Author Topic: Photos as Gifts  (Read 3886 times)

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menley

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Re: Photos as Gifts
« Reply #45 on: December 30, 2014, 02:01:27 PM »
I've enjoyed reading the responses! It seems like the number one takeaway is to know your audience, and I agree.

Here's the story that prompted the question. We spent Christmas with my in-laws, including my husband's brother (Josh), his wife (Jane), and their child (Jacob). In the exchange of gifts, my husband and I received a framed photo of their family.

We don't display photos of people in our home (the only photo we display is a framed photo of us from our wedding), and the frame is not our taste. Additionally, as we attended several other events with the Js and saw photos on Facebook of their gift exchange with others, we saw that everyone (parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews) all received an identical frame with an identical family photo. For the majority of people, it was the only Christmas present they received from the Js.

I have two issues with this - first, we went to a great deal of effort to find things that were specific to each of them as individuals and that we knew they would love. While the items were not necessarily expensive, they were incredibly personal, so to receive in return a present that was exactly the same as they got for everyone else was a little... off-putting. And I found it rather self-absorbed.

However, I don't get along well with the Js, and so I recognize that, from someone else, I might not have been as annoyed.

AnnaJ

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Re: Photos as Gifts
« Reply #46 on: December 30, 2014, 02:05:10 PM »
I think pictures of a sole adult person (not the whole family) which is not a milestone event picture (graduation etc): slightly weird even within family, unless requested.

Ah, we poor singles excluded again! ;) Seriously, what if just one person IS "the whole family"? My grandparents have framed pictures up of all their grandkids. Originally it was school pictures or pictures of the sibling pairs. As time went on, there were wedding pictures and pictures of the grandkids with their respective spouse and children. I realized that there weren't any pictures of me except as a kid! So when I went on a cruise and had some nice portraits taken, I printed out one of my favorites, framed it, and gave it to my grandma that Christmas. I don't see that as narcissistic, just wanting equal time with the rest of the grandkids. They got to "grow up" because they had weddings and children. I don't think I had to stay forever a child just because I'm not married and don't plan on having kids.

I don't think "milestones only" is a rule so much as a guideline of timing. A picture of yourself for every event is ridiculous. But milestones tend to be spaced apart enough that it's a good time for a new picture. (Not to mention it's the only time a lot of people even have nice portraits taken.) A non-milestone portrait every few years is fine.

I was thinking this as I read through the responses, thanks for stating it so eloquently. 

siamesecat2965

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Re: Photos as Gifts
« Reply #47 on: December 30, 2014, 02:51:09 PM »
I've enjoyed reading the responses! It seems like the number one takeaway is to know your audience, and I agree.

Here's the story that prompted the question. We spent Christmas with my in-laws, including my husband's brother (Josh), his wife (Jane), and their child (Jacob). In the exchange of gifts, my husband and I received a framed photo of their family.

We don't display photos of people in our home (the only photo we display is a framed photo of us from our wedding), and the frame is not our taste. Additionally, as we attended several other events with the Js and saw photos on Facebook of their gift exchange with others, we saw that everyone (parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews) all received an identical frame with an identical family photo. For the majority of people, it was the only Christmas present they received from the Js.

I have two issues with this - first, we went to a great deal of effort to find things that were specific to each of them as individuals and that we knew they would love. While the items were not necessarily expensive, they were incredibly personal, so to receive in return a present that was exactly the same as they got for everyone else was a little... off-putting. And I found it rather self-absorbed.

However, I don't get along well with the Js, and so I recognize that, from someone else, I might not have been as annoyed.

Given the backstory, I can see why you were a bit perturbed. I also would have felt the same way, that it was off putting and self absorbed. I also know exactly how you feel about taking the time and effort to find a gift for someone that is perfect for them, and then getting something generic, or had very little thought put into it, in return.


