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Ways to use and display your photos

September into December is a very busy time for me as a photographer. Families love photo shoots in the crisp fall air, with the beautiful red, orange, and yellow leaves. And lots of times they use the photos for their family holiday card.

I love this time of year because I love receiving these holiday cards in the mail. I enjoy seeing which photos were my clients’ favorites and “made the cut” for the card. It solidifies in my mind that the client truly enjoyed the photos I took.

While I love getting these cards, it makes sense to get more out of the photos than just one holiday card. Here are five ways to use your family photo session photos (besides as a holiday card).

1. Canvas or framed wall art
Decorating a wall, large or small, with multiple framed photographs or canvas prints is one of my favorite ways to bring life into a home. You can use photos all from one photo session, or mix and match. You can use all black and white photos or color to make it vibrant – whatever matches your personal taste and decorating style. Costco and Sam’s Club offer reasonable prices for their canvases and a variety of online canvas printers, like, usually offer deals through Groupon.

2. Photo books
Photo books make great gifts but are also a great way to print all the photos you have been meaning to get off your computer. Walmart, Target, Shutterfly, and many other retailers offer photos books and there are many choices from hard to soft covers and book size. They are relatively easy and not too time-consuming to put together. You can put together a book to cover a full year, each child, a vacation, a holiday, or just a complete mix of favorite photos. The best thing is you can keep them on a bookshelf and pull them out any time you want to look back through time.

3. Presents for grandparents
Photos are almost always part of the presents I buy for grandparents and they can’t get enough! Photo books, framed pictures, or canvas prints never get old. They like having photos all around their house to see how their grandkids are growing.

4. Homemade items
Sites like Pinterest offer dozens of ways to craft with your photos. From modge-podging photos to drift wood to photo drinks coasters, the options seem endless. Most items require just a few crafting materials to make something unique and memorable.

5. Take-with-you items
Coffee mug, mouse pad, phone cover, key chain. Most places you can order photo prints also offer the opportunity to put your photos on dozens of other items. These are great items to get for the working parent or parents in the family because they can keep the items with them at work – to remind them of home or show off their greatest achievement to their co-workers.