Where did this year go? It's hard to believe, but holiday decorations are already up in the stores. Yes, the gift giving season is upon us. So now the question of what to give the photographer on your list. Or, as a photographer, what can you give others?
Send Personalized Greeting Cards
Think about sending out greeting cards, printed with your artwork, to friends and family this holiday season. Despite the e-card phenomenon, which most recipients see as shallow and ephemeral, a personalized card, with your own artwork, sends a message of thoughtfulness and caring.
Many labs offer greeting card services, but you can also print your own on a good photo quality printer. Interestingly enough, the cost is about the same at a $1 a card. If you want to print your own, check out one of our blog posts from last year, Lay Out and Print a Greeting Card.
Our Friends over at Red River Paper have a great selection of greeting card stock and their website is packed with helpful hints and tips. You can also find Greeting Card Designer, a set of Photoshop actions that I wrote to help lay out a greeting cards.
Create a Calendar
Calendars are a great way to share your art work. Let someone know you're thinking of them during the holidays with a gift of a new custom calendar displaying your photography.
Like greeting cards, you can find many labs that offer calendar services. Personally, I like to print my own. I prefer the variety of papers and having the personal control over the creative process.
I have also written a set of actions that handles the tedious job of laying out the calendars with Photoshop. You can download Calendar Designer actions from the red river website, and best of all, they're free.
Create Photo Bookmarks
Share the gift of Photography with a custom laminated bookmark. This is a perfect gift or promotional item. After all, who can't use a nice bookmark. It will keep your photography in front of people day after day.
I wrote a Photoshop action called Bookmark Designer. The action is available free of charge from my website PlayWithYourPixels.com. Bookmark Designer simply creates an 8" x 10" sheet of bookmarks ready for lamination.
Give Photo Education (Workshop)
One of the greatest gifts you can give any photographer is the gift of education. Mastering photography requires the dedication of the lifelong learner. I don't know of any photographer that would not appreciate the gift of a photo workshop.
Obviously, we would love to have you participate in one of our upcoming workshops, but there're also a lot of outstanding photographers that offer a whole variety of different programs.
The Gift of Travel
The gift of travel transcends any other photography eduction you could give someone. With travel, you learn not only about photography, but about yourself. St. Augustine once said that "the world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page". Travel is more that just seeing new sights, as Miriam Beard says, "it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living."