Redneck Gravy

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Re: Photos as Gifts
« Reply #48 on: December 30, 2014, 05:38:36 PM »
eek, I understand you're being perturbed, however, they may have chosen this route due to financial issues, as I have done the same thing in years past (photos of DD's as gifts when I was broke).

I have also received a family photo from my brother during years I know they were struggling.  One year my ex SIL gifted everyone with brass picture frames (ugh, not my style at all), again a frugal year for them (probably a $2-$3 per frame).  I applaud the effort, our family has finally gotten to a point where we do a limited gift exchange (draw names with limits on spending), this year we exchanged kids/family photos in cards only.  I'm fine with that.

I think your DH should have been given a heads up about their plans if his brother knew they were not going to be "sticking to the plan" from previous years.   

 


LadyR

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Re: Photos as Gifts
« Reply #49 on: January 04, 2015, 08:56:55 PM »
It depends on the circumstance.

Last year one of my closest friends got married and for Christmas she gave me a double picture frame with pictures of the two of us at her wedding and at mine (we were each other's bridesmaid), which was beautiful and heart-warming. Years ago, my aunt got a picture of my father touched up and framed it for m and I treasure it (my father died several years ago).

We give our mother's photo books of the boys every year for Christmas and they love them. But it's not a Christmas gift I would give to anyone other than a grandparent and they have both expressed delight over this gift and a desire to keep getting them.

When friends of ours got engaged, we got them a fancy engraved frame with a picture of them in it (the picture was from our wedding and had been taken by our professional photographer). For my sons' baptisms, we gave all the guests (our parents, my husbands' siblings and a couple other close relatives) a framed pictures of the baby boy as a thank you, with godparents and grandparents getting an 8x10 (and both sets of godparents have them proudly displayed). When we got married, both mother's got photo books as thank yous (which started the tradition) and my ILs 40th anniversary was that year so we framed a blown up copy of the family picture (all their kids and grandkids) and they loved it, my MIL still treasures it.

So a picture with me in it or pictures of my loved ones? Lovely. A picture that doesn't include me or anyone in my family? It depends on the circumstance. I love having pictures of my family/friends, but I might think it's a little odd that you're giving me a framed picture of you.


Cheapie

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Re: Photos as Gifts
« Reply #50 on: January 05, 2015, 12:40:53 AM »
I've enjoyed reading the responses! It seems like the number one takeaway is to know your audience, and I agree.

Here's the story that prompted the question. We spent Christmas with my in-laws, including my husband's brother (Josh), his wife (Jane), and their child (Jacob). In the exchange of gifts, my husband and I received a framed photo of their family.

We don't display photos of people in our home (the only photo we display is a framed photo of us from our wedding), and the frame is not our taste. Additionally, as we attended several other events with the Js and saw photos on Facebook of their gift exchange with others, we saw that everyone (parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews) all received an identical frame with an identical family photo. For the majority of people, it was the only Christmas present they received from the Js.

I have two issues with this - first, we went to a great deal of effort to find things that were specific to each of them as individuals and that we knew they would love. While the items were not necessarily expensive, they were incredibly personal, so to receive in return a present that was exactly the same as they got for everyone else was a little... off-putting. And I found it rather self-absorbed.

However, I don't get along well with the Js, and so I recognize that, from someone else, I might not have been as annoyed.

I understand how you feel about their gift, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with how you feel.  However, your relatives decided that a framed photo of their family would make a good gift for all members of the family and probably thought that if was very much a nice, personal gift.  They probably wouldn't give this kind of gift to friends, co-workers or secret Santa partners.  In addition, most people would not get different poses done so that each gift recipient would have a more 'personalized' photo from them.  That would be really expensive and well, most people just don't do it ... one for two poses during a photo session is usually it. 

In addition, maybe they thought that the majority of the family would like these photos.  They probably don't know how every family member displaces pictures or how their taste in frames runs.  I think it would have been even odder if they had given the majority of the family framed photos and only one or two family members a different type of gift.  Who knows, those family members might then be upset that they didn't get a photo.

