Digital photography has changed the world. Now, every one of us has the power to create beautiful works of art and showcase our cherished memories in unique and exciting ways. Check out these creative ideas for bespoke gifts and personalized decorations that you'll cherish forever.
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They say a picture is worth a thousand words – and they’re not wrong! We all take photos of special events, people and places to immortalize those precious moments in our lives. We document our happiest memories in these little rectangular images.
However, more often than not, all of our cherished photos make it no further than our computer hard drive, relegated to a mere file name in our documents list. While digital photography has numerous benefits, it’s also led to the death of the physical photograph.
Our pictures are meant to be seen; displayed proudly to incite nostalgia and share our treasured memories with others. You don’t have to line your wall with prints or obsessively hoard photo albums; there are endless creative photo printing ideas that can transform your images into one-of-a-kind momentums.
Even if you’re not an experienced photographer, it’s still possible to create works of art or unique gift ideas for loved ones. You can:
- Print your Instagram photos
- Print photos from Facebook
- Collect pictures from friends
- Search your smartphone albums
Not only do photo prints allow you to showcase your images, but they also protect them from loss. Digital storage is far from infallible, particularly if you have too many files for your computer alone. Cloud accounts are vulnerable to hackers or malware, and external hard drives can corrupt if knocked the wrong way. Only physical prints are truly immortal.
When asked ‘what would you grab in a fire,’ family photo albums often make the list. Many of our grandparent’s generation have carried ancestral images and childhood photos with them through every stage of their life. Yet, it seems as if we are slowly losing sight of the value of the physical photograph.
Fortunately, many innovative companies are revolutionizing the way we can treasure our photographed memories. They have taken the traditional photo album and updated it for the 21st century. We’ve documented some of the most unique photo printing ideas, so give can give your favorite images the lease of life that they deserve.
Photo Book Printing
One of the most creative ways to print photos is the photo book. It’s the digital answer to the photo album and provides endless room for personalization and custom designs. Each stage of the development is chosen by you, including orientation & size, cover material, style, layout, and theme. This limitless potential allows customers to produce truly special creations that will be treasured for the rest of their lives.
You can use photo books for any occasion:
- As a gift for a loved one
- To remember a special event
- As a memorial of someone’s life
- To commemorate significant achievements
We have detailed some specific examples below. For now, let’s go through the basics.
Orientation & Size
Photo books can be produced in a plethora of sizes and shapes, depending on the purpose, budget and personal preference. The options are as follows:
- Portrait (6×4.5, 8×6, 12×6, 12×9)
- Square (6×6, 8×8, 10×10, 12×12)
- Landscape (6×7.5, 6×9, 8×10, 8×12, 10×12.5, 12×15)
- Horizontal Spine (6×12)
When choosing orientation and size, make some careful considerations. How many photos do you need to include? Is the gift for you or someone else? If it’s for a regular traveler, you might want to opt for a pocket-size version.
Alternatively, if the recipient’s eyesight is bad, then a bigger option is best. Consider if it will it be stored in a bookcase or on display? The horizontal spine option, which opens from bottom to top, is ideal to stand on a tabletop or desk.
Cover & Layout
The best thing about photo books is that you can make them look however you want. This even extends to the cover. Most sites offer numerous materials, and you can choose a custom image and title for the front.
- Fabric Cover
- Leather Cover
If you are sending your book as a gift, customizing your cover is a great way to make it extra personal for the recipient.
Regarding layout, your opportunities are endless. You can either work from a pre-made template or use the custom builder function to drag and drop images and features onto each page.
Highlight important images on a two-page spread; create a paneled effect or vary picture sizes and add writing, graphics, frames and other creative elements.
When it comes to style, the photo book is your oyster! With so many customizable features, it’s easy to devise creative themes and concepts. Play with layout, color, and additional elements to create a genuinely priceless work of art.
You can stick to the traditional photo album style or create an imitation scrapbook. Crop all your pictures to squares and add a photo grid for an innovative faux-Instagram album.
There are no limitations to what you can achieve, but we’ve documented some of the most popular for inspiration.
Family Photo Albums – Photo books make collecting family pictures easier than ever. Go through your social media and old computer files, scan in old photo prints and ask around for contributions. You can order them chronologically, or create a set of collages with different themes. (E.g., childhood, travel, college, holidays and individual special occasions.)
