Rather than fretting over what holiday gifts to buy family and friends EVERY year – why not simplify your life?

Personal family calendars are an easy, thoughtful gift that let you share your own ‘year in review‘ though your very best pictures.

We’ve made ours an annual tradition that our friends and family eagerly await each Christmas. Shopping consists of grabbing our phones, a couple of glasses of wine and scrolling through our camera rolls – narrowing the field of potentials. We pare it down to a short list of 30 or so that evoke the four seasons, special moments, scenics and of course, pets.

Some tips to get you shooting

  • remember to take a few horizontal format pictures (hold your camera sideways) whenever you shoot photos
  • take outdoor pictures year-round so the images match(ish) the months
  • look for photo ops as the sun rises/sets, frost on the trees, beautiful blooms or a yard full of deer

Some tips for editing

  • copy your ‘potentials’ to a folder on a computer (you’ll want a large screen for comparisons)
  • sort them loosely by season, including special events – you’ll have 2 or 3 per month but that’s OK
  • use labels like 01 Jan A, 01 Jan B, etc so thumbnail images will sort in order in your folder
  • indoor pictures work great to cover months like April & November when scenics are scarce
  • put 12 of them into a calendar folder, play around and try again until you have your perfect selection

The final step is the closest thing to Holiday shopping you’ll ever need to do again.

Make sure all the final photos are clearly named: 01 Jan / 02 Feb / 03 Mar etc, so there’s no confusion at the printers.

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Copy the calendar folder onto a thumb drive and head to your local UPS store or any local printshop. Tell them how many you need, pick a festive cover, let them copy your folder into their system and they’ll let you know when you can pick them up. You can even do it online.

It’s easy, it’s fun and it gives us an incentive to be on the look out for that magic moment that we just know is going into next years calendar.

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