I really don't find giving family portraits as gifts to be odd.  We've done this in our family ... but it is not a yearly thing ... more like a five - seven year thing.  I do find it a bit odd to be given as a Christmas gift though.  I'm guessing that is why they were framed ... to dress up the gift a bit.  In our family, members just hand out pictures to other families when they've had them done professionally, which is not often.  A kind of "anyday" gift.  They are not usually framed either ... that is up to the recipient.

I guess I would only find this odd if they do it every year.  If I were you, I would just add the picture to a photo album, since you don't display photos, and either donate the frame or store it away for a time when you might need a frame for something.  You could spray paint it to make it more to your taste.

Morty'sCleaningLady

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Re: Photos as Gifts
« Reply #51 on: January 05, 2015, 05:22:29 PM »
A couple of years ago, my grandmother gave framed photos of herself to all of her kids and grandkids at Christmas.  They were taken as part of her church directory and I will admit it was a very nice picture of her.  DH did think it was a little odd, but it didn't really bother me.


My grandmother did that one year.  It was a great photo and had been touched up expertly.  Then she announced that she wanted that photo displayed at her wake/funeral!  Merry Christmas to me!!   >:D  (She's gone and I still have it displayed though.)

Worst picture gift I ever got was a mug from my nephew.  It was a photo of me holding him.  Well, I looked horrible.  I was in a ratty sweatshirt, glasses on, ponytail.  Nephew had some pretty bad rosacea and his eyes were closed.  There was nothing special about the picture.  In fact, the only special thing about it was that is was spectacularly bad.  I think that mug got broken in a move.  Don't send bad pictures and definitely don't turn them into a mug!
Formerly Mrs.Bart

bah12

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Re: Photos as Gifts
« Reply #52 on: January 05, 2015, 06:27:58 PM »
I've enjoyed reading the responses! It seems like the number one takeaway is to know your audience, and I agree.

Here's the story that prompted the question. We spent Christmas with my in-laws, including my husband's brother (Josh), his wife (Jane), and their child (Jacob). In the exchange of gifts, my husband and I received a framed photo of their family.

We don't display photos of people in our home (the only photo we display is a framed photo of us from our wedding), and the frame is not our taste. Additionally, as we attended several other events with the Js and saw photos on Facebook of their gift exchange with others, we saw that everyone (parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews) all received an identical frame with an identical family photo. For the majority of people, it was the only Christmas present they received from the Js.

I have two issues with this - first, we went to a great deal of effort to find things that were specific to each of them as individuals and that we knew they would love. While the items were not necessarily expensive, they were incredibly personal, so to receive in return a present that was exactly the same as they got for everyone else was a little... off-putting. And I found it rather self-absorbed.

However, I don't get along well with the Js, and so I recognize that, from someone else, I might not have been as annoyed.

I understand how you feel about their gift, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with how you feel.  However, your relatives decided that a framed photo of their family would make a good gift for all members of the family and probably thought that if was very much a nice, personal gift.  They probably wouldn't give this kind of gift to friends, co-workers or secret Santa partners.  In addition, most people would not get different poses done so that each gift recipient would have a more 'personalized' photo from them.  That would be really expensive and well, most people just don't do it ... one for two poses during a photo session is usually it. 

In addition, maybe they thought that the majority of the family would like these photos.  They probably don't know how every family member displaces pictures or how their taste in frames runs.  I think it would have been even odder if they had given the majority of the family framed photos and only one or two family members a different type of gift.  Who knows, those family members might then be upset that they didn't get a photo.

I really don't find giving family portraits as gifts to be odd.  We've done this in our family ... but it is not a yearly thing ... more like a five - seven year thing.  I do find it a bit odd to be given as a Christmas gift though.  I'm guessing that is why they were framed ... to dress up the gift a bit.  In our family, members just hand out pictures to other families when they've had them done professionally, which is not often.  A kind of "anyday" gift.  They are not usually framed either ... that is up to the recipient.

