Still looking for a “thoughtful” gift or two for the folks on your holiday shopping list? It may be time to hit up one of the many digital photo services around and design your own. Luckily, now that the masses have caught on to simple photo books (thanks to Oprah), there are new tricks for creating unexpected gifts with your digital images. Here’s a list of five that I’ve used:
I discovered Motionbox at CES last year, and have been carrying around their sample flipbook ever since. Motionbox does something I’ve seen no other company do. They create a flipbook out of any 15-second video you submit to their site. I finally ordered a couple this year at $7.99 each. I can’t think of a better stocking stuffer.
The Magic of Moo
Moo made its name creating cheap mini cards, and indeed I get my own custom business cards printed from the company every year. But you can do a lot more at the Moo site. Last year I had the brilliant idea (okay, I probably stole it from the Moo blog) to order a set of NoteCards and then attach magnets to the back of them. The concept is ideal for any token gifts you have to give to a group of people because you can use as many as 16 different images in one pack of cards. Make funny ones for your office mates or cute ones for the parents in your kid’s Scout troop.
Regular photo collages are generally a pain to make because they involve irregular sizes and sometimes even irregular shapes. Snapfish, on the other hand, has come up with a solution that takes all the hard work out of the process. Submit up to 20 photos, and Snapfish will create a collage print for you. An 8″x10″ photo collage is only $2.99. Get a simple frame, wrap it up, and you’re ready to go.
If you like to work at your gifts, Scrapblog has an alternative to Snapfish’s automated collage prints. With Scrapblog, you create digital scrapbook pages, complete with graphics, text, effects, and just about anything else you can imagine. And now that Scrapblog has printing capabilities, you can turn those digital pages into prints… or cards, or books, or calendars. If you’ve got massive artistic capabilities, this is the way to go. The possibilities are literally endless.
Finally, if you’re feeling really generous with your time, you can dig out a friend or relative’s old slides and use a scanner to convert them to digital photos. I did this last year with an available HP photo scanner, and then dropped the digital images on a digital photo frame. It’s the best gift I’ve ever given my dad, and I plan to live off the brownie points until at least Chrismas 2010.