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Photo Gift Ideas Your Family Will Love

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Photo Gift Ideas Your Family Will Love

Finding the perfect gifts for your family can feel daunting. Grandparents usually have everything they need, making shopping for them nearly impossible. Do you really want to get your dad another “pullover” this year? (That’s what my dad asks for every year).

There is a better gift that can be enjoyed all year round and last for years to come, the photo gift. When your gift can feature images from your family session, even better. These gift ideas range in size and price, so hopefully you are inspired for everyone on your list this year.

Framed Prints

One of the easiest gifts to give are photo prints from your session. By including a few frames (and even setting up the frames with photos inside) you’re elevating the gift even more. I typically include a few extra prints just in case grandma wants to pick her favorite to feature in her home.

This idea can be rather simple by keeping the frame size to a 5x7 or 8x10, or you can go bigger by getting a larger frame for their walls. Use Thanksgiving dinner as a time to scope out bare spots that could use a nice 16x20 or 11x14 framed print!

Spice up your prints by selecting a colored frame that matches the print or decor.

Spice up your prints by selecting a colored frame that matches the print or decor.

A Family Photo Album

What grandparent doesn’t love showing off photos of their kids and grandkids? Whether you decide to create an album that shows off favorite photos from adventures throughout the year or includes photos from your family photo session that year, your parents (or in-laws) will love it.

If you had a session with me this year, ordering a Grandparent Album could not be easier. Choose from a 5x5 traditional Grandparent Album, replicate your 8x8 album, or go bigger with a 10x10 to 12x12 album to really make a statement. Whichever option you choose, they will love it. (Contact me to order your Grandparent Albums.)

A custom album from your session makes a gift everyone will love pouring through.

A custom album from your session makes a gift everyone will love pouring through.

Custom Metal Photo Ornaments

The metal photo ornaments are one of my favorite little gifts to give. They are small enough they could be used as a gift tag, or stuck in a stocking. The metal ornaments are printed on each side, allowing you to feature two favorite photos. They are also durable, and the only ornament I do not worry about when my kids help to decorate the tree. There are also quite a few shape options, from traditional Christmas tree, star, or bell, to more ornate shapes like Monterey and Windsome.

Again, if you’ve had a family (or newborn) session with me this year, you are able to order custom metal ornaments directly through me. Contact me and I will put together designs for you.

Custom, double-sided metal photo ornament will be a favorite to hang on their tree year after year.

Custom, double-sided metal photo ornament will be a favorite to hang on their tree year after year.

A Photo Wrapped Canvas

If you’ve been following me for a while now, you probably know I LOVE canvases. They are an easy way to make a big statement in your home, with minimal work (no frames to buy, they are ready to hang, easy!).

Whether you’re shopping for your parents, your spouse, or yourself, a canvas is a beautiful gift they will love. Consider a set of (3) 10x10 or 12x12 canvases for an easy wall display in one gift. You could also select a single 16x20 canvas as most people have room somewhere in their homes for this size.

In case you’re looking for inspiration for wall displays, make sure you read Five Tips for Creating Stunning Photo Displays.

Consider a set of 3, 6, of 2x12 canvases for a gift (or for your own wall!)

Consider a set of 3, 6, of 2x12 canvases for a gift (or for your own wall!)

A Family Photo Session

Feature grandma and grandpa in this year’s family photo session, or give them a gift card promising a family session in the spring. This option can work as a 2-for-1 gift. Not only will you get to have family photos done, but your parents will love being included too.

Contact me about gift cards and/or having an extended family photo session.

Get the entire family together and give grandma a family photo session for a gift she will always cherish.

Get the entire family together and give grandma a family photo session for a gift she will always cherish.

The DSLR Basics Photography Workshop

This gift is for the ultimate photo-lover, the photographer within your family. I don’t mean for the professional, but for that person who is always behind the camera snapping photos of family events, everyday milestones, and family vacations. Help them get off auto mode and take beautiful photos they will be proud to show off.

Grab a seat for them (and hey, how about yourself) at the next DSLR Basics Workshop. (Register or give them a gift certificate towards the workshop). Learn more about the workshop on the DSLR Basics: A Photographer Workshop page.

Custom Photo Cards

Who doesn’t love opening mail featuring the beautiful families of our friends and family members? Use photos from your family photo session to show off how much the kids have grown this past year.

Families who have had a session with me this year receive access to my Holiday Card Catalog where they can pick from numerous templates. I put together the card design, customize to fit their needs (need a “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays”? Or maybe you like to include your kids’ ages too? I can help) and even coordinate colors to match the wardrobe in your photos. Plus, your cards will be printed on high quality paper - with several choices, from 100% recycled, to linen, to a smooth fine art - to make your family look gorgeous on everyone’s mantle this year.

