Happy Tuesday! This morning I am going in a different direction. I am normally fixated on all things photographic- how to create the right exposure, how to get the best from your subjects, how to create fun compositions, how to MAKE THE IMAGE! But this week my mother-in-law suggested something that got me thinking outside of my little Nikon box.
Now that we are taking fabulous photos, what should we do with them???
No, no no! The answer is not "leave them in the camera and show them to everyone through the LCD screen" (my father-in-law is notorious for doing just this!).
Here are a few ideas that I came across simply by looking through my own home and the gifts that I have given in the past.
First, we've got your basic wall decor. DUH! Sure, as a photographer, it seems only natural that I'd cover my walls with my own images. But actually, I do this more as a mother than as a photographer. After all, fewer things make me happier than looking at beautiful images of my babies. I'm sure most moms would agree.
And of course, you've got your basic calendar gifts. I have made calendars for my parents and in-laws every year since our kids were born. And I'm sure all grandparents would agree that nothing beats month after month of smiling grandchildren! This calendar is the one I made for my in-laws using IPhoto.
There are tons of great sites out there where you can take your images and create all types of memory books. I'm sure you've all got your own favorites. Most people think of creating their books after family vacations or holidays, but I think everyday life is just as good a reason to document the images!
But yes, holidays and special events are great reasons to create such books. My father-in-law has been the recipient of two such books, each on different birthdays. I love making them for him because I know he cherishes them.
And what about this great idea! My sister-in-law created children's books for each of our kids! She used images from their recent wedding and created books that were age appropriate for each child! Scotty can read his all by himself, Brady LOVES looking at the photos of when she was the flower girl, and Mikey has a baby book with simple words and beautiful images! What a great idea! Thanks Aunt Dani and Uncle Ned!
Greeting cards and announcements are always a great way to use photos. Yes, it's March, and yes Christmas has come and gone, but there are birthdays, birth announcements, and tons of great holidays where we exchange cards. Hey, I've even got a friend who sends Groundhog's Day cards! Think outside that box!
And if you just can't find a reason to get those images off your computer and onto prints, then fine. Just leave them there. But have fun. I have a slide show of my favorite images constantly running on my computer. Photos of my kids never get old. And my kids love seeing themselves on screen. Mikey especially gets such a kick out of it!
Hey I've even put their mugs on my mouse pad! Don't look too closely or you'll notice the pen marks that Brady added. I think she thought that the mouse pad was something she was supposed to color in!
These are just a few of the ideas I had lying around our house. In addition to these, I've used photos for:
- mini-accordion books of encouragement for friends and family who were ill.
- funky and edgy rep cards for seniors who wanted an alternative to handing out boring wallets to friends.
- photo coasters
- photo coffee mugs (how great an idea for us CAWFEE TAWKERS!)
- photo ornaments
- CDs in custom made photo covers
And these are a few of the ideas that I have NOT yet done but would love to have myself (feel free to share these with my husband!):
- photo jewelry (I'm working on this as a fabulous gift for my next JLP idea- stay tuned!)
- photo puzzles for my kids (my Brady girl is the puzzle QUEEN and would love to do a puzzle of herself!)
- photo accessories- anything from handbags, to aprons, to clothing!
Now how about you? What ideas have you got for those images? Brainstorm and try to come up with some ideas for your family and friends, some gifts for others, or some fun treats for yourself! And of course, share with me! I am always up for some new ideas on what to do with my images! Hmm... maybe wallpaper for the house?
In any event, happy shooting and we'll TAWK next week!