Favorite Photo Gifts That Aren’t Cheesy


Considering photographing families is what I do for a living here in Charlottesville, it may be no surprise to you that photo gifts are a major part of my holiday gifting each year. I do a special photo gift for my full session clients and I crossover some of those gift ideas into my personal life for grandparents, close friends and other family members!

But, finding a photo gift for the holidays (or really any time of year) can result in a lot of cheesy options. Sure, there’s a time and place for a photo on a mug (hello, grandparents!), but overall, I strive for timeless photo gifts that span the generations! In case you’re starting your holiday shopping or just need a few more ideas for those nearest and dearest to you, I wanted to share my favorite photo gifts for everyone in your family that will become cherished heirlooms!

Believe it or not…this post isn’t sponsored in any way. I just adore helping people find timeless photo gifts that are high quality. Shutterfly and similar companies offer quick and easy ways to get prints, but the quality just isn’t there. These companies I’ve listed offer photo gifts with beautiful design and beautiful quality!

Favorite Gift 1: Photo Books

I’m sure you aren’t surprised to find photo books as my number one. I’m constantly printing them for our family, and every year, it’s our big gift to our parents for Christmas. For our annual family book, I order the Artifact Uprising Photo-wrapped Hardcover book.  

I order a photo book for each set of grandparents (each specifically designed for them), and then I do a bit of rearranging to design our own family yearbook.

For my girls’ first year of life, I also design an Heirloom Book that I offer to my clients, because I believe it’s an occasion that calls for the nicest photo book there is.

If you’re interested in an Heirloom Book from your session, just email me and I can design one for you! (Gifts done for you? Yes, please!)

Lastly, if you’re wanting something a little more simple, a subscription to Chatbooks monthbooks for grandparents is a gift that will give all year round! Admittedly, the print quality is not as great, but it’s something I order every month so I can easily get photos off my phone and into our hands!

Favorite Gift 2: Photo Ornaments

In our family, we purchase a family ornament each year that signifies the year and I also create an ornament with the year on it. There are plenty of places that sell ornaments with the year for a nice classic ornament, but Artifact Uprising started offering these classic ornaments last year and now I’m forever obsessed. You can even choose one or five prints to go in it. These are perfect gifts for yourself,  your closest friends, or grandparents!

Framebridge also offers their own ornament frame and it’s absolutely gorgeous. Classic, and you just can’t go wrong.

Favorite Gift 3:  Framed Prints

Whether you welcomed a new baby this year, had an extended family session or just love gifting updated photos, a framed print never goes out of style. Talk about a classic gift. Of course, you can hope over to HomeGoods for some gift frames, but if you’re looking for a done-for-you gift, I recommend Framebridge and Artifact Uprising. Framebridge has a page dedicated to gift frames and the packaging is absolutely lovely.

Artifact also offers some modern frame gifts for everyone in your family, no matter their style. And these new modern tile frames are such a fun and easy way to get framed photos on your walls asap…with the ability to easily change out photos!

Favorite Gift 4: Photo Calendars

Photo calendars are nothing new, but historically, they can be low quality and cheesy in their design. Sure, you can grab something off Shutterfly for an easy and quick gift, but if you’re looking for a functional gift while making quite the impression, the photo calendars with the brass easel from Artifact Uprising are my fav! I’ve gifted them for so many occasions and I love that you can order refill packs. Plus, you can cut off the calendar portion and have lovely prints to enjoy for years to come!

Artifact Uprising also offers some wall calendars too if that’s more your vibe!

Favorite Gift 5: Baby Board Book

This particular gift is for your littlest family members, and it’s something I’ve done for my kiddos! I first made this baby board book from Artifact Uprising for my oldest one Christmas, and my youngest is still enjoying it 4 years later. It’s a perfect way to teach your baby different family members, especially those they don’t get to see as often. I plan to make one for my youngest this Christmas to update the photos and include new family members. It’s such a fun way to create that sense of belonging, because littles love seeing themselves and their family printed in a format they can enjoy!


Amy Nicole Photography (Amy Cherry) has been a photographer for over 15 years. Amy is a family, baby & newborn lifestyle photographer serving Charlottesville and Richmond, Virginia. She creates timeless, genuine and effortless photos for you and your family to enjoy for years to come. She offers on-location, at-home, studio and outdoor family photo sessions.

share on

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I take a limited number of sessions each month (plus, I’m a bit of a planner and always account for possible weather and sick days!) I’d love to set up a time to chat with you, hear your vision and answer any questions! 

Let's make magic

love my work and ready

Ready to work together?

grab your free guide

Not sure where to start when printing your photos? In this guide I share my favorite printing companies so you can get those photos off your phone and into your hands!

Where to Print Your Family Photos

grab your free guide