The time has come when we try to figure out what we want, need and have to get people for Christmas. As the Holiday shopping season starts earlier each year so does the stress of what to get people. How many times do you end up buying something that you later regret? You saw and ad for something that at the time sounded like it would be good or you ended up settling for something meaningless because the person is hard to shop for. Do you ever wonder 6 months or a year later if that person enjoyed your gift? Do they still have it? Or is that expensive electronic doohickey already broken. Let's face it, we have busy lives and when the holidays come we have more going on and less time to do it in. Thinking about gifts for everyone sometimes gets lost in all that. Hopefully I can make your gift shopping a little easier this year and point you in a direction that you might not have thought much about.
Stores carefully and strategically place products that they think you should have. Television force feeds us all the trendy and must have gifts. Well, you don't have to give in to this. Have you thought about supporting a small business? What about a photographer or any artist for that mater? Many haven't even considered this option but I am here to convince you why this could be a great option. Opening a gift creates an emotional reaction. The very first sense that is activated is sight and what they eyes take in to create that emotional feeling. We don't typically think of this when shopping but this is what happens. A gift from a photographer can make sure that emotional response is definitely a positive one. Here are seven reasons why I think You should buy Christmas gifts from a photographer.
1) Photographers offer more than just prints. A matted and framed print of a favorite place, hanging on the wall is a really special gift. But today there are more options than ever. Canvas prints come in all types now and can add that extra special touch. Metal prints, one of my favorites, are a growing an popular choice. Some images will stand out more than others on metal so make sure to ask the photographer if that is a good option. The nice thing about canvas and metal prints is you don't need to have it framed, they are all ready to hang as is. Photo books are another option. You can't decide on just one image from photographer. Create a coffee table photo book with many images. Don't have much room on your wall, a calendar is a great option. Another favorite of mine is the acrylic cutting board. Practical as a regular cutting board but it can also be displayed and dress up the kitchen. These are just a few of the products that photographers now sell. Some photographers stick with the traditional fine art prints, many others (like myself) are diversifying and offering many other high quality products.
2) A Fine Art Photo is something that will last a long time and is more than just a trend. How many times have you been digging through your parents attic and found one of your gifts just collecting dust. Yes, that signing fish was cute for 10 seconds and your dad laughed at the commercial every time he saw it. but that is about as far as it goes. Even your expensive smart phone only lasts for a few years. A fine art print is something that can grace the walls of a home or office for years, will hold its value and can be proudly handed down through generations.
3) A photograph can have a powerful positive impact for someone. Staring into a zen setting of a waterfall can be so relaxing. Or an image of the streets of Paris that hangs in your office. It motivates you on those hard days of working reminding you it is all worth it because soon you will be walking down those same streets on your next vacation. Then, there is that photo of an exotic location that almost sends you into a dream every time, and takes your mind off everything. They can remind us of an amazing trip, take us away to a special place or just make us smile, on daily basis. The association we have with photos can be very powerful.
4) Photographers are personable. Unlike the big stores that are more concerned about sales than anything else, Photographers love to develop that relationship with their clientele and more importantly we love to talk about our work. If it isn't already part of the product of buy, the photographer can send you a story about the image or even sign it to make it more personable.
5) There is a history and a story behind each image a photographer takes. A photographer hopes to stir some type of emotion in the viewer. Something that draws them in and makes them think a little bit longer and hopefully create an attachment. So, you find that image you want to buy for someone because there is a place you know they love and this image captures it perfectly. But many times there is a story or history about that place that can make it even more personal. Something that will add more to the meaning of the gift.
6) You know exactly where your money is going. Photographers are the epitome of small business. Contrary to belief, most of their time is spent on the business side with marketing and selling. Photographers are hard working. It isn't just about clicking the shutter button on the camera and a great image is created. The images are well thought out. Sometimes months in the making with research and planning on how and when the image should be taken. There can be a lot of risk and sacrifice for the reward of a great image. While shopping on big online or box stores, most of your money doesn't even stay local. Who knows where the items you purchased where actually made. You buy from a Photographer, you know it is "made in America", which is refreshing for a change.
7) It is so much easier now days to find and buy products from photographers. If you don't know any local photographers, a quick search on the internet will help you with what you are looking for. You can look under the image tab of your Google search to find the photos you are wanting. Most photographers have their own personal website that you can browse their work. Another option is to look at POD(Print on Demand) sites like Fine Art America or Crated. If you want to get that one-on-one personal service try a local gallery or craft shows. A lot of photographers make their living doing the craft show circuit. This is an opportunity to actually talk to the photographer and find local images.
There are many more great reasons to buy from a photographer this season. Hopefully some of the ones I shared will not only convince you but also take some of the stress out of your holiday shopping. Then come Christmas day, when everyone opens the gifts you purchased from a photographer, you will know instantly you did good.