In today’s online digital world, we are programmed to look at our photos on our phones, tablets and computers. But turning that intangible electronic image into a powerful keepsake or gift, means taking your photo out of the computer and into the real world. In other words, the power of print makes for great gift giving.
As a pro photographer, I am always printing my photos. I grew up in a traditional darkroom when paper prints were the only option and one thing I learned over the years is that how I print the photograph makes a big difference in how the final image not only looks, but feels. So when I want to take one of my images from jpg to gift, I start by asking myself some questions: What is it a picture of? a baby? a landscape? vacation hijinks? Do I want the photo to feel traditional, timeless or contemporary? Do I want to print on paper or something different? Will it go on a wall or sit on a desk? Framed or frameless?
From acrylic to wood, there are a myriad of options to choose from when you want to create the perfect photo gift, and several professional level specialty labs that offer user-friendly interfaces and consumer-friendly pricing to help you creatively and easily create a very special photo for giving.
Traditional Paper Prints: To start, if you own a photo inkjet printer, then by all means print the gift yourself! There are a myriad of photo papers to choose from: ultra glossy, semi-gloss, lustre, metallic and matte. For me, a heavy fine art matte paper like Canson Infinity Rag Photographique or Epson Cold Press Bright produce deep, rich tones and a painterly feel and an elegance to the final photo. To add a bit of shimmery pop and energy to the image, I go for a glossy metallic paper such as Vibrance Metallic by Breathing Color. There’s no right or wrong, it’s simply a matter of personal preference. All of these papers are available at B&H Photo.
No printer? No problem! There are a multiple services where you can create a traditional photo print to gift. My choice for classic prints if I’m not printing the image myself is Bay Photo Labs. They offer a wide array of paper choices from traditional photo papers to high end fine art papers in sizes from 2×3” all the way up to 40×60”. Another option for a paper print, consider Artifact Uprising. Their ultra-thick photo prints with a textured matte eggshell finish give the print a truly luxurious feel and is a wonderful choice for portraits or wedding photos.