Kristen Swain Photography



new england families, COUPLEs, and landscapes

The Best Holiday Gifts You Can Order Right Now


November 1, 2023


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It’s November, and that means it’s time to start giving serious consideration to how we’re going to tackle the holidays this year. From travel to cooking, gifts to parties, the festive season is upon us. Personally, I find the holidays pretty stressful. Perhaps it’s because the holidays coincide with the culmination of the busiest part of the year for my business, but every year it feels like they sneak up on me and I end up doing everything on my personal to do list at the last minute. A huge weakness of mine is that I get major decision paralysis when it comes to gifting, and then have to deal with the consequences of my procrastination: higher shipping fees, last-minute wrapping, totally unnecessary in-person trips to crowded shops — there’s really nothing fun about saving your holiday shopping to the last minute…. Well, this year I’m starting early, and I’m making it my mission to help YOU get ahead on your holiday shopping as well, so you can focus on quality time with your loved ones — instead of calls to FedEx and late-night wrapping sessions — when those last couple weeks of the year roll around.

Exactly how can I help you, you might ask? Well, read on to learn about our new Premium Line of products (here just in time for the holidays!), which will help you tastefully and tangibly display your favorite memories from 2023. I’m putting our premium offerings (which include fine art albums, museum-quality frames, and fine art matted prints) on sale early to help you get motivated to act now and have your orders in hand with plenty of time to spare. Imagine having even half of your gift list checked off before Thanksgiving — how amazing would that be? 

The season of giving falls at the end of our calendar year, making it an important time for reflection and gratitude. A new year is around the corner, and with it come new priorities, new resolutions, new plans and celebrations. Personally, I love the new year — I’m always excited to reassess where I’m at, how far I’ve come, where I want to go, and what I want to change. The opportunity for a fresh start is invigorating to me. But before we look ahead, it’s important to pause, and make sure we don’t lose sight of all of the blessings we experienced in the year that’s drawing to a close. If you’re reading this, chances are you chose to document — with photographs — an important event in your life this year, whether that was an engagement, wedding, a new baby, your summer vacation, or perhaps you get family photos every year, being fully aware that what they say about raising kids is true: the days are long but the years are short. Whatever your motivation was, the photographs we captured together will endure longer than your actual memories of this time, and over time, the photographs themselves will be what you refer back to when you want to relive those moments. It’s so nice that we can keep all of our photos on our phones these days, but if your phone is the only place your photos live, you’re missing out on the full enjoyment of your memories.

How often do you look back at photos you took on your phone 5 years ago? My guess is not very often (it’s certainly not often for me). But you know which memories I get to relive every single day? The memories of my wedding day, because I had my favorite photographs from that important moment framed (over the holidays, in fact) just a couple of months after Tim and I got married. We also regularly flip through our engagement photos, which we had printed for our wedding guest book, as well as the larger selection of wedding photos that made it into our tome of a wedding album. Whenever we have guests over these books catch their eye, and I love that when we look over these memories together, we also share a smile, a cry, or a laugh — genuine emotion — over the story behind each photograph.

Printed photographs make wonderful holiday gifts for the same reason that they are the first material items you’d grab if your house caught fire. They hold so much for us: meaning, emotions, memories… The photographs I capture of you and your family are a visual representation of your love. And given as a gift, they are a physical symbol of a huge piece of your heart.

All that is to say that if you’re looking for a meaningful and thoughtful gift, email your photographer and see what he or she can do to help you give your memories their own place in your home, where they can be shared with the people you love most.

Below I’ll briefly summarize the key items we’re offering with our new line of Premium Products, and I’ll also provide my two cents on who in your life is most likely to be swept off their feet by each gift.

Custom Fine Art Albums

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a photo album is priceless. Indie Print Co. is the small shop that makes our premium line of fine art albums. Everything about the design of these albums is thoughtful, from the linen and velvet cover material in beautiful muted tones, to the thick and sturdy acid-free pages that help bring your photos to life, to the customized cover embossing and more…. This album isn’t one to be hidden away in the bookshelves; it’s beautiful enough on its own to be proudly displayed on your coffee table or used as a decorative element on your side console, in addition to being a vessel for your most precious memories.

Hands down, this is the gift for moms. If you can manage to surprise your spouse with a Fine Art Indie Print album, you will hit it out of the park this holiday season. I’d love to help you execute this gorgeous surprise, and fortunately, it’s very likely that I already have all of the info you need. If your partner has spent some time on her phone or at the computer enjoying the photos from your family session, chances are she’s added hearts to her favorite images in your gallery — and I can see them! She’ll be blown away by the gift itself but even more so when she sees that you’ve incorporated the very images that make her heart race the most.

To learn more about our album offerings, click here.

Museum-Grade Frames

Whether it’s a postcard-sized portrait that lives on your desk, or an eye-catching statement piece for your living room wall, a great photo can only last in a well-built frame. Your photos are your living memories, and are probably some of the most sentimental possessions you own. They deserve to be housed properly, not just to ensure their longevity but to display them in a way that complements your home. That’s why I’m now offering my clients the best of the best: MUSEA boutique frames.  

MUSEA frames are handcrafted with the utmost care. The options for personalization are seemingly endless; beyond the photo itself, you can choose from five different types of wood, and 23 moldings in various colors and tones, as well as even more options for contemporary, non-wood frames. You can get creative and choose a combination that will complement your living space (and my team and I are here to help you make sure you get it right). With a MUSEA frame, your photos are protected from humidity and UV damage, so they won’t deteriorate on your wall — even in direct sunlight. Whether you’re framing a family portrait, a favorite picture of your kids for your spouse, or an art print featuring your happy place, you can’t go wrong with personal and meaningful artwork as a gift. 

I love MUSEA’s frames as a gift for Dad and/or your kids’ grandparents. Recognizing that you might be interested in picking up a few of these babies to gift, we’re offering a special deal on desktop frames through the end of November (which is just three weeks away!): when you buy two desktop frames, you get a third free. Check, check, AND check.

To learn more about our frame offerings, click here.

Bonus Idea: The Gift of Experience

Perhaps you’re somebody who likes to gift experiences rather than things (or perhaps you’re simply a notoriously last-minute gift buyer like me!). A family photo session makes an incredibly thoughtful and heartfelt gift that not only provides you with lasting memories in the form of photographs, but also serves as a fun event for your entire family — with no wrapping required. If you’re not sure yet about an album or frame, but have someone on your gift list who LOVES photos, a KSP gift card is another fantastic gift idea. Give the gift of a single session or, for a gift that keeps on giving, consider investing in my Growing Families Collection, which includes three sessions in a 15-month period — carrying you through the 2024 holiday season and beyond. 


For more information about products, design assistance, and to check a box off your holiday to-do list, contact us here to get an order started.

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