in all our lives who seems to 'already have everything' - and for that person, the right personalized gift can be perfect.
These people don't tend to care about how much you spend on a gift, especially if they're already wealthy and can buy whatever they want for themselves. Instead, they care about the thought, effort and creativity that goes into a gift.
The same is true for people who aren't all that young anymore. You can actually get special gifts for seniors, but photo presents are also an excellent choice.
For the Very Practical Person
On the other hand, there are people who care mostly about the practical uses of everything they own.
Think about this - have you ever bought an ornamental gift for someone who only buys things that have a practical use? Bet it wasn't much of a success, right? It may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but you realized later that the gift didn't fit the personality.
For these people, something they can actually use - like custom coffee mugs or photo blankets - is the best option. They may appreciate a purely decorative photo gift and thank you for it, but they won't get as much enjoyment out of it in the long term - it will just sit around gathering dust.
Be Thoughtful and Selective when Choosing Photo Gifts
Virtually any of the gifts from the long list of personalized gift ideas above can work as unique birthday gifts - but you have to be selective.
Think about the significance of the age the person is turning. Is it a landmark birthday, like a 30th birthday? Does the age represent anything? Use these thoughts for your personalized gift ideas.
Further, some people relish birthday gag gifts more than others. For some people birthday gag gifts are the worst birthday gifts ever, for others birthday gag gifts are the best birthday gifts there are. If you know the person you are gifting, you probably have some idea about that.
Finally, please remember, some people start getting sensitive about their age as they grow older. If that describes the person you're giving the gift to, there's no point emblazoning their age across a t-shirt with a picture of their face on it. Instead, something tasteful like a photo book with photos from all throughout their life, from childhood to the present, would make a more ideal gift.
Personalized wedding gifts don't just have to be a way to say 'congratulations' to the happy couple - it can also be a way for the happy couple to say 'thank you' to people who helped make the wedding happen.
Not to mention the engagement gift ideas and wedding engagement gifts you need to come up with in good time before the wedding, the engagement party gifts, the wedding shower gifts, the bridesmaid gift ideas and groomsmen wedding gifts you may also need to come up with at some point, and, of course the common practice of giving wedding favors - those are the small, but nice wedding gifts for guests.
Yep. It seems like it never ends ... in fact, there's a whole wedding gift etiquette you may want to check out and observe.
Well, obviously, matching 'his and hers items' lend themselves well to the technology of photo printed gifts.
You can also do something fun with those wedding gifts, like printing the couples' faces on matching t-shirts.
Or you can go for something a little more serious that will last for years, like a photo book. If you're planning to do a photo book, though, you should probably check with the couple first to make sure they don't have anything similar planned for themselves.
If they've already organized a professional photographer to take photos for a wedding day book, there's no point in doing an amateur version - but what you can do instead is collect a bunch of photos of them together from throughout their relationship and turn those into a book.
A photo book will give them something to look back on, so they can remember their roots and all they've been through to get to their present situation.
This kind of photo book can really help bring perspective to the relationship, not just on their wedding day but for years to come. It may even help them keep the good times in mind when their marriage hits a rough patch, as all marriages do from time to time.
When it comes to wedding anniversary gifts by year traditional wedding anniversary gifts are all well and good, and golden wedding anniversary gifts are, well, golden, but personalized wedding gifts in the form of some creative photo gifts and other kinds of personalized wedding gifts can be the very thing that makes the happy couple even happier.
For instance - find out what item goes with this particular anniversary number. In both the UK and the US, as well as many other former colonies and European countries, each anniversary corresponds to a particular material or item.
In the UK, a one-year anniversary is the cotton anniversary.
The second year is paper, the third is leather, and so on, up to the 60th anniversary which is the diamond. (The years and materials differ a bit from country to country, but every country recognizes the 60th as the diamond anniversary).
If you or a couple you know are celebrating a landmark anniversary, like the gold (50 years), sapphire (45 years) or silver (25 years), why not make that a part of your personalized anniversary gift?
You could have some tasteful photo-printed clothing made that include an image of a sapphire or a piece of gold. Or you could give a photo book with a frame color that matches the anniversary material - blue for sapphire, for example.
The photo you choose is also important for an anniversary gift. Do you want to use a recent photo? Or a photo from back when you and your spouse (or the couple, if it's for someone else) just met?
