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Put Your Digital Photos to Use in the Real World

Andrew Goodall

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Digital photographers; you love your little piece of camera technology, and these days you are snapping away like never before. But what are you really doing with all those photos?

With technology that allows you to take all the photos you want at no cost, there is nothing stopping you from taking many more photos than you would in the days of film. This has been a great boost to the art of photography. People are now happy to experiment without fear of wasting money. As a result, they are becoming much more adventurous.

In the past, if a person did not know much about photography, they would likely buy a point-and-shoot compact camera. Now most compact cameras have manual settings that allow almost the same flexibility as an SLR camera. Ambitious beginners are even opting for digital SLR cameras, knowing that they can learn as they go without fear of paying for their mistakes.

But back to the question: with all this snap-happy activity going on. . . what are we doing with all those photos?

Gone are the days when you had to get your photos developed and printed to see your results. Now we have digital files which can be viewed instantly, and revisited on our computer screens at our leisure.

The problem is, in most cases that is as far as they ever get.

By now you probably have thousands of photos on your computer (and hopefully backed up somewhere). But who ever sees them? Yourself, occasionally, and others perhaps, if you ever get around to sending those emails you promised.

The truth is, if you don't print your photos and do something with them, then they represent wasted energy. Think of the reasons you took all those photos in the first place. . . to record precious moments in your life, and share them with friends and family. Your intentions may have been good at the time, but as long as those photos stay locked up where nobody gets to enjoy them, they are an opportunity lost.

So here is my challenge to you. With the gift-giving season still several months away, you could be trawling through all those thousands of photos. Pick out some of the best ones and get them printed. Then instead of doing your gift-shopping at the chain stores this year - turn some of those photos into personal gifts for the people who will really enjoy them.

This need not be a project for the ‘too hard basket’ as long as you don't leave it until the last minute. You don't need to spend a fortune. If you want to frame some photos, you should be able to pick up some ready-made frames the right size and do the job yourself.

The problem with framing photos as gifts is they can be difficult and expensive to send in the post. So here is another thought: why not turn some of your best photos into calendars?

Calendars are a great gift. You can create a gift with a real personal touch, using not just one, but twelve of your best images. What's more, who doesn't need a calendar? This is one gift you know will be used, appreciated and enjoyed. In fact, do a good job and those people will be begging you to make them another one next year!

It's easy to personalize a calendar. Printing your photos is not costly, so you can print a different set of pictures for each person. Then all you need to do is grab a blank calendar and stick your photos in place. What could be simpler. It's a chance to be a little creative without doing any hard work!

To make your photos into gifts, all it takes is a little forward-thinking. You can start now by looking back through your image files to find your best pictures. There is still plenty of time to get your photos printed, and have fun seeing them transformed into something special.

I can tell you now. . . it's a lot more fun than joining the queue at a department store two days before Christmas!

As the end of year approaches, one of the most popular products in Andrew Goodall's gallery is the Creative Calendar, which lets you turn your best photos into a unique gift. Find out more at


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