The Best Unique Photo Gifts for 2023




I'm a wife & mom who believes in the power of a photograph to help us hold onto the moments in life we treasure most. This blog will help you to plan your own photoshoot, but it will also give you ideas & inspiration of ways to use your own photos!

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Photo gifts are, in my opinion, both the best and the most unique gifts you can give, so the title is a bit misleading. That said, there are so many options on the market today (I’m looking at you, photo socks!) that it’s worth researching the best options available to you. After all, you don’t want your oh-so-personal gift to be abandoned in the less-than-personal pile of “Can I return this?” gifts! Now I don’t want to make this complicated, but there are a couple of things to consider before deciding on your gift.

  1. What is the expected shelf life of the gift?
  2. How much would I like to spend?

SHELF LIFE / The “shelf life” of your gift is important because, generally speaking, the shorter the shelf life, the less you should spend. Also, the less you spend, the more “out there” you can be (Hello, photo M&Ms!).

COST / The amount you spend is important to the quality, creativity, and longevity of the gift. We spend less on our holiday cards, for example, which only really last one month- that we do on wall prints we hope to hand down to our families. These are the extremes, of course, but you get the idea.

In the end, there should be a balance between what you spend and the shelf life of the gift. A wedding gift for your niece would probably be a little more expensive but be something you hope will last for many years. While the Secret Santa gift for your colleague can be a little more exotic and less expensive as you’re hoping it will at least get a moment’s smile.

Now that we’ve laid the ground rules for our selections, here are our best & most unique photo gifts of 2023!


I know what you’re thinking- a print is not a creative gift! I strongly disagree; It’s all in what you do with it. There is truly no more enduring gift than a print. Find the perfect moment and print it out and then find the perfect way to display it- perhaps a frame that matches their decor? The key to a good print is finding a good printer. My choice for consumer prints are MPix and Artifact Uprising.


The REtroviewer is our choice for a top photo gift due to its price point and uniqueness.
The Retroviewer makes our Best Of list due to its uniqueness and its price point!

Remember the Viewfinder you used to have as a kid? You would add a “reel” to the viewer and a series of 3D images would appear. You can now create your own custom viewfinder! At a great price point, you can create a reel of your family vacation, your child’s last sports season, or create a reel of an event as a belated hostess gift! My choice for reels is Image 3D.


Photo block & prints. Image courtesy of Artifact Uprising.

Artifact Uprising is a wonderful little company out of Colorado that started creating thick, matte prints and then a wooden block (from beetle kill as a way to help the forest stay safe) to hold the photographs! The block holds ten prints and you can rotate the image on top to post your favorite image du jour! We’ve given these as birthday gifts, holiday gifts, hostess gifts, and more. Their versatility, environmental approach and price point mean they make the list!

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Karissa Van Tassel is an accredited professional photographer, accredited by The Portrait Masters, an association of master photographers from around the world.


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