You just got back your professional family photos from your photographer, and they are amazing! Or heck, you may be the photographer yourself, and you've captured just the perfect moment on your smartphone or posted a once-in-a-lifetime picture to your Instagram account. And for the most part, that's the end of the story - you've got great images on your phone, computer or social media pages. 

Remember how we used to have pictures all over our homes, on magnets on the refrigerator, in albums on coffee tables? The warm feeling of seeing your loved ones and friends in photos in every room? Yeah, me too...

So I'm so happy to share that I've found a few services available that take your most cherished digital photos and produce top quality products that you can share in your homes or use as gifts or cards during the holidays - and all year 'round!

But first, let me tell you what I consider to be the three most important factors in choosing which online photo reproduction service is right for you.

The three things I look for in a product are:

HIGH QUALITY - Your finished product must look professional, whether it's printed on a calendar, holiday card or T-shirt or coffee mug. I've got pretty high standards and tend to notice the little things, so for me, that includes not only the best quality photo possible in the finished product but even what the packaging look alike when it arrives.

SOLID CUSTOMER SERVICE - This is a must! If you need help, does the company get back to you right away with a solution? Are they friendly? Do they understand your needs? And what if your order doesn’t arrive or gets somehow damaged in the mail - do they send you a new one or give you credit?

USER FRIENDLY - Ordering your printed photo gifts should be easy. So make sure that the company maintains a user friendly website or keeps their ordering process simple, and most importantly, clear. You don't want ten 5x7 prints, you want five 7x10 prints. Watch for confusing language or ask for help if you see terminology you don't understand. Side note: This is especially important for all of us moms who are having a glass of wine at 11p.m. while ordering holiday gifts!

So now let me make a few recommendations of companies that I regularly use to order printed photos and merchandise for the reasons above.

Look to artifactuprising.com for beautiful holiday cards and other fantastic ways to showcase your family photos. Please look at they desktop items! A desktop should never go without one!

Two items that I am completely impressed with is the Baby Board Book and The Story of You Baby Book. These are possibly THE BEST gifts to give a family that just had a baby!

The Story of You Baby Book is a modern and interactive baby book designed with busy parents in mind. It encourages parents to create new and meaningful habits as they document their child’s life. This beautifully crafted book replaces typical milestones with a focus on the everyday moments.

The Baby Board Book is a creation of your words and images for your child to enjoy and love! It is super simple to make with design element there for you!

Also at Artifact Uprising are fabulous Everyday Prints. Very affordable way to print your family photos or instagram photos for your family to enjoy. I alway recommend PRINTING YOUR PHOTOS. To hold and feel one of these prints is magical!

Need a great album for the grandparents? Simple and classy is the best way to go! Artifact Uprising has a linen hard cover album that is my favorite. And as long as you're there, I even suggest making a second one of yourself!

For online holiday cards I love minted.com. Once you land on the website, you can chose form unique artist designed cards in either a folded or flat layout. You can add a pretty liner to the holiday envelope or incorporate unique designs to make your card stand out from all the rest! And be sure and try one of their cards with the foil - they're stunning!

Gifts, gifts gifts! I still say minted.com is wonderful! Their frames are all reasonably priced and there are a wide variety of beautiful styles that will accent any home and make that special photo stand out.

Also check out their holiday wrapping paper. They've got a wide variety of styles of paper that are easy to use - not thin so it won’t tear while wrapping - and it's the perfect final touch. Think of the wrapping paper as the cherry on top!

And let us not forget all those fun and wonderful items we can find on shutterfly.com. They have really cool items for your office and every place in your home! I shared with you on the show the darling pencil holder and caddy with the fan favorite mouse pad. Think pillows, coffee mugs and even games for the kids…Shutterfly has it all! I personally love the memory game (featured on the show) the puzzles and the deck of cards…all with your photos. 

So have fun shopping for the ones you love! I have ordered all of these items and more from theses companies, and I have been 100% satisfied each and every time. Keep in mind, with the holidays approaching (eek!) that companies may have a deadline to order certain products to ensure they are delivered on time. Plan on ordering early so you don't end up paying any rush fees.

And here's one more bonus for you - I've found that many companies offer discounts at this time of year. Make sure and shop around, visit websites, and sign up for newsletters and mailing lists so you don't miss out on any spectacular offers on products you'll be buying.

Wishing you all the merriest holiday season!

~Sandra Tenuto

www.sandratenuto.com

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