There are retirement gifts for men, retirement gifts for women and humorous retirement gifts, but photo presents for retirement are a wonderful idea.
You can enlist the help of the retiree's friends and family to come up with a photo book that shows the retiree throughout his or her career, or you can go for any of the other kinds of gifts mentioned on this page. Using photo
presents makes it a lot easier to create unique retirement gifts.
Of course, celebrating the wedding or anniversary of people close to us is always an event we enjoy - but there are few events more joyful than a new child coming into the world.
When this happens, it can be hard to decide on the perfect gift to give the parents.
Clothing is always a good idea in this situation - you can get a photo-printed tiny t-shirt for the baby.
If you're close with the parents, you can go ahead and get a joke t-shirt made that they will get a laugh out of.
Alternatively, you can try to come up with a thoughtful idea that the child will be able to look back on and appreciate personally once he or she is all grown up.
Personalized gifts are a good choice for Mother's Day because mothers always like to see the creativity of their offspring. But what would make the perfect gifts for mothers?
Mothers Day gift ideas include the traditional Mothers Day cards, flowers and a Mothers Day gift basket, but photo gifts and other kinds of personalized gift ideas make for far more interesting presents for mom.
You might go for gourmet chocolate gift baskets or even custom chocolate gifts (yep, those do exist, as do so-called sugar free gift baskets), but once again, photo books, custom aprons, photo blankets or photo quilts, custom cushions, photo mugs and customized t shirts all make good choices for Mothers Day gifts.
With a Mother's Day photo book, for example, you can really get creative, making it 'all about her' or mixing it up with pictures of various family members.
Though most men don't really appreciate flowers there is such a thing Fathers Day gift baskets and other great Fathers Day gift ideas include: customized t shirts, photo playing cards, customized beer mugs, photo coasters, photo mouse pads, and, for the gourmet (or gourmand) father: custom aprons.
Using the Internet gifting your dad with personalized Fathers Day gifts is easier than you may think. Get creative and you can come up with some pretty unique Fathers Day gifts!
If you're stumped, check out the year's top ten Christmas gifts on the Internet; if you're late use the Net to find last minute Christmas gifts; and if you're strapped for cash, try and find inexpensive Christmas gifts.
But if you really want to make an impression what you're looking for is unique Christmas gift ideas, and then Christmas photo gifts are a brilliant option. Whether you're looking for Christmas gifts for mom, Christmas gifts for dad or just personalized Christmas gifts in general, custom gifts may come in very handy.
Just remember, the best Christmas gifts are those that take the recipient's interests and taste into careful consideration.
There are very few people who don't appreciate it when you show them your love and appreciation by coming up with some unique Valentines Day gift ideas.
This is especially true of your significant other, of course, whether it involves Valentine gifts for men or Valentine gifts for her, but Valentine gifts for friends are also common and highly prized among people who care for each other.
Of course you can go with the traditional Valentines Day flowers and Valentine roses plus the ever common chocolates and Valentine gift baskets, but why not use photo gifts to make your Valentine gift ideas even more unique?
You know what your loved one or your good friend cares about, so take the time to make some unique homemade Valentine gifts - or save some time and effort by coming up with some awesome photo presents for Valentine's Day.
Going for the cheapest option is fine if you're just creating a throw-away joke gift, but if you're giving something formal, like a wedding or anniversary present, you want it to stand the test of time.
Also, if you're getting something decorative - even a photo book with a nice cover can become a coffee table decoration - put some thought into design and materials to make it fit nicely with the home of the person you're giving it to. If they've already put a lot of effort into interior decoration, you don't want your gift to jar with that.
Putting some thought into your personalized gift ideas will show your friend you've gone the extra mile and really taken their happiness into consideration.
Good luck with your photo presents and other customized gifts!
Top Tips for Making Awesome Photo Books as Unique Personalized Gift Ideas.
Beautiful Personalized Photo Mugs and Fun Personalized Coffee Mugs: Fun and Quirky Ideas for Gifts
Custom T Shirts - Cool Ideas for Custom T Shirts & Photo T Shirts.
Personalized Birthday Gifts- Get Lots of Personalised Gift Ideas!
Tips to Choosing the Perfect Personalized Baby Gifts and Personalized Baby Shower Gifts
Personalized Wedding Gifts - What you need to know about personalized wedding gifts & personalized anniversary gifts. Tips on which custom wedding gifts make cool wedding gifts.
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