If you are keen to make some personalised photo gifts for your family and friends you are probably running out of time. You will definitely need to get them in for processing by the next few days.
There are an extensive range of gifts you can now personalise with your best photos, too many to cover here. However popular gift include calendars, diaries, personal stationary mugs, stubbie holders, mouse mats, place mats, aprons, t-shirts, christmas decorations, … the list is pretty endless. In Australia, place like TED’s photolounge, Harvey Norman and Big W,all do enlargements canvas prints & photobooks and there are a few other specialty shops around but photogift creators have largely moved on-line. Some services like momento (best known for their quality photobooks) offer free software to help you prepare calendars and diaries on your computer before uploading them for printing, others like snapfish (formerly the backroom processor for rabbit prints and now owned by HP) or shutterfly (formerly Kodak Gallery), offer on-line preparation.
It pays to shop around as there are some great incentive discounts around. For instance the Melbourne’s AGE gift guide on sunday included some great deals via Vispatprint, including a $3 calendar (you also have to pay delivery)
If you haven’t prepared photo gifts before, start with something simple, maybe a calendar, and test the waters this years, Then get more creative next year. Finally here are a few tips to consider.
If your are preparing a calendar from an overseas/international company, check which public holidays are marked, as they may include US or UK holidays, like founders day or martin luther’s birthday and some events like mothers and fathers day are celebrated at different times in different countries. Daylight saving starting is another possible hiccup (it can even start on different times in different states
If your are preparing a photo gift with a photo of the intended recipient, make sure that they “like” the photo. Most people have very strong opinions about how they want themselves portrayed. It does really pay yo let them see the image first (you don’t need to tell them you intend to make it into a gift). They are usually pretty quick with their opinion, eg “Oh don’t I look hideous!”=>not a good gift.
On a somewhat related issue so parents are very protective of their children and can take strong offence to quiet innocent photos (eg funny expression, picking nose, “nudey” runs). It is best not to have anything likely to cause controversy on gifts,
Check it twice, even get someone else to check it. Most sites now have “click away responsibility” dialogues before the orders are placed, which mean you are responsible for the image (quality) and spelling and accuracy of the text. If you are in a hurry to place and order these important little check can be overlooked. So when every thing is looking good, take a break, get a coffee then came back for a final check