Taking vacation photos seems like a good idea at the time, but once you get home, and life continues on, what is the best way to showcase your pictures? You don’t want them sitting in drawers for years to come, and you can’t leave them forever on your memory card or hiding in a computer file. And what was the point of taking them in the first place if you can’t enjoy them and relive the fun? So that’s what this article is all about … five fun things you can create with your vacation photos.
One of the first things I thought of was a canvas print. If you create one at a reputable company that uses an environmentally-safe process with pure cotton and proper canvas weaving, your picture will last for hundreds of years. Plus, good canvas does not fade, creating a permanent memento for all to see.
Maybe you shot the best sunset picture or have a great close-up of your family in a particular pose or even sitting in an amusement ride car waiting for the action to begin. If you traveled to the country of your dreams, you probably took a photograph of the attraction that was of the most interest to you. This would make a perfect canvas print so that you would always be reminded of your favorite trip. My experience at the top of the Eiffel Tower at night was a highlight of my trip to France last spring, so I made a canvas print of an awesome night shot I captured (above). You can make custom canvas wall art at EasyCanvasPrints, Shutterfly, Smilebooks, Snapfish, and even Walmart Photo Center.
Another fun idea is a collage poster of your most memorable and exciting summer moments. Think about the picnic at the beach, the family reunion barbecue, camping in a tent for the first time, or having breakfast in your own beautiful backyard garden. These are all times that you want to capture. The pics could be arrange in somewhat chronological order and you can add a title and personalize it. It can tell the story of your family’s summer. The kids might want to take it to show-and-tell when they return to school and the teacher asks what they did during the summer holidays. You can make collage posters at Shutterfly and Snapfish pretty reasonably.
Next, I was thinking that a calendar of vacation highlights would be nice to look while at the same time serviceable. As you switch the pages for each month, you get a new photo to view, so you can relive your best vacation moments. The great thing about having a personal calendar printed is you can start at any month of the year and then go from there. You don’t waste months that have already passed. You might also be able to choose between a twelve-month, sixteen or twenty-four, so depending on how many great shots you took, you could fill up a wall or desk calendar quite quickly. I made mine at Mixbook, which has some great designs that you can customize.
Travel Photo Book
My fourth idea involves a travel journal photo book in which you could include your daily itinerary, pictures of signs showing the cities or villages you visited, snaps of the local food you ate, shots of the gorgeous scenery and photographs of any other tourist areas. One aspect of my trip to Maui last year that continually sticks in my mind is the exorbitant prices of vegetables in the grocery stores. On the mainland, we take low produce prices for granted, and I now regret not having pictures of grocery signs so that I could always remember how dear and expensive living in paradise can really be.
When my husband and I were in France we were charmed and amused by the relationship between dogs and their owners; they truly go everywhere together. We saw people with their dogs on their laps in cafes, in the basket of their bike, once even in the lap of a woman at the beauty salon while the stylist worked on her!
Those are great pictures to show friends since the culture is much different from our own. In addition, I even scanned in museum receipts and attraction tickets so that I could completely document the trip. Believe it or not, I scanned a receipt for an $8 latte! And that drink was tiny!
The funny part about keeping a digital record of all these small things is that when you return home, you talk about them incessantly anyway. You might as well show everyone that these tidbits are real. If you want a photo book company that allows you to customize everything, I like Blurb, Mixbook and Picaboo.
My last idea involves using your photos to create souvenirs that are actually useable, not junky. Here are some examples of items you can make fairly inexpensively, and you’ll have a far better quality keepsake than the chintzy and overpriced chotchkies you find in most souvenir shops. Using one of my photos of the Eiffel Tower, here are examples of items I could make at Shutterfly using my vacation photos including a deck of cards, a stainless steel water bottle, an iPhone case or a magnet (ok I cheated and used a different angle for the magnet). There are dozens of other souvenirs you could make, like puzzles, coasters and so on; just use your imagination.
The main point is, don’t just leave your vacation photos languishing in a file on your computer, do something with them…show them off and relive your favorite experiences!