A thoughtful gift goes a long way, and one gift my mother always appreciated from me was a photograph of some kind, or at least something personalized or something that I created. With this in mind, here are some tips and ideas on how you can gift and share your photography with Mom for this Mother’s Day.
Give Her a Print
We’ll start with the obvious one first—but it’s an obvious choice because it’s a very good choice. Even outside of the context of this holiday, a print is often the best and most final way to display your photographs, so what better way to share your work with your mother. Here are some Photo Printing Tips, if you have a printer at home, or maybe you already have a stack of prints at the ready; in either case, a print is a great way to share something with your Mom.
However, as good as a simple print is, if you want to deliver a finished, ready-to-hang photograph, you’ll want to also take on the task of framing and mounting your photo. Our own Cory Rice has written a guide on displaying prints, and has also spoken to some professional framers to get their tips, but to condense it to a single idea: it’s smart for you to frame your own work because it adds an extra level of professionalism and it gives you the opportunity to decide the finished aesthetics of the photograph, including the frame. Even though we’re talking about Mom, and not a client of yours, it’s a given that you’ll still want to share your work with her in its best and finished form.
Make an Album
If larger prints aren’t your thing, or if wall space at Mom’s isn't available, consider making several smaller prints and making an album. In many cases, this will be the more appropriate form for your work to take, especially due to the more personal viewing method of flipping through a book versus looking at a single image on a wall. For making smaller prints, and if you don't already have a larger inkjet printer, look into a smaller printer, like the Canon SELPHY CP1300,which can output up to 4 x 6" prints that are perfect for album-making purposes.
The next step in putting together an album is, of course, getting the Photo Album. Make sure you put some thought into the album type, though; just as if you’re framing a photograph, an album reflects on the overall presentation of the images inside. Also make sure to choose an album with an appropriate number of pages, or pick one with refillable/removable pages to better suit the number of images you have. Few things are as awkward as giving your Mom a photo album with a large number of empty pages.
Make a Portfolio Box
Somewhere between gifting a framed or finished print and making an album is giving a portfolio or, in this specific instance, a portfolio box of prints. Museum boxes can be a classy way to store prints, which is also archival, but you’ll want to make sure the type of work you’re sharing is up to this niche task. Gifting a box of prints can seem clumsy or it can seem very purposeful; it depends on the edit and type of work. If you have a tight edit of a specific subject, say a group of images of the family farm, then assembling them in a handsome box could be perfect. If you’re just handing your Mom a proverbial shoebox of random prints, then it might come across as a pretty haphazard gift. Additionally, just like the photo album, if you’re gifting in a box, make sure the box is sized for the prints you’re sharing: don’t get a 16 x 20" box if you’re filling it with 8 x 10" prints, and don’t get a 4-inch-deep box if you’re only putting 10 sheets of paper in it.
Gift a Digital Picture Frame
Decidedly modern, but perhaps a perfect idea for the times and for Mom, Digital Picture Frames are a unique and dynamic way to share a variety of photos. Compared to a single printed photograph, or even an album or portfolio, a digital picture frame is only limited by the size of its hard drive in terms of the number of images you can showcase. Regardless, you’ll always have the option to update and replace these images in the future. Specific to this holiday, it’s a great gift idea to pick up one of these frames yourself, load it with photographs you’ve taken, photographs of the family, photographs of you and your mother, or whatever else seems fitting, and then share this with your mother. Keep in mind, some of the different physical formats these frames can take, ranging from larger wall-mounted options like this 27" Canvas II from Meural to the smaller tabletop-sized Aluratek 8" Digital Photo Frame.
Make a Photo Book
Along the same lines of making a photo album or portfolio, a photo book is another one of the best ways to share photographs. Beyond just containing the images themselves, books have the added benefit of pacing and sequence to heighten the photographs and the relationships between images. This is especially true if you’re working on an edit of photographs that is very personal to Mom, or perhaps a series of images from a trip you took together, of an old family home, and so on. A book also provides an intimate and personalized viewing experience that can suit the context of Mother’s Day perfectly.
There are numerous print-on-demand services available for having your book printed for you, but for the more adventurous and craft-minded, hand-bound books offer a bit more personalization and specialness that can really set off your photographs.
Build a Website
Finally, build a website or online slideshow of photographs for Mom. It’s a simple but effective solution for sharing something personal and can be customized and updated as much as needed. This is the perfect gift for mothers who love to share their photos with others, too, and is an elegant way to keep your Mom updated on things happening in your life. Just like making a book, there are numerous services available for quickly and easily designing a website, but the sky’s the limit if you choose to design it yourself, either hand-coding or using software like Dreamweaver, from Adobe Creative Cloud.
Hopefully, this will help you narrow down your gift ideas for Mom for the upcoming holiday. The common theme among all of these gift ideas, though, is that they revolve around something you produce, which, ultimately, is the real gift.
Do you have any other photo gift ideas for Mother’s Day? Let us know in the Comments section.