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From engagements to weddings and anniversaries, photo gifts are a thoughtful and sentimental way to preserve favorite moments. Long after the first date and proposal, when the cake is gone, the music has faded, and the honeymoon ends, it’s the pictures that will bring back cherished memories. And it's not just weddings—photos are an essential way to capture moments both big and small throughout our lives. Telling a visual story of every adventure and special event, they'll become treasured keepsakes that will be preserved and revisited for generations to come.
These days, photos don’t have to just live on a shelf or on a page in an album. Our favorite memories can also adorn everyday objects, giving us a constant reminder of the people we hold nearest and dearest.
Read on for the best photo gifts that will keep memories fresh and alive!
What to look for in a photo gift
When it comes to custom photo gifts, finding a service that offers high-quality prints is an important piece of the picture. Companies like Shutterfly, Artifact Uprising, and Minted are tried-and-true, expert-approved favorites. If you’re considering a lesser-known service, we suggest taking a peek at the reviews before spending too much time or money.
Looking to get your custom photo gift printed and delivered ASAP? Although certain companies offer speedy turnaround times and rush delivery services, not everyone is able to meet quickly approaching deadlines. We recommend double-checking the estimated arrival date before you place your order.
What kinds of photos are best for a photo gift?
A standout photo is the secret to making your custom gift truly stellar. Whether it's a candid shot or a formal portrait, the most important thing to consider is the resolution. "My biggest advice is for couples to ensure they are using the “hi-res” images whenever they are printing their photos via any medium," says wedding photographer Amy Anaiz. "They should be at least 3mb and 300 dpi, and keep in mind that the larger the photo is printed it may get pixilated."
What are some wedding photo ideas?
"Abandon the traditional, obvious portrait, and opt for the evocative, unexpected image instead," say wedding photographers Gina Esposito and Sheena Meekins of Anée Atelier. A simple, smiling portrait fits well in a frame, but for truly impactful gifts, start with photos that either have an element of cinematic beauty, or sentimental, storytelling value."
Esposito and Meekins also recommend playing with scale. "Aim for an atmospheric, panoramic view of a dance floor packed with all of the recipient’s favorite people, the sunset view from an incredibly memorable evening, or perhaps a close, micro detail of an heirloom, that holds special meaning to the recipient," they suggest. "Most importantly, look for photos that celebrate meaning, evoke a mood, and ultimately, spark a conversation that encourages the larger story to emerge."
Meet the Expert
Amy Anaiz is a New York City based wedding and portrait photographer. She loves to travel and lives her life by Paolo Coelho’s words: "It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting".
Meet the Expert
Gina Esposito and Sheena Meekins are the women behind Anée Atelier, a New York-based wedding photography studio. The two best friends are natural storytellers who believe in the power of soulful images.
Why trust Brides
Brides contributor Elizabeth MacLennan has been scouring marketplaces around the world— and web— hunting down that just right object for over 15 years as a prop stylist. With a discerning eye and astute mind, she considers quality, function, and design when she’s vetting products. She also was a photography major at the Rhode Island School of Design and has spent the past two decades working in the photo industry.