How to Use Your Family Photos as Holiday Gifts

Well, it’s that time of year. It is the season of giving…and holiday family photo sessions. It’s the season of mile-long to-do lists, gift lists, and grocery lists. The season when joy and overwhelm go hand-in-hand! Don’t worry; we’ve got some ideas to double up on checking off boxes so you can relax and enjoy the season a little bit more. That’s right, we’ve made a whole list of photo gift ideas so your family photo session can kill a few birds with just one stone! Win-win!

Here are our favorite ways to use family photos as heirloom-quality gifts for loved ones:

Framed Wall Prints or Canvases

Quite possibly the most common, popular, and even the most obvious way to gift your family photos are framed wall prints and canvases. We highly recommend using print sizes of at least 11×14 if they’re going on the wall, and anything smaller just looks too small. And for a little extra flair to your gift,  go for the big guns and matte and frame those babies. Your loved one’s walls will thank you. 

Desktop Prints

Want to take your loved ones’ shelfies to the next level? That’s right, frame a smaller print for a desk, shelf, or tabletop. Anything smaller than 11×14 is great for a surface frame, and a 5×7 is great for relatives with whom you only exchange smaller gifts. Please order your prints (and canvases, for that matter) from us directly or from a reputable lab. Using a drugstore print lab is like using the crackly sound system in your ‘02 Honda to play Beethoven’s symphony. Just don’t.

Holiday Cards

Number three of the common gift choices goes to Holiday Cards. These are great gifts for people you mostly like, owe a thank-you to, or otherwise want to impress. Just kidding! Holiday cards bring joy and are a time-honored tradition! We’re happy to hook you up with some great Holiday card options!


Let’s break out of the traditional mold for a bit. Did you know you can get your holiday photos on an ornament? That’s right! We can help you order some great options from our pro labs or even using a more consumer-friendly print shop like mpix or Shutterfly works too. Just don’t use Walmart or Walgreens, pleeeease. Their print labs aren’t calibrated to professional print standards, often resulting in images with over-saturated colors and incorrect skin tones. Red might be a popular color for the holidays, but nobody wants to look like a rosy-cheeked elf in their family photos! 

Album or Book

What’s that you said? Your photos are too awesome to choose just one as a gift? Of course, they are! No worries, an album or lookbook is what you need! We can hook you up with albums of all sizes and cover types, or even paperback books if you prefer. Albums or smaller books are excellent gifts for grandparents – so they can show off those cute faces to all their friends!

Phone Cases

We LOVE this option as a fun small gift! Tuck it into a gift basket, hide it in a stocking, or wrap it up with a larger techy gift – like a new phone! Let us know if a custom photo phone case is now on your gift list – and we’ll hook you up with one (or a few)!

As you can see, your beautiful family photos deserve so much more than a Facebook post. They weren’t created to hide on a hard drive or collect dust in the cloud. You had these images made to be printed and loved! Photos are meant to be shared, hung on walls, and looked at for years to come. So, please consider thinking outside the box when using your precious family images. We’d love to help you craft the perfect gifts for your loved ones this year!