KODAK Gallery photo gifts and iPhone app

If your New Year’s resolution involves getting all your baby’s photos in order, you need to know about KODAK Gallery (www.kodakgallery.com) and the great tools and products it has to offer.  While we all grew up believing in KODAK as a trusted name in photography, I had no idea how far they had come along with their online tools and photo gifts.  If you haven’t checked out their site, it’s definitely worth a look.  Here are just some of the great items I found.

Photo calendars are a perfect way to capture a lot of photos in a gift that you know will get used throughout the year.  While the rewards are great, making the calendar is often a pain.  However, KODAK just unveiled a new set of photo layout tools that makes Wall Calendars and Photo Books a breeze.  The best part is that their tool is adaptable for the entire range of designers – from the mom who just wants to input photos and have the tool magically arrange them to the mom who can sit there for hours adjusting every little detail.  I fall closer to the latter end of the spectrum and was excited to spend far fewer hours at my computer this year.  Plus, I didn’t find myself fighting templates as I usually do on other sites, which saved me much frustration. 

How does it work?  First, you select what type of calendar you’d like, choosing time span (12 or 18 months) and size (standard or oversize).  You can even select which month to start with if you didn’t quite get around to creating a calendar before ringing in the new year.  Then, pick a design from among 23 themes offered.  Add your photos to each page, uploading as you go or selecting from your KODAK albums.  KODAK automatically arranges your photos on the page and gives you the option of different layouts.  Go with what they give you or use one of their templates as the starting point and switch to Custom mode where you can zoom, resize, move and rotate your photos as you wish.  It’s the perfect mix of auto and custom! The program has great flexibility, letting you switch calendar size at anytime and providing an Undo button (a feature I found myself using often).  You can mix and match the design themes, choosing from over 240 backgrounds for each month.  Another tip: use the “Save As” function to save several versions for yourself, your parents and your in-laws – just go back and switch out a couple photos instead of having to re-create everything from scratch. 

In addition to paper, KODAK can print on a wide variety of materials.  You can create photo gifts on porcelain, canvas, cloth, leather and wood!  I tried out the Filligree Porcelain Ornament and was excited to see the results – a little bit on the dark side, but overall a really nice quality print with a smooth glossy finish.  But, if I thought the ornament was impressive, I was absolutely blown away by the Photo Wall Art (glossy and UV/scratch resistant on a wood panel).  We’re still getting compliments from visitors the second they set eyes on these classy pieces.  The photos look great blown up to 11” x 14” (also available in 16” x 20”).  Set on wood, they have slots in the back for hanging and are ready to go.  No need to bother with framing! 

In addition to calendars, photo books, ornaments and wall art, you can add your photos to mugs, magnets, notepads, mouse pads, jewelry – even wine glass charms, tote bags, iPhone cases and wallets.

If you find yourself hooked on making photo products (not unimaginable!) and are looking for more photos to use, you may also want to download the KODAK Gallery iPhone app.  With this app, multiple people can contribute to a Group album immediately from their phones, adding photos or commenting on ones already there.  With the iPhone camera getting better and better, the resolution on these photos is good enough to use on photo products, so you can be inspired to make even more photo gifts!  You’ll still have to go to the KODAK site to manage your album and create photo products, but now you won’t have to chase everyone down for their photos after a group get together. 

So, check out the KODAK Gallery site and start making use of all those digital photos that are currently trapped on your computer.  With so many options to try, you’re sure to find something you like!

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