Why a photo calendar ended up being my best gift this year

CEWE Photo calendar
(Image credit: Lauren Scott)

Making a photo calendar for yourself or as a gift for a loved one is not only fun but very quick and easy to do, even if you don't have any experience. Of course, photo calendars aren't just for friends and family – professional photographers might want to make a photo calendar of the year's best images to sell to customers who enjoy their work or to give to clients as a thank-you.

Here at Digital Camera World we've already rounded up the best photo calendars and shared our advice on how to create a photo calendar. There are lots of online photo services that let you create a photo calendar, including Mixbook and Whitewall, but I recently made a CEWE photo calendar and was blown away not only by the results but how good the service was. But why you should create your own photo calendar, especially if, like me, you think the whole idea is heesy.

I'm not the kind of person who likes personalized photo gifts. After all, do people really want their faces on a cushion or mug? Yuk. Despite being skeptical, I went on to create a (very cheesy, I might add) calendar for my partner – featuring our 10-month-old puppy growing up with us in 2023.

I was won over straight away when the calendar arrived. I took most of the shots on my Canon EOS R6, but even the images from my camera phone (an ageing iPhone 12) look punchy. And I can tell you that despite spending lots on shop-bought gifts, this has been my best-received gift all season.

Why gift a photo calendar?

The festive season is nearly here, but even as we roll into the new year of 2023, I think it's well worth thinking about creating and gifting a photo calendar. 

Firstly, it's a unique and personal present – a concept we all love, as it's a sign that the gift giver has really put some effort in rather than buying something off the shelf.

Secondly, despite being personalized and posted, a photo calendar and CEWE isn't very expensive. In fact, it's little more than the costly standard shop calendar. 

Thirdly, it's a gift that can be enjoyed every day, throughout the year. 

And forth(ly?), it's a real chance to delve into the photographs that you've taken through the year, and revisit some favorites or edit some new ones. For me, it was a chance to look back at our puppy growing up over the past 12 months, but for you, it could be a collection of your favorite landscape images, shots of your newborn baby, or even in Instagram giveaway of your favorite content creation.

The CEWE photo calendar service

If you want to create a personalized CEWE photo calendar, you've got plenty of formats to choose from, including desk calendars that stand up, hangable wall calendars and kitchen calendars with more space to write on. Given that we're the kind of couple who write down all our events on the calendar (even if we do forget to check it later), I went for the Appointment Photo Calendar – with each month spread over two pages for more scribble room and big colorful photos to boot.

Making a CEWE Photo Calendar online

(Image credit: CEWE)

Creating the calendar online
Once I'd chosen the style of my calendar on the CEWE website, all I had to do was select the design, upload my 12 images (or more if you want to have multiple photos in a month), and then fiddle around with the layout, fonts and color scheme. You can even add stickers (I didn't need this feature, but kids might enjoy it).

While I found it incredibly easy to create a calendar online, and the option I'd go for if I was a beginner, the online creator can be slightly limiting. If you're a professional who's spent years honing your craft, CEWE does also have downloadable CEWE software which allows for more customization.

Delivery and postage
Depending on where you are (I'm based in the UK) CEWE's delivery for calendars starts at £2.99, which I thought was pretty reasonable. They say that the turnaround is 5 - 7 days, but I placed my order on a Friday and got it on Tuesday!

The final result

My CEWE Photo Calendar arrived well-packaged in a cardboard sleeve, to keep it flat during transit. It came with a branded top sheet, but this is mainly just to keep the calendar nice and neat until you come to use it, at which point it can be ripped off to reveal the cover underneath.

As I mentioned earlier, all the photos were crisp, with bright accurate colors. The paper isn't the thickest you'll find, but it's typical of most calendars – and tends to be this way to allow you to write on it properly.

CEWE Photo calendar made for Christmas

(Image credit: Lauren Scott)

CEWE Photo calendar made for Christmas

(Image credit: Lauren Scott)

CEWE Photo calendar made for Christmas

(Image credit: Lauren Scott)

This gift might not last a lifetime, but it will certainly be admired by myself and my partner for the next year – until we make the next one. It's the perfect gift to let us see how far we've come with our fluff ball. If you don't like puppies, then I'm sorry for you, but I'll sure you'll find another beloved subject to make a calendar of.

I'm so impressed by the ease, speed and quality of the CEWE Photo Calendar service (and they're not even paying me to say that). If you still have a gift or two to get for your friends, family members or customers, what are you waiting for?

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Lauren Scott
Managing Editor

Lauren is the Managing Editor of Digital Camera World, having previously served as Editor of Digital Photographer magazine, a practical-focused publication that inspires hobbyists and seasoned pros alike to take truly phenomenal shots and get the best results from their kit. 

An experienced photography journalist who has been covering the industry for over eight years, she has also served as technique editor for both PhotoPlus: The Canon MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine and DCW's sister publication, Digital Camera Magazine

In addition to techniques and tutorials that enable you to achieve great results from your cameras, lenses, tripods and other photography equipment, Lauren can regularly be found interviewing some of the biggest names in the industry, sharing tips and guides on subjects like landscape and wildlife photography, and raising awareness for subjects such as mental health and women in photography.