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Stocking Stuffer: iPhoto goodies

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I've been giving away gifts I create with iPhoto for a few years now, and they're always a big hit. From photo books to posters and nicely framed prints, most everyone loves to receive well-prestented, meaningful photos. Here are some of the iPhoto-based gifts I've given. More after the jump.



Prints

iphotoprintThe most obvious is, of course, prints. iPhoto makes it so amazingly easy to produce the photos you want in the sizes you want. Once I've identified the photo I want to share, I use iPhoto's "crop" tool to crop it to the proper size. Next, I call up the print window and select "Standard Prints" from the "Style" menu, and the corresponding size from the "Size" menu. From there, just click the "Advanced" menu to access your printer's features. Choose the best setting for the paper you're using and you're off. A couple of years ago, I gave framed 8x10's of my kids to select far-flung family members. Now, I just send them a new 8x10 print which they can swap into the existing frames. Easy. If you don't have a photo quality printer, you can order your prints from Kodak via Apple from within iPhoto, or just burn them to a CD and take them to a local camera shop.

Books

iphoto_booksPeople flip their lids for the iPhoto books. The smallest ones make the best "brag books" for proud parents and grandparents, and offer a much better way to show off than the wrinkly photos crammed into a wallet. Plus, at $12US for a trio of books, they're hardly going to break the bank. If you've got an amateur or student photographer to shop for, consider a large hardcover album (starting at $29.99US) of his/her best work from the previous 12 months. Likewise, a large or medium-sized softcover book (starting at $9.99US) of your older child's artwork/poetry/etc. will also win you some serious points. I have a friend who collects vintage and rare, out-of-print martial arts books. His wife made a book of several scanned documents he collected and it looks great.

Create a Life Poster

lifeposterNow we're pulling out the big guns. If your recipients weren't impressed with their iPhoto books, one gander at Mike Matas' Life Poster will do the trick. This one takes more time and effort than the books or basic prints, but the results are fantastic. Select 98 photos to include in your 20" x 30" poster to chronicle a baby's first year, highlights from someone's four years at college, that trip to Venice...whatever you can think of. Printing either via iPhoto or a local camera shop will each run you under $40US. If you're the lazy instant gratification type, there's even an Automator workflow available to get most of the heavy lifting done for you.

So there you go, three great gifts that you can create with software and photos you already own for under $50. Incidentally, if you're looking to create prints, books and even posters without iPhoto and you've got a Flickr account, check out Qoop. You can create beautiful products without iPhoto at competitive (and sometimes better) prices.

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