Bonus tip: I always order a few extra cards each year so I have easily accessible photos of our family for all of those school projects.

Contact me and we can get started on your holiday card design!

Order custom Holiday Cards for all of your friends and family.

Order custom Holiday Cards for all of your friends and family.

There are so many great gift ideas using your family photos. Check two things off your list year this year when you have your family photographed, document your family while having gifts for family and friends. It’s a win-win. Which is your favorite photo gift idea? Which do you love to receive from your family?

Need help putting together any of these photo gift ideas? I’m happy to help. Contact me using the button below. Let’s make their holiday extra special this year.

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Five Tips for Creating Stunning Photo Wall Displays | Seattle Family Photographer

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Five Tips for Creating Stunning Photo Wall Displays | Seattle Family Photographer

You have had your family photos taken and received a gallery of beautiful images. But now what? When I first transitioned to an all-inclusive photographer my main struggle was that families would leave with a gallery full of digital files that just sits on their computer. This is, in part, why I include an album with all family and newborn sessions.

Yet there is still so much you can do with your gallery of photographs. I am a big believer in decorating my home with family photos. If you look around my home, my walls are covered with photos of my family over the years. It is my favorite part of my house, the photos are what make my house feel like a home.

It can feel overwhelming trying to decide which images to display and how to make the post impact. So today, I’m sharing five tips for creating stunning photo wall displays for your home.

Creating a Wall Display Tip #1: Size Matters.

This is first and foremost important. The most common sized gift prints are 5x7 and 8x10, however, on your walls, these will look tiny and disproportionate. You want to consider the entire size of the space, and any furniture it will be hanging over.

(1) 20x30 Canvas fills the space and makes a statement.

(1) 20x30 Canvas fills the space and makes a statement.

Creating a Wall Display Tip #2: Consider One Large Photo vs. Several

Now that you’re thinking about the size of the space your wall display will cover, the next thing to think about is if you want to display one photo or several. You can use one large photograph to really make a statement, or if you’re like me and have a hard time just choosing one photo, you can select several photos from your gallery to include.

Creating a Wall Display Tip #3: Use your wall display to tell a story.

It is easy to just want to show off a portrait of each of your children smiling at the camera. I do have an area in my home where I just have those nice portraits. However, in your more prominent areas (i.e above the mantel or living room couch, or even on the main wall in the dining room) by using your wall display to tell a story you will be creating a truly stunning sight that will keep people looking.

To tell a story, I use a mix of images from the gallery. When putting together a grouping of photos, I will often select:

  • 1 portrait of each child

  • 1 sibling photo

  • 1 photo of the family loving on each other

  • 1 wider portrait of the family that shows off the environment.

Now, to really enhance the display, do not simply pick images with everyone smiling and looking at the camera. Instead, look for images that make you feel. For the portrait of each child, maybe they are smiling big as they throw a rock or are running towards the camera. For the sibling photo, maybe they are laughing and hugging. For the family photos, look for one that shows everyone’s faces as they embrace, laugh or are snuggled up together and one that shows more movement and interaction. Together these groupings of photos will tell a beautiful story on your walls.

(1) 16x24 & (2) 11x14 Canvases

(1) 16x24 & (2) 11x14 Canvases

Creating a Wall Display Tip #4: Think about the space and your goals with the photos to decide if you want to use framed Prints or canvas wraps.

I love canvas wraps. They are like an all-in-one print, no need to find a frame, just hang. They standout, making them great statement pieces, adding dimension to your walls. However, frames offer a nice flexibility and ease when you’re wanting to update the photos on your walls.

In my home I use a mixture of both frames and canvases. I prefer framed prints for portraits of my children that I change out 1-2 times per year. I may also use a frame in a few spaces where I don’t need anything much larger than a 12x18 or 16x20 size as the large the frame the heavier (and more expensive) you get.

Again, think about the space and your goals with the photo(s) you want to display to help you decide if you want framed prints or canvas wraps.

(3) 11x14 prints mounted to 16x20

(3) 11x14 prints mounted to 16x20

Creating a Wall Display Tip #5: Use a quality printing lab for your photos.

We all love the self satisfaction of the one-hour photo lab. Yet this wall display is something that will stand out in your home, quality matters. You will see these photos daily, so invest in a quality print lab to ensure not only that the colors and tones are printed correctly, but that the prints or canvases themselves will last.

You can always order professional prints and canvases directly through me (or ask your photographer). I not only can order prints for you, but I can help you decide the right images to include in a display. If you prefer to order yourself, check out Artificat Uprising, or MPIX.com.

Bonus Tip: Five Sample Wall Display Arrangements

Just in case you’re still feeling stuck, here are five of my favorite arrangements for photos (most of these are already on my walls!). You can always adjust the sizes of the prints (keeping the scale) so that they are right for the space in your home. Again, remember tip #1, size matters!

