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Because a printed photograph is really FOREVER

In a year or two you, you will sit on the sofa and go through your album together...

In 15 years, she'll look at this on her own, and you will too, recalling all the stories and moments you created together...

In 25 years, she will flipping through with her husband as they are preparing for their own little one's arrival...

In 50 years, she will be showing her album to her grandchild...

In 90 years, that grandchild will hold on dearly to her album and will be passing it down to the next generation...

Because a PRINTED photograph is really FOREVER!

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Studio Look Book - Amsterdam Portrait Photographer and Filmmaker

Hey lovely friends,

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8 personalized photo gift ideas to show your family you love them - Amsterdam Family Photographer

If you want to give your loved ones something truly personal for a holiday then this article is for you.

As a photographer, I try to turn our precious memories into unique and one-of-a-kind keepsakes that I know will be treasured forever by our grandparents, parents, and children.

It’s hard to find a perfect present that would be cherished by your loved ones; it seems we are always searching for something that would mean a lot but won’t cost a fortune. These photo gift ideas are perfect for Christmas gifts, Mother’s and Father’s Day surprises, and even birthday presents.

1. 12-month planner

A monthly planner makes a wonderful gift for those who enjoy keeping paper notes. I’ve been doing this for the last two years and everyone I give them to loves them a lot!

I create a Moleskine planner which turns out to be more than just a notebook and the photos help add a little personal touch. My husband loves making his to-do lists, thus he is always super excited to receive a new notebook that fits his needs perfectly.

2. Photo cards

This is my children’s favourite gift to help create. Photo cards are often made with photographs but I let the kids paint or draw the “photo” that will grace the cover of the card, like making snowmen out of their fingers and white paint. These cards are true keepsakes for your loved ones and wonderful adornments for any present.

anita perminova portraits and films amsterdam family photographer photo gifts for family father's day mother's day christmas birthday

3. Desk calendar

This one was a hit at our last Christmas. I chose 12 images matching the season and mood of each month and printed them out as a desk calendar with a brass easel which looks really beautiful on a desk.

4. Digital frame

A digital frame is a wonderful gift to share your photos directly to your loved ones’ frames, even if they are halfway across the world. I find it to be a wonderful gift solution for our grandparents and those relatives residing far away from us.

With built-in Wi-Fi, this frame lets you import photos from your social media. I created a folder on Flickr and connected it to the company’s server. Every time I upload new images they are automatically updated in the frame. How easy is that?!

anita perminova portraits and films amsterdam family photographer photo gifts for family father's day mother's day christmas birthday nixplay seed digital frame

5. Fine art prints

My older daughter wanted to give a gift for her grandparents. She chose her best six portraits and printed them on a fine art mounted cotton paper which came with a handmade prints box and a wooden display. This turned out to be a great keepsake for them!

The prints can be swapped out throughout the year which they love. Because of this, my daughter is planning to update their collection on the next holiday.

6. Framed prints

Framed prints are a wonderful way to turn your photographs into something very special that your grandparents will cherish every time they look at it. This framed print was a Christmas present for our grandfather. He was super happy to receive it as his holiday gift and now he’s very proud to have it on his desk.

7. Wall canvas

Wall canvases turn a special image into a simple piece of art. I’ve printed a few framed prints and canvases for my clients in the past and since my packages arrive at my home studio, my husband is able to see all those beautiful client products. Once he asked me if he could have one or two portraits of our children printed big. I guess now I know what his next present is going to be!

8. Photo book

I stumbled across the idea of a photo design project on the Design Aglow blog when searching for another unique birthday gift idea for my husband. Basically, it’s a book created by you and your kids and is a great reflection of how your children view their daddy at this stage in life.

All you need to create a book is a handful of your favorite photos and a list of questions you would like to include. Once it is printed, ask your children to create some drawings and answer the questions by writing their answers down in the book. We did this for my husband but you could do this for anyone.

I print my books through online printing companies such as BlurbMilkbooks, and Artifact Uprising.

Print your photos and share them with your loved ones! Creative photo gifts make the most memorable and personal presents for loved ones.