I guess I would only find this odd if they do it every year.  If I were you, I would just add the picture to a photo album, since you don't display photos, and either donate the frame or store it away for a time when you might need a frame for something.  You could spray paint it to make it more to your taste.

I pretty much agree with all of this with the exception that I find it neither odd nor probablamitic to give family photos as Christmas gift.  I can understand that the gift and the frame wasn't to your liking, and that's fine, but that doesn't make it rude or thoughtless or impersonal.  The J's likely thought it was a great gift to give to their family.  They missed the mark on you, but they didn't do anything wrong in my opinion.

Instances where I've given photos as gifts:

1. My grandmother, who needs nothing, only ever wants pictures of the great grandchildren.  So, I've given her framed pictures of my DD.  One year, we had all the great grandchildren photographed together and presented a framed protrait of them to my grandmother for Christmas.  She still says that was the best gift she's ever been given.

2. My mother had been talking to years about getting a good family portrait done of our entire extended family.  I arranged for this to happen (a lot of coordination and work) and paid for the session.  For her birthday (a few weeks later), I give her the framed family portrait she really wanted.  She hung it over her fireplace.

3. My best friend had been dreaming of going to a specific vacation spot.  She had a trip booked and then got into an accident that prevented her from going.  She was pretty depressed about the whole thing, so I talked to a few people and found out that a photographer friend of mine had been to this place and taken several pictures. I purchased one and had it framed and gave it to my friend (this was not a gift for a special occasion, but a gift none-the-less).

I know that in all these instances, I knew for a fact that the people wanted and would appreciate these gifts, but I really think that when it comes to gift giving for many friends and extended family it really can be a guessing game. What one person would appreciate others wouldn't.  I was once given a family portrait of my cousin's family for Christmas.  It was in a cheap plastic frame, but I knew that the family was on a limited income and spent a lot to have formal pictures taken.  While the frame wasn't to my taste and I don't make a habit of displaying pictures of cousins, aunts, and uncles, I knew that my cousin thought it was a good gift and that's really all that mattered.  I even added it to my family picture wall and it doesn't bother me at all that it's there. 

I've also received gifts that I have never used or never displayed. Gifts from people who know me well and still somehow missed the mark.  They didn't do it to be rude or slight me or be lazy or unthoughtful.  They just didn't do well with the gift.  Just like I'm sure that some gifts I've given, despite my efforts to get something that will be liked, wanted and useful, didn't go over as well as I thought they would (though no one has ever been rude and told me anything but thank you). So, unless the J's really are the type of people that who a purposely thoughtless when it comes to gift giving, I would just chalk it up to them not doing well with the gifts for everyone.  There are probably family members who really appreciated getting the photo.   

Chipmunky

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Re: Photos as Gifts
« Reply #53 on: January 06, 2015, 03:45:24 PM »
We got a photo to canvas print last year from brother. Brother had taken a candid image of Dad and nieces from Brother's wedding and blown it up. It was a very nice picture, but not something I'm exceptionally thrilled over.

Gave Dad a desk plaque of him and myself at my wedding for Father's Day this year. He's thrilled to have it. Gave FIL a similar plaque of him, DH, and BIL for Father's Day. Wasn't sure how he'd react- BIL passed unexpectedly 1 month after DH and I got married, and it was the first Father's Day without BIL. FIL cried, but loved having the image.

Gave FIL wedding album for his birthday, but not sure what has happened to it (due to estrangement since then, would not be surprised if SMIL cut it up). Wedding album was not only gift given to him for his birthday.

My mom wanted nothing for Christmas, but said if we HAD to give her something, she'd like a photo to canvas print of DH and I from our wedding. We got her one, along with a smaller canvas print of me as a bridal portrait (both of my parents went nuts over them). Also made her a duplicate of the Christmas ornament we made for ourselves with wedding photos, and made her a "mother and daughter" desk plaque to go with the one of Dad and I.

