The Gift of Photography

All the credit for this blog goes to Sarah.  She won the annual prize for finding and giving the best gifts this year.   My Dad and sister joined us for the holiday when their original travel plans changed.  We were really thrilled to have them join us, but had to figure out what to get my sister besides gift cards and wine.  She is one of those people who always says “but, I don’t need anything”.   


Holly (Sarah’s lovely daughter) was also going to be here.  Sorry Ben and John, but us guys were pretty much bicycle fish for the holidays.  “Ah ha! I’ve got it!” exclaimed my wife, “digital picture frames”.

Kodak Frame.jpg

I was a bit surprised as the frame I had bought for her several years ago had started to do weird and funky things.   I gave thumbs up from my side of the couch as she immediately ordered them from Amazon, foolishly thinking that I had escaped having to do any actual work.  Then she revealed the brilliance of her plan.  Rather than give an empty electronic device, we were going to fill the frame with pictures which she knew would mean something to each of them. 

For Holly, she contacted scads of friends as well as Holly’s facebook connections asking for them to send decent quality (i.e. not facebook thumbnails) copies of the images which they had posted.  She combed through her own archives (not in Lightroom…yet, but that is another story) and collected them together.  

Hollys visit-118.jpg

For my sister, we were able to go through my digital files and pretty much instantly gather those together.  Unfortunately, I still have a lot of my father’s slides from when we were kids which are waiting to be scanned.  

I don't think I want to try this now

I don't think I want to try this now

3 D Apr 68.jpg

We dragged out my old slide sorting light box and my detailed inventory of potential candidates and looked through a few hundred images.  We found some great ones, and some not so great ones.   We then had the slides scanned by McClanahans—our local camera shop.  For both sets of images I did some clean up in Lightroom and Photoshop and handed them over to Sarah.

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Sarah loaded up the images onto “cute” animal head USB drives, but we discovered they would not fit into the port on the back.  So, we took a plain old USB and loaded up each of the frames.   I have to say that when Donna opened her box, it was “uh, nice…thanks.”   When we made her plug it in and turn it on and the images started to show up, we could not get her attention to open any other gifts for a while.  Holly noticed that she had the exact same shape box and you should have seen the wrapping paper fly.   Both of them were moved by the images.    I was once again amazed at just how brilliant Sarah is.  Well, she did marry me after all… (Editor’s note-Gag) 


All too often the images which mean the most to us aren’t the best photographs in the world, but they capture the best memories.   The selection of the images says a lot about how much the recipients mean to us.  I highly recommend this as a gift for those you care about.