The holiday season is under way and it won’t be long before we’re ringing in the new year and wondering where the time went. Between now and then, however, there are plenty of things to check off the “to-do” list, some more urgent than others. Somewhere near the top of that list (probably next to holiday shopping), you’ll find it’s time to take and send holiday photos. While taking the photos may require some diligent planning to corral the family, printing and sending holiday cards and other unique photo gifts has never been easier, especially if you order your prints through professional print labs. Some labs, like Bay Photo, offer user-friendly ordering solutions that allow you to send premium cards and gifts quickly, making it easier than you might’ve imagined to make somebody’s trip to the mailbox worthwhile.

To help you make the most of your holiday photos this year, we’ve put together a short list of some of the best-selling holiday photo gift ideas.

Press Printed Cards

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Holiday Press Printed Cards – Photos by, Nicole Sepulveda and Hanson Fong

We’re all familiar with holiday cards; they’re a seasonal staple. Before the season is over, you will probably have several cards from friends & family (and even professional contacts) lining your mantle. Before you go out and pick any random card option to send, however, it’s important to note that not all cards—or print labs, for that matter—are created equal.

We recommend checking out press printed cards from a pro lab like Bay Photo—who have their own Online Ordering solution and also use special desktop software called Bay ROES—to streamline the ordering process. The best part about ordering press-printed cards using the ROES system is that all you have to do is drag and drop your images into any one of the professionally designed templates offered (or you can use your own artwork if you’re skilled in that area) and then quickly select your size and format options from a full catalog of options, a few of which are outlined below. Another reason we recommend going with a pro lab for press printed cards is to ensure you’re getting a top-quality product in terms of the printing types and paper options available.

NOTE: Don’t forget the envelopes, which you can usually order with your cards, also in a variety of formats (shine, natural, foil, etc.).

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Holiday Press Printed Card Options
  • Flat & Folding Cards: Flat cards offer a front & back printing option to highlight your photos, while folding cards can include several formatting options, from a single fold (like traditional cards you find on the rack in stores) to tri-fold, gatefold, or even accordion-style formats.
  • Creative Edge Die Cut Cards: These break from the traditional card format with a variety of creative shapes and pop-out options (see a couple examples in the image above).
  • Foil Cards: Foil Cards are typically printed double-sided using your photos and/or artwork, and the designs are stamped on one side of the card in your choice of the available colors (red, gold, and silver are popular on holiday cards).

Photo Books

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Holiday Photo Books – Photos by Eric Hoffland

The only thing better than printing your favorite holiday photo is printing an entire collection of your favorite images! With photo books, you’re able to include more images to tell your very own story. Whether you’re compiling a year-in-review collection to revisit the year’s best photos or putting together a more comprehensive collection, like a “history of the holidays” to showcase your favorite holiday images over the years, designing a photo book Online or by using the ROES system from a pro lab makes it easy to craft a meaningful story using your images. You can order one for yourself to place on the coffee table or have several printed to send out as gifts to friends and family.

Depending on the lab you go with, you will have different options for photo book styles and formats. Here are a couple of popular options to consider for printing your photo book:

  • Standard Books: Presented in either hardcover or softcover editions, standard books are great for keeping on the coffee table for regular viewing. Pro labs like Bay Photo offer numerous cover options for both hardcovers and softcovers (featuring a variety of materials and imprints), and you can choose between hinged “lay flat” pages or a “perfect bound” option.
  • Wave/Accordion Books: Accordion books tend to fall on the smaller side (similar to business cards) and fold out like multi-fold cards, featuring up to ten panels of images. The biggest difference between these and accordion-style cards is the covers, which come in a diverse range of options. This definitely makes for a worthwhile, unique gift option.

Watch this video from Bay Photo for tips on designing and ordering photo books and albums. NOTE: If you’re unable to complete your design in one sitting, you should be able to save your progress and then pick up the project again when you have the time.


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Holiday Calendars – photo by Kitfox Valentin

If you have several photos you want to share but don’t quite feel a book is the right fit to tell your story, you might also consider featuring your pictures in a custom calendar. Calendars offer a great way to showcase a collection of your favorite images while keeping track of all of your important dates for the year. Like photo books, you can design your calendar thematically, collecting images for a year-in-review or compiling images you’ve taken over time. Because of its very nature, calendars are great for featuring seasonal/holiday-themed photos!

Although it’s a perfect time to order a new calendar as we get ready to start a new year, you can actually choose your month to start, should you decide to begin using the calendar in March as opposed to January, for example. Here are a couple of options to consider when printing a calendar.

  • Monthly Calendars: You can choose from several design options or use your own artwork and text to fully customize your monthly calendar.
  • Yearly Planners: Take your calendar off the wall and feature your photos in a unique, customized yearly planner.

As you can see in this video from Bay Photo, preparing and ordering calendars online has never been easier. The hardest part is choosing which photos you’d like to feature.

Other Ideas

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Holiday Photo Prints – Photos by Jessica Boland

Depending on your budget, this list could go on and on, but here are a few other photo gift ideas that are worth considering.

  • Photo Prints & Wall Displays: You don’t have to keep your prints to yourself! Photo prints and wall displays also make great holiday gifts, especially for your closest friends and family. You can find more information on how to choose a wall display for your prints in this article!
  • Ornaments: Make unique photo tags for your gifts or hang your pictures on the tree as a metal or bamboo ornament.
  • Jewelry: When integrated into the design of the jewelry, your photos can be worn and treasured for a lifetime.
  • Magnets: This is a great option for friends or business clients as these can be placed on refrigerators and filing cabinets alike!


We’ve long touted the importance of printing on this site and in our studio, and sharing your photos for the holidays makes printing all the more significant. Whether you’re sending cards, photo books, calendars, or other gifts, your memories will carry on long after the moment they were captured. With quick turnaround times offered through professional labs like Bay Photo (with as little as three days for a photo book), you can now design and send out quality gifts in no time at all to make the most of the photos you’ve captured over the year(s). On top of that, the software used to order these photo gifts online is easy to use and hassle free, which means you can also check off your holiday shopping box with minimal effort and maximum satisfaction.