Gift Idea: Personalized Photo Gifts

Do you take a lot of photos of the places you have been, the ones you love, nature, rustic old buildings or just things that catch your eye? Do you ever wonder what to do with all those photos? Why not make them into a personalized gift for someone special? Did you know that it’s really very easy to do?

All you need is a jpeg of your image, a computer, an Internet connection and a debit/credit card and you are ready to go. Now you are thinking but where do I go to make these personalized gifts? Well look no further than this post! I have some resources for you that will be helpful for you. You can personalize almost anything with your own photos, your name, your initials and more! You can have your photos printed on wood, metal, glass, and canvas or poster paper! You can customize a cell phone case, cutting boards, serving trays, giftwrap, note cards and the list goes on!

I have used these sites for just about every special occasion in my marriage to make my husband a photo book or calendar that captures all our special moments. These are gifts that will be held on to and looked at over and over for a lifetime.

My first recommendation is Zazzle allows you to customize wedding invitations, save the date cards, cell phone cases, leggings, tote bags, t-shirts, watches, tissue paper, gift wrap and a lot more.

I have a store on Zazzle,* where you can order, photo Christmas cards, stationary, home décor items, tissue paper and more. My collection is still growing so check back often! If you see a design in my store that you would like to see on a different product feel free to send me a message and let me know. I love customer feedback!

Next, which is primarily a photo driven website. They allow you to put your photos on fleece blankets, mugs, canvas, metal, wood, Christmas cards, gift items and create photo books to hold all your memories. I have found that Snapfish photo books make wonderful gifts.

After that, They pretty much do the same items as Snapfish but allow you to personalize stationary, cell phone cases and gifts. They are affiliated with TinyPrints and Wedding Divas.

Along with all these websites you can also visit Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Costco and Rite-Aid to have your photos printed or put on special gifts. It all really depends on the price you want to pay and the quality you want to receive. Another option is Etsy. There are many shops on Etsy where you can work with a designer one-on-one and they will design your item for you and even help you order the end product if you need them too.  Visit my Etsy store, to see the item I offer or contact me for a custom order.

The steps to customize your items really are very simple and each of the sites work pretty much the same way. I will run through the basics with you below.

Step One: Chose the site you want to order from. Click a link above or search or a site on your own. There are many more companies out there than I have room for in this blog. A search on Google will highlight most of them for you.

Step Two: Create and account on the site you choose by clicking their “sign-up” now button.

Step Three: Search their site for the product you want to customize.

Step Four: Once you have found the item, click through to the customize page for that item. Once you are there, there will be buttons that either say customize, upload, edit or something along those lines. Click the appropriate button.

Step Five: Upload your photo by clicking the appropriate button on the page and navigating to your computer and the location in which you store your photos. Choose the correct photo and wait for it to upload.

Step Six: Check to make sure you photo is positioned the way you want it, resize, rotate and crop it using the tools on your chosen site, add text or other elements until you like the way your item looks.

Step Seven: Place your order and pay.

Each site will be a little different in how it operates, but these are the basic steps you need to know to create your own personalized photo gifts. All of these sites have extensive help pages to help you learn how to use their site and customer service agents you can contact. I have found that these sites are very user friendly, I hope you find them to be also.

Consider turning your photos this holiday season to the perfect gift for someone you love.

More holiday ideas still to come! I love Christmas!

Vacation Photos

The art of photography with your spouse

This past week my husband Michael and I were celebrating our one year anniversary. On our honeymoon we discovered that we both have a passion for photography and discovering new places to take photos. So, for this trip we decided on a road trip to the Redwood Forest in Eureka California. Along with the redwoods we learned on-line that there were several lighthouses in the area that we could also photograph, along with the majestic redwoods. Allowing us to check two major things off of our bucket list we created when we were dating!

Upon arriving in Eureka we discovered that our hotel and Eureka was not quite what we expected. After discovering this, we quickly canceled our reservation and found a new hotel and re-planned our whole vacation, which made it into a whole new adventure. We decided to stay two nights in Eureka, visit the Redwoods and two lighthouse an then move on up the coast into Oregon where there were 7 more lighthouse for us to visit. This also allowed for us to end our Anniversary trip in Cannon Beach, where we began our journey last year!

On our honeymoon Michael mostly used a GoPro for his photographs occasionally borrowing my Nikon to shoot a few photos he thought would be captured better without a wide angle lens. This proved challenging if a few aspects. First, I had to be willing to give up my camera for a time so he could shoot the photos he wanted. Second, we only had one memory card so remembering which photos were mine or his proved difficult. Upon thinking about this I decided that purchasing Michael his own camera as his anniversary gift would not only make our road trip easier and more fun for both of us, but that it would provide us with a way to enjoy this common interest together more often. It work wonderfully! Micheal loved having his own camera and being able to shoot a photo the moment he saw it. The only complication we ran into was being able to tell the cameras apart when getting them out to shoot or downloading photos.

A a few tips on the art of photography with your spouse:

Finding a common interest with your spouse can be one of the most wonderful gifts in marriage if you allow it to draw you closer together rather than become a competition. Learn from each other. Enjoy the time your spending together no matter what the hobby is. I encourage you to start brainstorming today what activities you have or could have in common with your spouse. It will bless your marriage in ways you can't even imagine.

Here are some photos from our trip for you to enjoy.

Coming Next Week: Olive Oil: The art of flavored oils