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Picture Perfect: Turn Photos Into Unique Holiday Gifts


Personalized gifts are always a hit with family and friends. In today's digital era, it's easy to create custom products at an affordable price. One place you're sure to find inspiration for a meaningful gift is in your stash of photos. According to J.D. Power and Associates, digital camera owners shoot an average of 159 images a month. That's nearly 2,000 images a year. With all those photos to select from, here are a few unique gift ideas that can be created using only your digital photos and a little creativity.

Personalized Postcards, Note Cards and Stickers - Delight your friends and family with a box of postcards or note cards personalized with your hand-selected photography. For a truly one-of-a-kind gift, MOO.com and other photo sharing sites let you select a variety of photos to feature on the set of cards. You can even upload photos and design a pack of stickers for a fun stocking stuffer surprise.

Photo Books - Bring special moments to life on the pages of a real, bookstore-quality book. From a family photo book to an artistic collection of photos in the form of a coffee table book, personalized book publishing companies allows you to design and publish books at a very reasonable cost and at a quantity of one. At Blurb.com, free BookSmart software makes it easy to design a masterpiece with professionally-designed layouts. Drag and drop photos into the layouts of your choice. Simply upload the book when it's complete and you'll receive it in about one week. If you have a Mac, iPhoto also lets you design and create photo books.
Wall Art - Family portraits and other special photos can make beautiful wall art and a very meaningful gift. Framing large photos is one option. For a modern twist with an art gallery look, have a selected photo printed on canvas. Check with your local art shop or look for a canvas printer online.

Pro Memberships - For the photography enthusiasts in your circle of family and friends, consider purchasing a membership or gift card with popular photography services. At Flickr.com, a leading online photo sharing community, you can purchase a pro membership account that let's them store, share and organize their favorite moments in time without any uploading or viewing limitations.

Photo Slideshows - Give the gift of entertainment with a slideshow of special photos set to music. Many digital cameras come with software that will help you create a slideshow on the computer that can be easily transferred to a CD. There are also a variety of free programs online that let you produce beautifully orchestrated slideshows that make great gifts for family and friends.

Don't let all those wonderful photos stay on the computer. It's easy to turn them into picture perfect gifts everyone will enjoy.

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