As Christmas and the holiday season begins to draw near, our thoughts inevitably begin to reflect on the photographs we've created during the year. No matter whether it's family snaps or fine art landscapes, creating a photo calendar for 2020 is a far better use of your images than letting them languish on a hard drive somewhere - and they make great gifts too. And, as luck would have it, we've got a great guide to the best photo calendars right here to help you choose which service to use!
We've selected the top 5 photo printing companies to give you a round-up of the best photo calendars available to buy. Having tested the ease of use of each website, we can point you towards the pages that are simplest to use and have the best options for a beautifully collated photo calendar.
• Read more: Best photo albums
While we haven't tested the quality of the printing for the calendars, we can point you towards our best photo printing online guide, where we test prints from many of the companies we feature here. In this guide, we're specifically testing the photo calendar creation platforms. We're looking at how easy they are to use and how much you can customize your calendar.
With that being said, let's crack on and discover what the best photo calendars for 2020 are!
01. Mixbook Custom Photo Calendars
Slick and easy to use, making a photo calendar takes no time at all
Designs: 100 customizable designs | Formats: Square 12x12" or landscape 11x8.5" | Available: Worldwide
We were very impressed by Mixbook's photo calendar service. Once you've selected which option you want, a separate window opens. After you've chosen which photos you want to upload, you can begin arranging your images on the calendar (you don't even have to wait for all the shots to have finished uploading),
Arranging photos is simple and easy, as you can swap shots around without any hassle at all. You can also edit your photos on the page by zooming in, adjusting Brightness, Saturation and other useful controls or by applying a filter (some are pretty gimmicky, but there are a couple of useful ones). You can even add photos to individual date boxes, which is a nice touch.
While most of the other calendars on this buying guide don't have back covers, the Mixbook offering does. This means you can stuff as many images into your calendar as possible.
With a wide range of color and font options, you can also add text to your calendar anywhere you like - whether that's on the front cover or in an individual date box. This is the perfect opportunity to manually add in special dates, such as birthdays or anniversaries.
While we found the Mixbook platform really easy to use, our only niggle is that once you've used a photo in the calendar, it disappears from the Photos window. However, this is really only a problem if you wanted to reuse a shot (for, say, the front and back cover). Plus. it's easily remedied by just quickly re-uploading the image.
02. Snapfish Wall Calendar
Snapfish offers ultimate customization for your calendar
Designs: Snapfish has a variety of illustrated designs to choose from | Formats: 8.5x11" Wall Calendar, 9x12" Stationary Wall Calendar, 11.5x14" Wall Calendar, 12x12" Wall Calendar, 10x5" Desk Calendar, 10x5" Desk Calendar with faux leather stand | Available: UK & US
A close contender to Mixbook's No.1 photo calendar crown, Snapfish's offering has ultimate customization power and a plethora of templates and designs to dizzy and delight you. From delicate seasonal illustrations to specially designed family-orientated templates, Snapfish is the perfect company to choose if you're looking to print family snapshots.
However, what makes Snapfish such a strong option for family photos also lets it down for more serious photographers. Our only real problem with Snapfish is that amidst all the various templates and illustrated designs it can be difficult to create a simple and clean calendar that lets the focus shine on the photos themselves. While you can fudge the effect you want through customizing the design, this is what nudges Snapfish to our number two slot.
That being said, we really did enjoy using Snapfish's calendar service. One of the small touches that we particularly liked was the fact that you can add a photo to a particular date box and then add a stylishly designed caption on top - such as "The day we first met" or "Helen's birthday", etc.
All in all, Snapfish is easy to use and has plenty of customization options - if only there was a really beautifully designed classic option for more serious photographers, and Snapfish would have grabbed our number one slot.
03. Social Print Studio Wall Calendar
A streamlined process helps you quickly create your calendar
Design: Portrait calendar | Format: 11x17" calendar with each month image measuring 11x8.5" | Available: UK & US
Social Print Studio is the place to go to if you want a clean, simple, streamlined process without any superfluous frills. While you don't have many options regarding calendar format or size (okay, you have precisely one singular option…), what you are able to work with is beautifully designed.
Besides a weird quirk where you have to upload the photo for the cover and the images for the inside pages separately, Social Print Studio's system is really easy to use. While their website automatically fills each month's photo for you, you can easily change the order by clicking two frames to make the shots within them swap.
Unfortunately, unlike Mixbook's service, you're unable to add a photo to the back of the calendar as well. However, you are able to choose whether you want national holidays in your calendar - although be aware that you can only select US holidays.
Overall, Social Print Service is a great option if you're not too bothered about customizing your calendar with lots of extra options.
04. Bonusprint Photo Calendar
Super easy to use, Bonusprint ships to the UK and Europe
Design: A4, A4 double, A3, square | Paper types: Standard matte, Gloss, Extra matt | Available: UK & Europe
With significant similarities to Mixbook's photo calendar creation system, Bonusprint would be a great option for UK and Europe-based option for those who want to experience a similar Mixbook service, but don't want to pay the $12 shipping fee.
With plenty of customization options, Bonusprint's service allows you to edit photos by zooming in, flipping, and adding filters (although there currently only appears to be two filters available). You can also add and edit text, and even add fun themed masks over the top of your photos - such as a snowflake 'frame' that's perfectly designed to sit on top of your seasonal December photo.
One tiny complaint we had is that you have to register to use the system, which means that you have to provide an email address and password just to play around with creating a calendar. While a little annoying, this isn't really the end of the world.
While it doesn't seem to be available for customers outside Europe, Bonusprint's photo calendar service is simply, easy-to-use and adds some fun to the calendar creation process.
05. Walmart Photo Calendar
Walmart offers a competitive service for US-based customers
Designs: Wall Calendar, Desk Calendar, Poster Calendar, Easel Calendar, Planning Calendar, Mounted Photo Calendar | Formats: 8x11", 11x14", 12x12", 5x11", 10x5" | Available: US
If you're a US customer looking for convenience and supreme customization, Walmart may very well be your best bet. Super easy to use, Walmart's photo calendar service allows you to begin creating your calendar while your images are still uploading in the side window (which is very helpful when you're uploading multiple shots).
One of the best things about Walmart's service is that you have a ton of design and layout options to choose from. While we only created wall calendars for each of the services we tried, Walmart even offers desk and easel options for those who want to take their calendar to the next level.
Some fun little quirks that we particularly like are that you can add photos to the dates squares, you can edit the back cover of the calendar and you can add text anywhere you like on the calendar as well. One of the best parts of the text tool is that you can choose exactly what shade you'd like to write it by controlling the Hue, Saturation and Lightness sliders.
Overall, Walmart offers an easy-to-use service with a good range of designs and layouts, and plenty of customization options. If you live in the US, it's definitely worth trying out Walmart's photo calendar service.