Travel Photo Books – Create an authentic scrapbook effect by adding notes and Polaroid-style frames to each picture. You can even add graphics of pins, paperclips, and string for a creative 3D finish.
Wedding Photo Books – Combine both candid and posed images from the event. You can use your wedding colors for the theme and include a .pdf of the invitation to pay true homage the best day of your life!
Holidays Photo Books – There’s no better way to commemorate Christmas, Hanukkah, or Thanksgiving with the family than by taking a plethora of pics – not all of them flattering! Compile the images in a photo book with thematic graphics and colors for the occasion. They make the perfect gifts for next year’s holidays.
Yearbooks – If you’re bored of the conventional yearbook format, then add some color and life to these keepsakes by making a custom photo book instead. Add filters and funny graphics to the pictures, or include speech bubbles instead of boring comment photo captions. When you look back at it in years to come, it will be bound to make you smile.
Photo Card Printing
Let’s face it: year after year, our mailboxes are inundated with cards for all occasions. While we always appreciate the sentiment, if we’re honest, most end up in the bin as soon as the event is over. When we do choose to hold on to some, it’s not the generic store-bought cards we cherish.
Digital photography’s first great innovation was the personalized photo card. Whether they make you smile, laugh or groan with embarrassment, these unique gifts show how much our loved ones know and care about us. You could:
- Send a greeting card with a recent family photo to your distant relatives
- Shame your college roommate with a fresher’s photo on their birthday card
- Create personalized postcards when you’re traveling
- Remind a friend of a fond memory for the holidays.
- Remake old baby photos with your siblings and make them into cards for your parents
Personalized photo cards are also great for making customized invitations. You can work using the theme, season, occasion or even age-range to create an exciting experience for the receiver. Instead of being stuck with a sparse choice between generic kids birthday invitations and stock adult birthday invitations, you can make keepsakes that attendees will treasure forever.
Why not try:
- Adding photos of the event’s hosts
- Devise creative images specifically for the purpose (think baby announcement photos)
- Add funny pictures to make the recipient laugh
- Use pictorial clues as to want the event is, rather than explicit details.
The scope of personalized printing cards is enormous. Countless events throughout the year, and over the course of a lifetime, can be improved with this unique photo printing idea. Not only do they add real value and joy for the recipient, but they also provide a wonderful way to document all the special occasions in your own life.
As you start to personalize cards regularly, the collection evolves into a nostalgic timeline of your journey on earth. In years to come, you will value these cards and look through them over and over again.
Here are just a few examples of greeting cards and invitations that are significantly improved when customized with personal photos:
- Christmas Cards & Hanukkah Cards
- Thanksgiving Cards
- New Year’s Cards & Other Holiday Cards
- Save the Dates, & Bridal Shower Invitations
- Wedding Invitations & Wedding Thank You Cards
- Wedding Anniversary Invitations
- Birth Announcements & Baby Shower Invitations,
- Birthday Invitations & Thank You Cards
- Baby’s 1st Birthday Invitations
- Sweet Sixteen Invitations
- Graduation Invitations
If you’re stuck for ideas, then you can always use the internet to search for some inspiration. Each photo-printing site offers templates to work with or do a quick Google to see what others have created. Countless creative ideas are being shared all the time online, so you’re bound to find something to make your photo card truly unique to you!
Canvas Photo Prints
Photo prints aren’t just for compiling your memories. With so many advancements in photo technology, we all have to power to create stunning images. Take your favorite shots and blow them up into large format prints, perfect for hanging on the wall or as a gift for loved ones.
Some smartphone cameras now have the capacity to take pictures as well as any DSLR. There are plenty of online tutorials on how to shoot good photos, and it’s easy to add filters for a more stylized finish.
Canvas photo prints are a classic format that gives any stunning image the elegant showcase it deserves.
Uses for Canvas Prints
Mounted wall art is ideal for literally anyone. Any house, from dingy college dorm rooms to vast estates, can be improved with a tastefully selected canvas. They are possessions to be treasured, moved from home to home and given pride of place on the wall. There are many ways you can get creative with canvas prints, with for yourself or as a gift.
Here are a few ideas:
- Create collage posters
- Prints you favorite Instagram images
- Spread one photo across several prints for unique wall art
- Create sets from special events, such as weddings, family photo shoots and graduation days.
