Picture Perfect


Father’s Day is coming up, which I typically find easier to shop for than Mother’s Day. The reason? My dad writes my sister and I a very detailed list about what exactly he wants. When we manage to find something on the same line of what he asks for but he isn’t aware of though? That’s the best. Luckily for us, this year is extra easy – we’re paying for a day out on the links for my dad because I’ll be busy serving bridesmaid duty in a good friend’s wedding all weekend, culminating in the ceremony and reception on Father’s Day itself.

That being said, the majority of people out there probably aren’t in the same boat, so I’m going to try and spend the next week focusing on gifts suitable for dad. Even if they’re not readily available where you live, maybe they’ll inspire some brainwave of genius.

My suggestion for today is customized (!) alphabet photography collages. I’m sure there are several companies out there that do this, but I’ve singled out two of them: Niagara Falls-based Alphabet Photography and Manitoba-based A to Z Illusions.

Both outfits basically do the same thing. You type in a word and it generates the word for you from photographs. The photographs are things found in nature / architecture, that simulate the letters we all know and love. Both sites boast over 500 different options, so if you don’t like what they automatically generate for you, just click on the letter to see all of the different types of A’s, B’s, and C’s you can combine!

Alphabet Photography offers framed words to go packages, including the fame, mat, and pictures at a flat rate of $139.95 plus shipping ($20). What I love is that they don’t charge you per letter for the framed sets – unless you go over their maximum, as I did when I typed in Beeblebrox.

So whether your dad’s name is Jim or Marcellus, it’s still the same price. You can also choose to buy the letters on their own, calendars, posters, or a handful of other products in the same vein.

A to Z Illusions, as I said, is virtually the same product but with different images than Alphabet Photography – I love the ‘E’ in my sample name above! They’re a little more self-serve because they don’t offer the pre-framed option, but that also makes them quite a bit more affordable. Each letter is $5 and the photos are 4 x 8” – bonus, there’s no shipping charge and it takes less than a week to arrive.

Of course you don’t have to just buy your dad’s name. You can also take a favourite or inspirational word and have it created for dad’s office.

Alphabet Photography also has these nifty posters that would make great gifts for an expectant mother or a toddler’s birthday. A little fancy, but a nice classy touch for those increasingly neutral / brown-themed nurseries out there.

This once again is a gift for everyone out there, but I’m singling it out for Father’s Day as a special, unique gift that will be totally unexpected, but totally revered. Also great for weddings (‘Love’ or the couple’s names), showers (the baby’s name), housewarmings, and farewell gifts for someone special.

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