How you store your digital media may go out-of-date (who remembers floppy disks?) and the files that you have stored in these digital formats become inaccessible. Instead, a print will always be there.

A framed photo hanging proudly on your wall is there for everyone to see. There is something nostalgic and romantic about being able to curl up on the couch with your children and look back at your old family photos.




5 simple tips on how to preserve your child’s school memories

school year timeline you child's school memories documented anita perminova amsterdam family photographer

Since my first child started attending the school I began documenting their school memories throughout the years.

When I look back at their school pictures I realize how much my children have grown. I have created a "system" that helps me to preserve their special school moments and make it easier for them to reminisce on these times.

What I’m sharing in this blog post comes from my own experience of figuring out what works best in my own family. This project documents each of my child's school year in a personal yearbook which is filled with monthly pages capturing their handwriting, thoughts about school and the world they live in, photos of them highlighting field trips, sport activities and other school events, and artwork collected throughout the school year.

Photo Tips

Make sure you take a picture of the first and last day of school, it is just amazing to compare the first day of school photo to the last!

first day vs. last day of school amsterdam portrait photographer and filmmaker

There is something just so exciting to get to document the fun children had and the friends they made during the year. Of course you could take these anytime in the last month of school, but the last day of school photos are where you actually get to capture all those authentic moments and happy emotions you can see on the faces of your children, their friends and teachers.

photo tips school year documented anita perminova amsterdam child photographer

Because the first and the last days of school tend to be so busy I make sure in advance that my camera equipment charged and my memory cards are empty. When shooting on these days I have a list of must have photos in my mind, which is as follows:

  • Head shot - I try to get to school a little bit earlier so I have enough time to take a quick headshot of each of my children. When shooting those I make sure I choose a neutral background (bushes, school wall, etc.) and I make my child stand a little bit in front in order to create some depth and background blur.
  • Teacher shot - this is the most important memory to photograph, as they will never be in that grade with that teacher again. Some of the sweetest moments come when your child is interacting with the teacher, not just smiling at the camera. And don't be upset if you don't manage to take the picture in the classroom, you can take it wherever you get a chance - on the playground, outside the school, or waiting in a line. Make sure you get a good portrait of the two of them together!

  • Friends shot - try to document the friendships that your child created during the school year. Who are the kids that you hear about all the time? Those are their memories and who knows what will be different next year. I try to get at least a couple of images, the first one is a portrait of the two or three of them together, and the second one is a details shot of the activity they like to do together. If they are reading bodies, I take a picture of them in their reading spot.

  • Classroom shot - I like to take photos of the classroom by taking a few steps back from the action. I love the look and feel of these shots, they give a sense like you're sneaking a little peek into their day. But don't forget to snap a few photos of the little details, such as a closeup of child's backpack, or a name tag on their desk, etc. These little things really help to tell the whole story of your child's school experience and very precious to look back on!
photo tips your child's school year documented by anita perminova amsterdam child photographer

However it is easy to remember to take photos of the first day of school or the big projects or the big events like school field trips and sport days, you would be interested to capture other little things that really tell more of the story of your child's school year, such as working on their homework, shopping for school supplies, playing at the school playground after school, your child's friends and teachers, etc. I regularly share their images hashtagged #theirschooldaysdocumented on Instagram, to inspire you with what kind of pictures can help tell their story.

photo tips your child's school year documented by anita perminova amsterdam child photographer

Interview time capsule

The beginning of the school year and the end of school are the perfect times to interview your kids! Yearly school interviews can be a marvelous tradition. If you ask the same questions each time, you can look back and watch them change and grow throughout the years, and you can also see how their handwriting and spelling has improved. I am trying to follow the same list of questions I worked out the very first time, but I am pretty flexible in case I need to change them at some point or add something new.

back to school interview time capsule by anita perminova amsterdam child photographer

I am using this free downloadable questionnaire for my children to fill out. If they’re too young to write, ask them the questions and write down their responses … as word-for-word as possible.