- Get professional portraits taken and print them.
- Buy a canvas of every family member for a thoughtful group gift.
No matter what you chose to print, the standout effect takes your pictures from prints to works of art! There is plenty of avenue for creativity with a standard canvas, but more companies are already reaching the next level with new metallic art prints and other options.
The most creative photo printing ideas don’t just involve unique images. Playing with materials is the perfect way to create one-of-a-kind prints. Every surface offers a different feel that you can match to your home decor.
Here are some alternatives to canvas prints:
- Cardstock Art Prints. This quaint idea uses folded cardboard to create 3D frames for your images. It has a wonderfully cutesy feel and is great for lovers and handmade arts and crafts. Give your photo collages a tasteful handicraft finish or add words for a pop-out greeting card.
- Metal Prints. Want to find the perfect present for your unsentimental dad, or another typical male in your life? For those who might see canvas prints as a bit ‘girly,’ choosing a metal backing is a great alternative. Add pictures or simply a slogan; the result is perfect for hanging in any shed or man cave.
- Frame Prints. If you want a more traditional product to hang in your house, frame prints offer a great vintage feel. However, you can also modernize this option, depending on the frame you chose. Opt for thin black borders over thick wood to avoid that antique vibe.
- Wood Prints. For lovers of rustic décor, there’s no better option than a wood print. The material is beautiful, and the combination of a natural surface with digital photography is truly unique and aesthetically pleasing.
Photo Print Calendar
We all use calendars. While many now opt for digital formats, no app will ever compare to the excitement of uncovering a new image every month. Now, it’s possible to create your own calendar – either as a gift or for yourself! Send your loved ones 12 months of different images of you, your nearest and dearest, or of your own artistic photos.
Although any personalized calendar is sure to bring a smile to the owner, with a bit of thought you can create a genuine masterpiece. There are a range of formats and styles available, to really get your creative juices flowing.
Types of Calendars
Most photo printing websites offer the following calendar types:
- Wall Calendars – Traditional format with hook to attach to wall. There are a few different variations in layout to explore.
- Easel Calendars – Single photo on patterned hardwood board, with post-it note style calendar beneath.
- Desk Calendars – This stand-alone format uses long horizontal pages with the binder at the top, perfect for desktop use.
- Calendar Magnet – Create the ideal custom kitchen calendar, with a magnetized back you can stick to the fridge.
- Calendar Mouse Pad – Choose your own images to border an annual calendar on mouse pad material.
- Bulk Calendar Plan – If you’re doing a fundraising, work for a charity or just want a unique group gift, many photo printing sites offer bulk options.
Tips for Choosing Calendar Photos
To get the very best quality from your personalized calendar, you don’t have to be a master photographer. There are a few simple design rules that you can follow for high-grade results. If you’re starting from scratch, it’s worth looking up online tutorials for taking professional-looking images. You can research composition, lighting, and subjects to develop a better understanding.
If you would rather make a calendar from photos that you already own, then follow these quick tips to set your custom gift apart from the crowd.
Choose well-lit images – Dark pictures may look ok on your scream, but on a light background, they immediately become dingy and difficult to see. Look for bright photos that haven’t been over-exposed for the best results.
Frame people – Close-up photos of faces soon get boring. Instead, find shots with interesting backgrounds and frames for a diverse finished product.
Consider seasons – You will see these images for at least a month, so consider what you most want to look at during different times of year. Some people might love a beach shot in winter, while others find the same image taunting. Using shots from past holidays is a great way to create a calendar that embarks on a seasonal journey.
Add humor – Not everyone wants a set of twelve beautiful images. Some people would much prefer a laugh each month. How about making a calendar of your twelve funniest drunken pictures or silliest baby photos? Alternatively, add extra graphics to create hilarious personalized cartoons.
Tell a story – Remember, these photos will be gradually revealed over the course of a year. Particularly if you’re making a gift, consider creating a story that runs through every page. If you can take new photographs, then use scenes from famous legends and fairytales or employ a mascot in every shot. If you’re gathering pictures, try using a photo from different years on each page, or show the evolution of your family over time.
Creative Calendar Ideas
If you’re buying bulk calendars or making gifts for your loved ones, it’s worth putting some thought into your concept and arranging to take new pictures. You can find inspiration from anywhere; re-enact scenes from your life and relationships, or create elaborate costumes for every page. If you have a beloved pet, then make them the stare of the show, or get out into the world with your smartphone for a ’12 months of selfies’ theme.
