It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Let’s be real for a second though, this is also what can be defined as the most stressful time of year, too! Trying to find the perfect gift without breaking the bank can sometimes be a real struggle. It may seem obvious of me to suggest, photo gifts but hear me out–these are some pretty good gift ideas that aren’t your typical framed type things!
You know when you head over to a family session and your photographer takes a ton of photos? There are typically only a handful of perfectly posed, everyone’s looking and smiling, Christmas card and frame worthy shots. But lets take a minute to remember those lost photos; the candids! The photos that are cute, silly and a little imperfect which most people don’t know how to showcase.What am I getting at here, one of my favorite gifts to give during the holidays: a photo CALENDAR! Create your calendar using Shutterfly or another photo site. You will have lots of layouts to chose from and adding all sorts of images to each month will make this the gift that continues to give joy, all year long!
Depending on which way you go with this, it may take a little more creativity! Fear not, if you happen to need some ideas, Pinterest will have tons of choices! Whether you go with a DIY mod podge craft or you order one of Etsy, this is a gift everyone is bound to love. Who doesn’t love staring at cute little faces on their Christmas tree?! This will likely become a gift tradition they will wish to receive year after year, too!
Pillows, Blankets, Everything Snuggley
Photography is a great way to decorate every room in your home but it’s not always the case that you know a loved one with an empty wall to fill with framed photos or canvas. This doesn’t mean they wouldn’t appreciate a keepsake, though! So put a cozy spin on it, instead! Sure, your typical photo album is still a great choice but these gifts are more likely to be seen daily which I would say is extra special!
The easiest and most personal decoration any home can have is photos. I have photos ALL OVER my house. Lots of people aren’t sure what to do with all of the photos they receive from a session. You can only hang so many on your wall before it becomes too overwhelming. Am I right? Keep reading if you want to learn a thing or two about how to display your images without them taking over your house.
1. The Mantel. If you have a fireplace or mantel of some sort, girl get those pictures on there! Cute and simple frames, a few meaningful decorations and you can switch out the photos every season. Then of course, one large framed print above. It’s traditional yes, but it’s the perfect spot to display the one family photo you love.
2. Floating shelves. This is my favorite way to get creative with photos! You can purchase shelves anywhere like Etsy or you can easily have them made. Hang them together or separate and fill them with photos of different sizes. Add a couple accent pieces and TA-DA! You have about 9-10 photos displayed in one spot that isn’t overbearing.
3. Entry way table. Many people have a little table as you enter their home that politely screams, welcome! Why not use this opportunity to mix in some photos with a few seasonal decorations to help you home feel more welcoming and homey?
4. Decor with built in frames. Not like cheesy decor, I don’t do cheesy. But we received this gorgeous cross picture frame for our wedding, and up until we moved in to this house had no where to put it. It works perfect for our dining room and since it is more of a decor piece, the photos don’t take it over.
5. Kids rooms. Do your kids like to take your phone right after you take a picture of them to see themselves? Well then where better to display their photos than in their rooms?! Trust me, your kiddo will LOVE this surprise!
6. Above your bed. Yup, your room too. Falling asleep and waking up to my family leaves me with a sense of gratitude. And everyone who comes to our house and sees it LOVES it!
7. On your bedroom wall. It’s your bedroom. YOUR bedroom. Of all the places in your house to be reminded of your love, your bedroom should be the #1 spot. Having a photo of you and your spouse is a must. Whether it is from your engagement photos, your wedding photos, or your family photos (pro tip: always get at least one of just you two at family photos). Throw a cute sign up by it and there ya go!
8. Your nightstand and dressers. My oldest daughter has 2 photos on her dresser. One with her daddy and one with me. My youngest has a family one on her shelf in her room (changing pad still has her dresser taken over). Just one or 2, and I promise you will smile every time you see them.
9. On your desk and shelves. My office is covered in photos. I have a family one on my desk with a cute succulent. I have 4 on my bookshelf to add some accents. Then on the other shelf in my office I have 7 more. A couple newborn photos of each of the girls and some special candid family moments.
10. Albums. Give me all the beautiful albums!This is the easiest way to have all of your photos from a session in one spot or even from a trip. Before making albums here’s an important tip: order your professional photos from a professional. The quality will be absolutely outstanding and it will last generations. It gives you completely different emotions when you hold a quality album in your hands than a cheap one.
We like the think we will remember; remember very last details of the most important days of our lives. We do; well, kinda. We remember the feels, some of our thoughts and maybe what we said a time or two but how about the raw in the moment emotion? Will we REALLY (I mean, truly) ever remember that? Probably not. You will certainly remember how your heart felt like it was going to burst when they placed your baby in your arms but without a photographer, you will miss so much. You will miss all of the wonderful facial expressions and special details. The simple answer to photographing your child’s birth is, yes. It is worth the money and then some. Here’s the value momma, those moments, the raw emotional moments are ones you can never get back.