We love making interview films in our house. I am recording the answers on video to make this an extra special keepsake! It’s a great way to record how children sound and communicate. When shooting try to use a natural source of light and place your kids next to a window. You may consider using a tripod for steadiness. Make sure you check your sound is picking up their voice clearly and try to eliminate all the background noises.

A few years ago I discovered a phone app OneDay that helps me to record mini videos and document memories on my phone in a few simple steps when I don't have my DSLR camera with me (which happens very rarely but it happens also to me). This is not just an app that helps you to record the video but it is a theme related questionnaire. The movie is accompanied with a theme music. I find it really perfect for sharing with my family and friends. Very easy and no extra applications or programs are involved.

Weekly or Monthly journal

When your child comes home on the first few days of school or throughout the school year you may have lots of questions for him/her. What about if you start keeping a weekly journal of questions you may want to ask your child during the school year? Or, you can help your child to write a short journal entry about what they did at school. Don't forget to take a photo each week/month to accompany their journal entries.

monthly school journal ask you kids about school by anita perminova amsterdam child photographer

To help you started, I have got 15 sample questions you would be interested to use as conversation starters with your children.

back to school and end of school questions to ask your child to document their school memories by anita perminova amsterdam child photographer

You can expand your list of questions depending on a number of school weeks per year. Please, keep in mind that:

  • asking open-ended questions will keep a conversation going;
  • often kids are not specific, so you have to ask for specific information when you want it;
  • try not to help them out with their answers, as sometimes they can follow your direction and you won't be able to receive their true, honest and one-of-a-kind answers;
  • positive questions, such as "describe your perfect school day?", help encourage more conversation.

Enjoy your conversations and trust me, your children will thank you for this in the feature!

school years in pictures by anita perminova amsterdam family photographer

Paper organization

We all have limited storage space at our home, as well I have to admit that we can not keep every single masterpiece they produce or every single paper they bring home from school (at least I was thinking so before finding this solution). Let's face it, managing all of the school papers and work can be an overwhelming task. Here are some thoughts on how I am keeping it all organized:

  • because so much is digital our days, create a folder in your email inbox for each child's class and file newsletters and important rosters in that folder.
  • get everything in one place, have a drawer/box for each child in the family office labeled with their name and pull the papers, projects, art masterpieces, awards labeled with dates, etc into one place. I bought these storage boxes from Ikea.
  • by the end of the school year go through all the stuff together and keep just a handful and the most memorable/precious things, such as best art pieces, a few handwriting samples, their awards, and some other memorable stuff that helps tell their story.
  • those items that you and your kids find so special but you don't necessarily need them to be stored in their own, scanning/taking a picture of those items and including in a child's personal yearbook would be a great solution.

Put it all together and make a book

school memories in a book document your child's school year by anita perminova amsterdam family photographer

Creating a photo book is your next and a final step. This is my favorite part! I can totally relate that this is the most scary part for so many people because the idea of “compiling a book” is just overwhelming. Check out this article where I take you through my workflow, from how I take the images of all the artwork to sending a book for print.

your child's school memories in a book by anita perminova amsterdam family photographer

Keep it simple and enjoy the fun while trying to document it!

This article was published on Clickin Moms. Head over to get more inspiring tips and make sure you subscribe to their newsletters.

If you liked this post, be sure to check out these 3 easy ways to document your child's end-of-school memories



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How To Turn Your Kid's Artwork Into A Christmas Card

My kids love getting crafty and send homemade Christmas cards to all the friends and family members. As the number of the kids' friends grew, it gave me an idea to use a printing company to turn their artwork into a Christmas card. All we needed to complete this project was a creative spirit and some holiday cheer.

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Get inspired OR how to document your back-to-school memories!

This summer has just flown by, and while we are relishing the last days of summer with our kids, we have started to think about preparing for the upcoming school year. My daughters are feeling very excited to get back to school and meet their friends and I have to confess that I really miss our school-day routine.


How to turn your children's artwork into an elegant book!


How to turn your children's artwork into an elegant book!

To us as parents, the best gifts from our children are the ones they make themselves. Around our house we spend much of our time drawing, painting and crafting. My older daughter is an artist and this is what she does all her time when she is not outside or at school or having play dates with her friends.