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These clever photo gifts are the best surprise that they’ll never see coming

If you’ve pulled out all the stops on your gift-giving in the past, it’s easy to feel tapped out on original ideas. Luckily, these clever photo gifts will ensure that you’re not getting them something that’s a repeat from years past. And many can be surprisingly affordable, too! Photo gifts feel extra special to receive because their customized nature speaks to the thought and intention that went into coordinating it as a sweet surprise.

The best photo gifts all depend on your recipient’s personality. Some of these ideas have the playfulness of a gag gift, while others have a heartwarming, tender mood. But no matter what particular item you choose, the sharp image quality of the gift is the most important criteria — because of this, we selected these 15 photo gifts based on positive user reviews that tout the clarity of the end product.

From sophisticated to sentimental to downright silly, these are the photo gifts that will totally capture their heart.

5

A Not-So-Basic Desk Calendar

Walnut Desktop Photo Calendar

artifactuprising.com

$30.00

This small but chic tabletop calendar is one of those photo gifts that’s perfect for any occasion: anniversaries, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, winter holidays or birthdays. It has the look of a miniature clipboard with a reclaimed walnut-wood surface and brass hardware.

I’ve gifted one of Artifact Uprising’s desk calendars to my mom for Mother’s Day, and not only was it stunning in its quality, but it’s a gift without an expiration date. Once you buy the easel and calendar for $49, you can purchase refills (with new photos!) for just $20.

8

An Oldie But a Goodie

Personalized Locket Necklace

etsy.com

$28.80

$29.80

Lockets have a fascinating history, originating as mourning jewelry in the 16th century, though wearable containers have existed since the ancient Egyptian era. It’s no wonder then, why lockets feel like such a heartfelt, sentimental photo gift.

This locket is currently available in rose gold and silver, and you can send the two photos that you’d like printed in it directly to the Etsy seller. Reviewers of this item love that the images they sent were perfectly sized and centered to fit the locket, and that they are a beautiful way to keep a loved one close.

9

The Cutest Printer

Canon IVY Mobile Mini Photo Printer

amazon.com

$129.00

$99.00

Unless you’re an Instax obsessive, physical photos are rare to come by. This tiny, rechargeable photo printer from Canon is just about the size of a deck of cards and it links to your device via Bluetooth to print out small 2-by-3-inch pictures.

I really like the Canon Ivy because it’s so small and user-friendly, and if the last photo printer you used was an early ’00s-era clunker, it’s a massive improvement. It makes a great photo gift for those who love scrapbooking, and the photos it creates make adorable small keepsakes.

10

A Way to Admire Their Mini Memories

Mini Instax Acrylic Album Photo Frame

urbanoutfitters.com

$16.00

A great complement gift with the Instax Mini or the aforementioned photo printer, this photo frame makes for the perfect way to display their mini memories (and change them up all the time). We like that it makes their pictures a part of the decor, instead of something to tuck away until nostalgia strikes.

It’s an incredibly well-reviewed item on Urban Outfitters, with users touting how cute and convenient it is.

15

365 Days of Surprises

Daily Calendar

socialprintstudio.com

$50.00

$2.69

When we talk about great gifts that keep on giving, this is the type of thing we really mean. Social Print Studio’s Daily Calendar is a card calendar that comprises 365 precious pages. 

These cards are printed on 170 GSM paper, and the user can choose between five different date formats that all have a clean, modern look. Reviewers love these so much that some have said that getting a custom page-a-day calendar is a new family tradition. 

It may be a project to curate all of those images, but think of it as a labor of love.

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