A photographer is not only another person along with you for this journey but a friend there with you, too. Maybe even an extra nurse, some would say. He/she will be there to capture you in all your glory; the tears, the pain but more importantly the moments you can look back on when you are in need of an extra reminder of just how strong you are. Birth photography will capture it all; those few minutes just before you became a mother and then, you can browse forward and view the images taken when you first held a part of your heart.
After you give birth, you will be SO exhausted. At the same time, you will feel a whirlwind of different emotions–excited, sentimental, maybe hungry, more then likely, thirsty; all the things! As awful as it may sound, photos can sometimes be easily forgotten. One thing leads to another and suddenly you forget to ask your husband to grab his phone and snap a photo of the baby’s height and weight.Just like that, it’s gone. It may sound like little things now but I promise girl, these are big things! Things you will want to remember and hold on to until the end of time. It is all sorts of little amazingly, wonderful life changing things and you should have someone designated to handle the importance of this while you and your spouse soak in all that is your newborn!
Hiring a fab birth photographer=relationships! You will bond in a big way with the photographer sharing the birth of your babe. Maybe he/she already snapped your maternity photos (maybe even your wedding) you could possibly have a little ground there already, however nothing will top being in the delivery room. That is as raw and real as you will get. Once the birth is over and you hopefully had a phenomenal experience with your photographer, you will have a new found friendship with this person, too. Regardless of if you were already friends, this will be next level (I mean, momma, you just gave BIRTH!) This is an opportunity for you to have a photographer you know and love, forever! As your family continues to grow, this is a relationship you will always be grateful for! After all, photos last a lifetime.
Photographing your beautiful new baby while he or she dozes off to dreamland; simple, right?! Wrong. Trust me when I say, you will not regret leaving these moments to a photographer. Someone who is trained in both handling a baby in shoot mode and in editing is the answer. Before you give birth (especially if this is your first) you may think you’ll have tons of time for taking cute photos, I mean what will you even do all day, otherwise?! Wrong, again! Sorry momma but you my friend will always have something to do. Whether it be laundry, meal prep or hey, a little nap while the baby naps? Before you know it, the window for capturing the perfect sleeping baby photos will be closed.
So–lets talk about that “window” I just mentioned, shall we?! Most newborn photographers will tell you its best to snap these memories as soon as possible. Usually, within the first week, two weeks being the latest. This is the time where your precious bundle will be soundly sleeping for most of the day and easy to “work” with. This makes taking the photos yourself even more tricky. The first two weeks are normally the time you are finding your groove as a mom or again, trying to catch up on some sleep! Once this time frame passes it is absolutely still possible to take photos but it will be much more difficult for everyone involved especially the squirmy little one.
Although time as a new parents seems to go by slow, I promise when you look back it will seem like it flew by. Photos are the one thing that you will have to cherish when that sweet time is passed. While your photographer is with you, be sure to include yourself, spouse and older siblings in a photo or two. This is one other really important thing to remember; doing these yourself will not allow you to be captured too. Maybe you don’t see the importance of that right now, today but someday you will and even more so, someday your little one will cherish those momma photos, too! The little fingers, the tiny toes, peaceful images of your sleeping newborn in the most adorable outfits; you will never regret having these images done and done well. I can’t however promise that you won’t regret opting out of a newborn session.
Over the past couple months we have discussed all things, wedding! I hope that some of my tips were useful as you plow through your to do list of wedding such things. The last piece of bridal I want to include in my little segment here is about a perk I offer, exclusively to Lauren Maggi brides. If you’ve enjoy talking wedding with me, I am sure you will love this bridal bonus, too!
If you decide to book with me, you are in great hands! Each of my bridals receive a printed copy of a magazine I created especially for this purpose. As a photographer I love details and this is my favorite way to walk each of my clients through literally each (and every single little) part of their day! From the moment you book me, you have a friend throughout the wedding process! In the magazine you receive I go over everything, no joke! After you flip through you will know exactly what to expect and as a bride, I know this will be so appreciated. In this exclusive piece of literature I walk you through engagement photos from session tips to outfit inspiration.
In the “Wedding Experience” I give you a sample wedding day timeline and from here explain just how the day will go, on my end. Back to loving details, I love capturing your accessories so in this magazine, I list just what I’d like you to gather up so you are able to have these great “detail” images to look back on. This magazine has everything from “getting ready” tips all the way to the reception tips. Thinking you aren’t into the “first look” thing? I give you some great information that believe me, you will want to read before making a decision! When we part ways on your big day, you won’t have to worry about the sometimes confusing online gallery. I got you Mrs. I explain that in the Wedding Experience, too!
I have been blessed to work with amazing brides, year after year! It is truly so wonderful to be a part of something so important. Capturing these special days is something I do not ever take lightly. As a photographer, I want to provide you with memories to last a lifetime as well as a flawless, enjoyable experience. When you look back on your images I want you to be completely satisfied with each and every piece. My calendar for 2019 is nearly full but I would love to work with you, too! So if you’d like to meet up and chat about how I may be a great fit for you, contact me to set up a chat! I can’t wait to be apart of your wedding experience!