- Souvenirs, travel photos and photo gift tags, oh my…
Attention all travel photographers, tourists and souvenir shoppers… want to spread the spirit of travel around and add some fun to your souvenir gift giving? Inspire others with your travel photos?
Souvenir gifting is often “a hit or miss” practice.
When a friend brings back a travel souvenir for me (and it’s not edible or chosen with my personality in mind), it can sometimes feel like, well,… junk! Likewise, I know there are times that I’m a “souvenir junk” gifter too! Perhaps I might occasionally nail a person’s personality with a souvenir; but most often, my gift souvenirs are flawed upon purchase. The reason? Detachment. My friends and loved ones haven’t been abducted by a monk, eaten fried bugs, or taken a boat tour to experience a floating market, to find my travel conquests personal. No, they’re getting the after-drift of my experience bottled up in some neat trinket, right? (sorry to put it in those terms, but really…)
They never see the city sights, experience the cultural swirls and symbolism, smell the spiced aromas, interact with the local people or even haggle with the person their souvenir was purchased from…. Nope. Instead they get a little foreign trinket accompanied by a short and probably lame verbal story about where, how or why I got it for them. This has always made me wonder- where can I lend a personal touch to my gifts and share my travel experiences or insights through my souvenirs?
A DIY GRRR Craft idea:
In lieu of my return from Thailand, where I did 18 lbs of souvenir gift shopping for friends and family (and later carried in my backpack…literally, a labor of love!), I was inspired to try 2 new ideas…
Idea #1: Turn your trip photos into travel tags and cards accompanying your gift souvenirs.
Trip photos make great gift cards and tags to accompany souvenirs. They share your story and insights as to the country you’ve visited. You might select general, all-purpose photos that inspire what you consider to be the vibe of the country you visited (like the photos at the very top of this post) or you may choosing to use photos taken at the site of your souvenir’s purchase. This idea is easy to do as you only need sift through your photos after your trip, select a couple of photos, resize them to approximately 2″x 4″ (tag or business card size) and print them out.
Idea #2: When on your trip, take photos of the site and/or vendors whom you purchased your souvenirs from.
This card idea requires more intentional planning- but it has a sincere touch and obsessive nature which I love- and recipients generally felt they shared a more direct and personal nature to their gifts, as well as my travel photos. Why? They are receiving a travel souvenir and individual attention towards its personal execution; not only are you sharing your sight through your lens but you’re also intentionally crafting a photograph card for them and their gift. I’ve long been wanting to do a project, where I shared my travels through bridging people to the origin of their souvenirs and by showing them the people and places it came from. As a photographer, I shot the face of the seller and the store/location where the souvenir originated from- this re-creates a history and makes the souvenir’s connection to a story evermore tangible and personal.