#1: The 10x10 (or 12x12) Photo Grid

The photo grid is a simple design that is easy to customize to your space. The photo shown below is of (9) 10x10 canvases, however you can easily do 12x12 canvases if your space allows. Grids can be done in 9 or 16. I love the ability to incorporate so many photos from your session in one space. Try mixing in simple portraits with more playful and even detail images in your design.

The photo grid design is great for prominent spaces, like above your couch or mantel, or filling in spaces on walls where there is room.

(9) 10x10 Canvas Wrapped Photographs

(9) 10x10 Canvas Wrapped Photographs

#2 A 20x24 and Four 8x10s Framed

This design features a large 20x24’’ print with a 3’’ mat, surrounded by (4) 8x10 prints that are mounted too 11x14s. This design allows you to have your favorite family photo as the large, prominent image in the middle surrounded by either other favorite family shots, or (like shown here) individual portraits of each child.

This design works well in living rooms (above the couch or mantel), dining rooms, or even in master bedrooms where there is plenty of space for the framed portraits to shine.

(1) 20x24’’ print with a 3’’ mat and (4) 8x10 prints mounted to 11x14s

(1) 20x24’’ print with a 3’’ mat and (4) 8x10 prints mounted to 11x14s

#3 A 16x24 and Two 11x14s

This is a simple design that makes all three images standout. It features a 16x24’’ canvas centered between (2) 11x14’’ canvases. This design works well in any space from the living room to baby’s room!

(1) 16x24 Canvas & (2) 11x14 Canvases

(1) 16x24 Canvas & (2) 11x14 Canvases

#4 Four 11x14s

This is a great design for a smaller space, such as an in office or hallway. Because they are smaller in size, this design can make a great gift for grandparents.

(4) 11x14 Canvases

(4) 11x14 Canvases

#5 A 20x30, 16x20, 12x18, & Two 12x12s

This is my all time favorite wall display. It not only provides five opportunities to display images, but as a whole this design makes quite the statement. I, personally, have this layout above my couch in the living room. It could also work well in the master bedroom.

(1) 20x30, (1) 16x20, (1) 12x18, & (2) 12x12 Canvases

(1) 20x30, (1) 16x20, (1) 12x18, & (2) 12x12 Canvases

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How to Use Fall Accessories to Make Your Family Photos Pop | Bellevue Family Photographer

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How to Use Fall Accessories to Make Your Family Photos Pop | Bellevue Family Photographer

Fall in Seattle is so beautiful. It is one of my favorite times of year, with plenty of opportunities to bundle up in warm layers, lots of gorgeous colors in the leaves, and let’s not forget all of that yummy fall foods (hello soup!). Since it is so beautiful, and with the need for Christmas cards coming, it is also my busiest time of year photographing families. (In case you need more convincing fall is a good time for family photos, go check out my Why You Should Have Family Photos in Fall article!)

This article is not to convince you of how great fall is, but to help you make the most of your family photo session. The cooler and unpredictable weather of fall can make family photos tricky, however, it also means plenty of opportunity for some great accessories. These accessories can help add to your photos while still feeling natural.

Layer up with scarves, beanies and/or mittens to keep you warm and add dimension.

Using a scarf or beanie is an easy way to add a touch of color or even tie in outfits together without feeling like you are going overboard in matching. As an added bonus, it keeps you and the kids warm. And warm kids are happy kids who last longer for family photos in the cool, fall air!

How to use fall accessories to make your family photos pop, Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle family photographer, photo of baby boy in red beanie

Rain boots are the perfect fall accessory.

Nothing feels more Pacific Northwest than a pair of Hunter rain boots, right?! Embrace the elements, keep feet dry, and even enjoy some puddle splashing during your family session. This is another way to add a pop of color as well.

TIP: An extra tip here is to avoid prints and ensure that your rain boots coordinate with your family’s outfits. The last thing you want is a pair of neon green and pink floral boots to be the main distraction in your gallery. Notice in this photo how the little girl’s yellow boots add a pop of color but don’t detract from the overall family photo.

How to use fall accessories to make your family photos pop, Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle family photographer, Playful family photo with girl in yellow rain boots

If it may sprinkle during your session, grab a clear umbrella!

Again, embrace the elements if it’s going to sprinkle and grab a clear umbrella. This can keep you dry while providing plenty of entertainment for the littles to play with. Because it is clear, the umbrella still lets in light nicely, and can blend in with any family outfits.

How to use fall accessories to make your family photos pop, Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle family photographer, Photo of mom running away with clear umbrella as little girl chases

BONUS TIP: Only bring coats or vests that you want included in your family photos.

If you’ve been following along for a while, you may remember that last fall I made several mistakes for my own family session, including not properly preparing for the extra chilly morning. My girls were freezing and had we brought coats they may have been more excited about being outside in the cold.