You don’t have to have the best equipment or any experience in photography! Just have fun with the project, and the result will be something you can treasure forever.
Photo Print Gift Ideas
It goes without saying that personalized photo prints make incredible gifts. However, many of us fail to explore the vast range of possibilities available when it comes to creative photo printing ideas. Whether you’re buying for Millennials or those in their golden years, you can find the perfect present for anyone using personalized photo gifts.
For the traditionalists, there’s nothing that beats a print to display on the wall. We’ve already covered this in detail, but here’s a quick recap:
- Buy canvas and framed art prints for personalized décor
- Choose metal prints, or other alternative materials, for a unique result
- Create framed prints of photo collages as the ultimate keepsake.
Large prints are ideal for you most Instagram-worthy shots.
While prints are beautiful embellishments to any house, there are countless ways to transforms your favorite photos into decorations for the home. These unique gifts are perfect for interior design enthusiasts, and those who love having alternative style! Most photo printing websites offer their own range of home décor options, but typical examples include glitter ornaments, candles, wall art, home accents and tabletop plaques.
If your loved ones are not interested in design, there’s plenty of other personalized photo gifts you can get them for around the home. Different websites offer different products, but you can find the perfect option for friends and family of every kind.
- Latte mugs and cups for coffee lovers
- Flower pots for avid gardeners
- Cutting boards for budding chefs
- Flasks and stainless steel mugs for adventurous friends
- Wine glasses, pilsner glasses and beer growlers for those who enjoy a tipple.
- Paperweights for the office.
If you’re struggling to decide you can always ask their opinion; it won’t ruin the surprise as they won’t know you plan to personalize it!
Alongside turning your photos into gifts for the home, there’s also plenty of choices if you’re looking for a personal present. All photo printing websites offer small, thoughtful gift options to show those special people that you’re thinking about them.
Common options include: engraved jewelry; key chains with names, dates, and images; unique custom canvas tote bags, a set of personalized playing cards and rustic wooden magnets.
If you know a tech geek, you’ll understand how hard it is to buy presents for them! They always immediately purchase the latest gadgets and own all the top tech. Therefore, creating personalized photo tech gifts is the perfect solution. Buy them a totally unique case or cover to protect their treasured technology.
Here are just a few ideas:
- iPhone Cases
- Samsung Cases
- Mouse Pads
- iPad Cover
- Portable Charger
It’s not just adults who get great joy from personalized gifts. Imagine the surprise of your sons, daughter, nieces, and nephews when they open a new toy with their own face on! It’s a guaranteed success.
Most printed gifts are appropriate for children, but there’s a few specifically designed with them in mind. Create personalized jigsaw puzzles, playing cards or memory games, for a present as unique as it is entertaining. Alternatively, get them their own custom placemats – or become their favorite grown-up with personalized Disney gifts.
Check photo printing sites around the holidays for seasonal gifts. Alongside extra themed templates, there are also specialized products to customize. Get your kid their very own Santa sacks or stockings with their face on, for example.
Unique Ways to Display Your Photo Prints
Once you’ve created your own personalized photo prints, you have to think about showcasing them. It’s easy just to hang them on the wall, but that’s no fun!
Here are a few suggestions to make your photo display pop:
- Attach the prints to string and use them like bunting.
- Use sticky tack to create interesting shapes, such as clouds or hearts, with your photos on the wall.
- Buy a corkboard and choose your current favorite pics to display.
- Break up one image over numerous prints to create unique, fragmented wall art.
- Use twigs, leaves and feathers for beautiful, natural photo frames
- Put photo prints, increasing in size, going up your staircase – you could even end with a giant photo collage at the top!
If you have any more unique photo printing ideas or ways to display them, please let us know in the comments!
Transform Your Photos into Unique Art
The modern world is one of innovation. Ideas and technologies develop so rapidly that the creative scope is almost endless. If you’re tired of searching through coutless computer albums to find your favorite pics, then it’s time to embrace these unique ways to print photos.
Try out our creative photo printing ideas to showcase your treasured memories, brighten up your home or create one-of-a-kind gifts for your nearest and dearest. Now when you expended your knowledge in the vast ocean of the photo prints it is time to learn who is the best online photo printing service.