Well….its one day before the Big Day. (Ok, I probably should have posted this sooner, but remember its not too late to pull this off).

You are well armed with your camera, a few lenses and some free time over Christmas Break. Maybe you have a special someone or two or ten, that you have absolutely no idea what to give because either:

1. They have absolutely everything they want.
2. They are picky and no matter what you decide to give them, they aren’t going to fully appreciate it.
3. You are short on cash this Christmas Season.
4. You want to give them a meaningful present, something they will appreciate and use for years to come.

Number 4 is usually my dilemma. I want to give a great present to someone, but I want it to mean something and have it last for many, many years. Most gadgets, even the really cool ones only last a year or two and then they break or are obsolete.

My suggestion, especially if you are a photographer is to give the Gift of Photography.

Obviously, this isn’t a great gift idea for small children, but for families, couples, even teenagers, it will make a great gift.

Here is one of the several Photo Gift Certificates Ive made:

I made it in Photoshop and printed several on a 4 x 6 photo paper (this particular design was made to fold in half with another design glued on the outside, which I then wrapped in either an envelope or another photo print (with their picture on it if I have it).

I also believe it is wise to put down the value of what you would normally charge for this service, not to be tacky, just as a subtle reminder that your time and efforts to do this as a gift have a real value. Otherwise your friend/loved one may see it as “a free shoot” which somewhat implies that your gift is without value.

(That said, it would be extremely tacky to try to make money off a photography gift, it needs to be completely free, no up sells or charging for proofs, prints or otherwise.)

I like to get the biggest nicest prints possible (think gallery wraps if you can, but if not a nice large print, even an 8 x 10 is reasonably inexpensive).

Sometimes its much easier (and better) to buy a certain toy (iPhone for example) that your loved one will appreciate and use, but its been my experience you cannot go wrong with pictures.

If you do a good job, they will hang it on their wall and treasure it for years to come.