This post was sponsored by Inkifi. All thoughts and opinions are my own, and as you know I only choose to work with companies and products that I personally use and buy from. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Bless the Weather.
This year, I've been thinking hard about how I can give mindful gifts to my friends and family for Christmas. I want to give them something they will love and treasure for a long time, but that doesn't contribute to over-consumerism, create more waste, support giant corporations and ultimately end up in landfil. I want to teach my family that there is another way, that we can be more thoughtful about the gifts we give and what we ask to receive. That we can remove the pressure from having to empty our bank accounts on stuff we don't need, all in the name of a Merry Christmas. My chest tightens just thinking about how much waste we all create at this time of year, my family are far from perfect and have a long way to go but I want to do my best to make more mindful and informed choices. Not get caught up in the panic. I shared a recipe earlier this week for a handmade edible gift that you might like to try, if this is something that interests you too.
I've given photo gifts a few times this year (still haven't blogged the photo book I made for Gav for Father's Day) and even managed to print out some photos to frame for our home. I pour my heart and soul into all the images I take, and it makes me so happy to see them on our walls. I've actually ordered one of these wooden photo calendars for both mine and Gav's parents already, filled with photos of us and Rory. The photos correspond to the month on the calendar, so our parents can watch Rory slowly age from one to two. When the year is up, they can cut off the calendar part and keep the photos to frame or stash away. Next year we can update the photos so they can re-use the wooden part.
When Inkifi reached out about a collaboration, I knew I wanted to create another wooden photo calendar. Since I'd already created some with family photos, I decided to go with a botanical theme seeing as I take so many photos of plants throughout the seasons. I created a mood for each month by pairing the sunnier, summer photos with June, July and August. The frost covered plants and leaves were saved for November and December.
I have to confess...this photo calendar is for myself. It just looked too nice on my desk to give away, and as my office is surrounded by plants it fits perfectly. A tip for you is to lighten your images before you print, especially if you prefer to shoot dark and moody like me. Typically I don't have to as most of my work ends up on a screen (or buried on a hard drive, isn't that sad?), but for print the results are definitely better if you increase the brightness a little.
I love the quality of Inkifi prints. Their templates are clean, modern and easy to use, shipping is cheap and quick - unlike some similar US counterparts. December 14th is the last day to order one of these wooden photo calendars to arrive in time for Christmas, so you still have just under a week to get your order in.
So, what will you create? A calendar full of family photos, memories from your travels or a theme like my botanical one?
*if you're looking for a photographer to capture some memories of you and your family that you can share as a gift, please do get in touch! I offer full sessions which are great for photo books an albums, or mini sessions that are perfect for holiday cards, photo calendars or a print for your wall.