Tuesday 21 October 2014

Daddy's Perfect Gift A Personalised Photo Calendar from Us

A long time ago, I used to know that personalised photo gifts make the best presents. I was an early adopter of digital photography, proudly purchasing my first Sony Cybershot in Japan in 2004, before it was even released in the UK. I am now on my 3rd Sony Cybershot, as I love them so much. We actually went shopping to Akihabara in Japan (their Tottenham Court Road) so that I could snap up a bargain and I did. Obviously we were already in the country LOL. We also went to Disney Land whilst there - I am yet to meet a person who knows that there's a Disney Land anywhere other than America! I think that camera was the equivalent of 350 pounds, which incidentally I would not pay for a camera now! Back then memory cards were REALLY dear, and the amount of memory space was a 100th of what we expect now!

Many moons ago I made a calendar for Daddy and he adored it. Actually, speaking of Japan, a couple of the pics in there are from that trip, that's how long ago I made it. I've just managed to find THAT calendar on my photobox.co.uk account (despite not having the first clue where it is in the house) - I feel all nostalgic now. I created it for Valentine's Day 2005, so I have been using digital photography and personalised creations for quite some time. Thanks to finding it on my account I can even see what photos I put in it. Wow I looked young and slim back then!
It had pictures like this in it:
DSC00087 - Click to view full size photoDSC00067 - Click to view full size photo

I've recently rediscovered how well received personalised gifts are. My Mother in Law was 70 recently and I got "our" beloved Grandma "photo" gifts and a personalised photo birthday card (did you know Photobox now does cards). She adored those gifts, especially as there were lots of pics of the grandkids. I don't think I could have got quite that reaction with any other presents.

With that in mind, and how much Daddy raved about the calendar I once made him, I think another would make the perfect gift for his imminent birthday. Last time I got it so that he could turn the pages (with the changing of the month) to be enamoured with a delightful picture of me on each and every page, but this time I think he needs it to schedule some important dates on, so we all know where we are, with all our comings and goings:
Mens memories are worse at remembering names dates and plans

Last time it was unashamedly full of pictures of me, but I think this time, there'd be a lot of Aaron in there.

I best get cracking making it as his birthday is relatively soon. I've made a start on the cover:
Personalised Photo Calendar cover at Photobox
I am creating the personalised calendar using photobox - I became a loyal customer and fan back in 2005. Their photo calendars are really affordable and just like with real calendars in the shop, there's lots of choice. What I really love is that you can start it on any month. As November is going to be crazy busy for us, I am starting it from then. We seem to need more organisation now, with Aaron starting school, and us all having so many social engagements, so I think this will be a very functional gift that we will be sharing - sorry Daddy!

A personalised photo gift is great on so many levels. If you pick the photos wisely, it can be a stunning gift. As it takes work to put it together, to choose the photos, you are also in effect gifting your time, in such a loving way, similar to a handmade crafted gift. For me, Daddy doesn't often see the photos that are on my computer, so this is a way of getting them OUT of the computer to a place where he can see and enjoy them on a daily basis. After all they are not JUST photos. They are beautiful records of moments captured for posterity.

Also, there are only so many pictures you can frame and put up before you run out of walls ha ha! Although, clearly there is a place for that too, as shown by the canvas below which my Dad has had on the wall, pride of place, ever since Xmas Eve last year.

I am going to make 80% of it as pictures of Aaron and Daddy, but fling in 1 or 2 of me and Aaron as I know Daddy will love those, as I have a couple of really nice ones (including the cover above). You can see the pics I ended up finalising on below.

I am making the calendar whilst writing this post, and so far I have made the cover and November to March. The website has just asked me to "save" my creation. That's great as I wouldn't want to lose what I have done so far, as I am putting a lot of thought into which photo to choose for each month.

This time last year I was using a different computer, so I don't have access to many historical photos. So I am not doing that thing of using a November photo for November, etc... or a Christmas photo for December.

Although putting sufficient thought into it, to choose and upload the perfect photo for each month, can take a couple of hours, especially when there are as many photos to look through as I have, I'd much prefer that to hopping on a bus and trudging* round the shops, especially with my bad foot and today's wind and rain. I think online shopping is the way to go, for Christmas gifts too!

I am glad to see trudging means what I thought it did ha ha!

gerund or present participle: trudging
  1. walk slowly and with heavy steps, typically because of exhaustion or harsh conditions.

I love that photo box tells you if each photo is a "good quality image" as it is hard, with the size of photos you seen when designing, to know if they will transfer to an A3 calendar and still look good. I have deliberately chosen shots with good lighting etc...

While I was designing the calendar just now, an offer code kept popping up so I thought I would screenshot it for you, in case you dear reader are now inspired to make a personalised photo creation. 

You could be like me doing it for an imminent birthday


one of those annoyingly organised people who have already started shopping for Christmas. 

Oh and Christmas last year saw me using Photobox, as I bought my Dad a beautiful canvas photo from there. Thank God they fast tracked it for me; it arrived on Christmas Eve, I do cut things fine! I wouldn't recommend putting that level of stress on yourself though, as it is in the hands of Royal Mail as well as Photobox. But then I did the same for the pics for Grandma recently. Her birthday was Sunday and the pics arrived the day before on Saturday. Thankfully I remained in touch with the wonderful twitter account: @photobox_help when I was having kittens about my last minute order.

These are the photos I have chosen for Daddy's October Birthday personalised photo calendar:
But that really is the easiest way to do it. Make an ALBUM for the calendar and then simply drag, drog, each image into it. These are not staged posey pictures that I have chosen but rather captured moments that I know will jog Daddy's memory regarding special days out.

What's your perfect gift idea? I think I will be making a gift for ME soon, and it will be a personalised photo diary. One, I am desperate for a diary, and two, I would love something close to hand, that I am forced to look at every day, with pictures of me and Aaron, as in his 4 years on this planet this is the first year where we have managed to get some really gorgeous pictures of the 2 of us, and I would love to release them from the confines of my computer. I think I would opt for their Deluxe Photo Diary which is their best seller.

The reason I want a diary is because I keep experiencing the Frustration of Forgetting. Click on that "bootcamp for your brain link", as it is very interesting. The infographic it takes you to, shows that more MEN forget names, dates and plans than women, and is the source for the image earlier in this post. I know I have gone notoriously bad at remembering things since childbirth. Despite him being 4 years old, baby brain is still alive and kicking, but it seems men suffer too, perhaps with a different cause. I think they are just space cadets sometimes and just don't listen to the "date" or "plan" in the first place.

So I hope Daddy makes good use of the calendar - what a functional gift! As soon as I get chance I will design and then make use of the diary. Maybe we will both be where we are meant to when we are meant to from now on. Never miss an appointment again ha ha! To be fair, we never do, we just have to chase our tails a lot, which could be avoided with better planning.


  1. This is an awesome gift idea - you're so right about not being able to beat personalised - and with your great photos, your hubby's a lucky man! X

  2. What a sweet gift! We made our parents calendars of Talitha a couple of Christmases ago. Maybe we should do ones of both the girls this year. I am definitely getting worse at remembering things. It's actually worring me. Sounds like I need that boot camp!


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