How to use fall accessories to make your family photos pop, Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle family photographer, Photo of brother and sister laughing and playing together

If you, or your kids, are cold, it will show on camera. And even more so, kids are much less likely to just “embrace the cold” and have fun. Layering your kids up is a great way to ensure warm kids (including using scarves, beanies or mittens as mentioned above). There are times that call for coats, though, and thinking that you can just put a coat on “in-between” shots and have them take it off rarely flies well. So if you are brining coats make sure you are okay if they are in photos, because once on, my guess is they won’t be coming off. And don’t worry, plenty of coats are adorable, photograph well, and work beautifully for fall family photos in the Seattle area.

How to use fall accessories to make your family photos pop, Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle family photographer, Photo of mother and daughter in beautiful light

As you prepare for your family photo session this year, I hope that you find these accessory suggestions helpful. Of course, any families who are booked with me receive guidance for what to wear, including specific outfit feedback on any photos sent to me!

So what are you waiting for? Let’s get your family photo session on the calendar and start planning the perfect outfits that will keep you warm, dry, and comfortable.

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The Seattle Family Photo Experience | Snoqualmie Family Photographer

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The Seattle Family Photo Experience | Snoqualmie Family Photographer

You may notice this family from my behind the scenes videos, but I thought it was only right to continue the conversation on the Seattle family photography experience using photographs from their gallery.

I stress to each family who is interested in working with me for a family photo session to take a look around my website. I want you to feel like you know me, my style of photography, and really have an idea of what you can expect from a session with me. Check out my family portfolio, read a little more about me, and read more about session info (including all-inclusive pricing information). You can also find answers to FAQ’s and take a peek behind the scenes of a session on my About the Experience Page.

But what is the family photo experience like? What will we do at your family photo session?

We begin with your “traditional” family photo.

In the beginning everyone is expecting to pose for a family photo, so I take advantage and take what I call the “grandparent shot.” Then I guide and prompt you to bring out more relaxed smiles and a deeper connection. After getting a variety of shots we move on.

Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle Family Photo Experience, Photo of family in beautiful light

Next we take individual, sibling, and mom and dad couple photos.

As we are still early in the session kids are still ready for photos and have seen already that I’m not so bad. I take a classic portrait of each child, pictures of the kids together, and then have the kids help me take photos of just mom and dad together (trust me, you’ll appreciate it and your kids love a break while its your turn in the spotlight alone!).

Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle Family Photo Experience, Photo of brother and sister in beautiful evening sunlight
Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle Family Photo Experience, Photo of couple laughing together in beautiful light

The rest of the session we “play.”

This is the time I tell the kids the work is done and now we play, explore, dance, throw rocks. We move through the location taking advantage of all of the beauty and adventure it offers. Don’t worry, I’m still capturing your family beautifully, and I guide you so they aren’t candid. As you throw rocks I say, go give her a snuggle, move this way or that. So you end up with gorgeous portraits showing off your family as you play.

Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle Family Photo Experience, Photo of family dancing together in a field
Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle Family Photo Experience, Photo of family walking together on a wooded trail

We find a few more opportunities for close family photos.

There are always good breaks that open up for more “posed” family photos. A perfect place to sit together, sing a song, examine rocks (or frogs), or just give mom a good hug.

Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle Family Photo Experience, Lifestyle family photo of family sitting on rocks by the river

Everyone goes home saying, “That was fun!”

You may leave wondering if we got any photos as things didn’t feel like a family photo session. You may fear it was too much fun for anything beautiful to have been created, or that your kids never stopped moving. But don’t worry, enjoy the fact it was fun (a good selling point for next year’s session) and know my camera has a very fast shutter speed. ;)

Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle Family Photo Experience, Photo of dad lifting boy into the air

I get you a sneak peak within a week.

Since I know you’re dying to see some photos and to even share a few with friends and family, I work to get you a couple of images as a sneak peek. I may text or email them to you, and if you’ve given me permission you may even find me sharing some behind the scenes editing shots on my Instagram stories. You will also receive an email after your session with information reminding you what comes next, gives you ideas on how to use your photos, along with information on your album (cover color choices, etc.).

Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle Family Photo Experience, Photo of mother and daughter

Within 2 to 3 weeks you will receive your entire gallery of images.

I know you’re excited, so I work as quickly as possibly to get your gallery of both color and black and white images to you as soon as possible. At this time you’re able to select favorite images you want included in your album and I will send you a proof of your album design to review. You’re also able to order professional prints, canvases and additional gift albums directly from your gallery. Of course, I’m here to help you every step of the way from picking the right print size, wall display samples, and more.

There you have it, the family photo experience with me, Neyssa Lee. So, what’s next? Book your family photo session and have this experience for yourself.

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