Made nieces an ornament of photos of them at our wedding (there's one where they are standing with me seated). They liked it, and Sister (their mom) quietly asked if I could make duplicates, as she wanted to keep the original for herself but give each of the girls their own for when they are eventually on their own with separate trees.  Also offered to make ornaments of the girls for Sister's mother (Dad's first wife), but was politely declined.

Made ornaments of our cats because they deserve one (in my furmommy opinion!). Sent a copy to DH's cousin- cats were originally her mother's before Aunt passed away, and cousin was tickled to see the photo ornament capturing their antics and personalities.  Accidentally got a duplicate, and gave it to a friend who loves cats but is allergic, and thus is an owner vicariously through us.

Culmination of this ramble: photos can be great gifts, but it is a matter of knowing your audience.

wyliefool

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Re: Photos as Gifts
« Reply #54 on: January 07, 2015, 01:08:08 PM »
Giving everyone in the whole extended family a photo of one's nuclear family seems a bit odd to me. But I've given photos as gifts:
  • A multi-pic frame to my dad, w/ pix of my brother and me, the spouses, and mom/dad
  • A photo calendar to a friend from our recent trip, featuring pix of her in exotic spots
  • A photo book to MIL, from a trip we took w/ her

darkprincess

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Re: Photos as Gifts
« Reply #55 on: January 07, 2015, 05:18:33 PM »
In response to the update:
I suggest you look at the positive. The picture is a sign of the type of gift giving they are looking to share with you. Accept that this is the type of thing that they like. You could even recipricate and give them a picture of you as their Christmas gift next year. Now you know what they appreciate for gifts.
As for recieving a picture, sometimes we get gifts that we don't like. We smile and thank the person.

I personally do not like to recieve pictures as gifts. I know my family and friends who are thoughtful because they recognize that we have no pictures of family on our walls or anywhere visible in the house and that I would not appreciate that as a gift. They know that I would prefer a card, a visit with them at a coffee shop, or a really big chocolate bar instead :) Some people still give a framed photo and I smile and thank them, I usually take the photo out of the frame, put it in our box of misc photos and give the frame away to charity. Then I add them to the list of people who want photos for Christmas.
I know that there are some people in my family and friends list who really like getting family photos. For them, we always give a family photo in a frame for them for Christmas. Depending on the type of gift giving the seem to be comfortable with, we also may give some other gift. We take the photo ourselves and print it on our computer at home. We buy frames at the dollar store. We only do it for people who lots of family photos up on their wall. If we notice that they do not put up our photo I don't get worried I just don't gift them a photo next year. If they want one I can send them a digital copy, or quickly print one up at home.

I have an ex-SIL who wants to exchange gifts. The first few years she always gave a laminated bookmark with a drawing by my niece who was 3yr old and a 5x7 photo. I had been giving a toy for niece and scarf set or bath salts for ex-SIL. At first I was annoyed at the unequal exchange, but then I figured that this was my problem. She was showing me the level of gifting she was interested in and I decided I either needed to match it or give what I wanted while expecting nothing in return. I started having my daughter make an art project and we sent it with a family photo. Interestlngly she didn't want to exchange gifts the following year.

SPuck

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Re: Photos as Gifts
« Reply #56 on: January 09, 2015, 11:37:45 AM »
I think giving photots constantly as gifts or a mass send out that isn't something like a Christmas  letter is rude as demonstrated in the OP's situation or as given too the third letter writer in this column of Social Q's.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Photos as Gifts
« Reply #57 on: January 10, 2015, 12:08:28 AM »
A friend of mine once received as a birthday present from his girlfriend (of 10 months) a large, framed photo of her enjoying one of her hobbies. I think he was a little taken aback!

Personally, I think gifting photos of yourself is a tad egotistical, unless the recipient has specifically asked for one.