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New Ways To Gift Photos

New Ways To Gift Photos
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Photo Courtesy Of Heather Curtis Photography

BY KITT WALSH

Some of us might have gotten expert at loading a photo or two to Facebook (although I have many friends who still post them one at a time as they have no one to explain creating an album to them) but others of us may have stopped at just being able to taking a photo with our phone and then hand it over to someone who is, as my friend Barb calls her kids, “higher tech”.

While there’s no shame in not knowing something, I am on the side of those who say we’ve got to keep learning or calcify into an immoveable old age, so this holiday season why not do unto others and learn some new ways to deal with photos while ticking people off your gift list at the same time?

Backup

First things first, be sure to backup your precious photos before you begin monkeying with them. Invest in a portable hard drive storage system which will hold all the photos you probably ever will take for around $70. Check Amazon for the best selling Seagate models for PC or Mac users. These units just plug into your USB port of your computer and allow you to select any photos you want saved, then copy them right onto a hard drive. That way, if your computer crashes, your online backup company goes under or Facebook eats your photos, you’ve got them stored. (Do this by Dec 19 when Mercury goes retrograde again if you believe such a celestial events screws with computers. From experience, I do!)

Books Are Still Appreciated

Being able to take down a photo book and flip through it, smiling over memories, is still a wonderful experience, but the days of those sticky photo albums are behind us. Try Chatbooks, which will take your Facebook photos and create a holiday book of them for $8. You can go even more upscale with a holiday hardcover one for $15. You get 60 photo selections in a series (they automatically ship another book when you have added 60 photos), including any original captions you put on Facebook, shipping is free and the whole thing takes about 30 seconds of your time. The app also works with your Instagram feed (you techie, you) or photos on your digital camera. Download it from the App store or Google Play.

If you have a bit more time (and don’t mind it being just a little more complicated to make a book), try the apps of The Instagram Friendly Book, which comes across with a more personal touch and costs $18 or any of the other beautiful hard or softcover books that can be created at Artifact Uprising or Blurb which allows you a lot of creative freedom (without any real formatting knowledge. $14.99 gets you a 20 page book or get a downloadable eBook for $9.99 that can be downloaded onto a Kindle, iPad or Android reader.

Though the books from Artifact Uprising and Blurb take very little time to create, do hurry to get them by Dec 24. Do your selection this week and finalize your order by December 7th for holiday delivery. You have until December 18 to order your Chatbook.

Calendars, Stickers, Wall Art and More

Social Print Studio can make your photos into stickers, wall or daily calendars, magnets or even print your photos on pieces of reclaimed wood or metal and do so for the holidays if you get them the order by Dec. 15th (the 17th if you pick priority). I’ve got a magnet of my son’s baby picture next to one of his baby’s picture on my refrigerator where I can smile at them every morning. Not a bad way to start the day, surrounded by the ones you love. Prices vary so visit their website to start browsing.

If one of your photos should hang in The Louvre (or just your living room), contact Heather Curtis Photography to get it transferred to canvas. Sizes vary and prices range from $80 for a 12×12 to $114 for a a20x20. Shipping is a flat $25 anywhere in the US. The deadline to get the photos to Heather for holiday delivery is December 15th or you can pay a little extra for next day delivery. Contact her and send your photo through www.HeatherCurtisPhotography.com.

Kicking It Old School

Sometimes prints are the way to go but don’t just run to the corner drugstore. Go online to MPix.com and get truly high quality prints (bright colors, clear focus) with basically turn-around service. Most prints ship out in a day and are in your hand within 2 or 3. Go for a pretty 12-photo accordion packet with magnetic closure and holiday theme (Chanukah or Christmas) for less than $20. If you are a new customer, you get a $25 discount off of any order of $50 or more—that’s like a gift to yourself.

According to Pew Research, the major reason people visit Facebook is to see photos and, at the holidays, family takes center stage. Pass along those memories in a new way this year—with apps and online companies, sharing the love just got much easier. Happy holidays to you and yours.

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Kitt Walsh owns a web content company, Behind Blogs (http://www.behindblogs.com), is a regular contributor to CNN Money, a public speaker on Social Media, a book editor and ghostwriter, and freelances as a feature writer, editor and marketing consultant for magazines, newspapers and private clients around the world.