Let’s face it, folks—dad does not want a tie. He doesn’t want cufflinks either. He probably doesn’t want a tool set. And he definitely doesn’t want a personalized dopp kit or leather catch-all. Most dads like experiences more than stuff, which is why a custom-created photo book project is ideal for every dad in your life. Whether it’s your dad, the father of your children, your father-in-law, son-in-law, brother, grandfather, or just an awesome guy who’s been an incredible father figure for you, his appreciation of photographs and memories is second only to living in the moment. Here are our top five favorite ways to honor dad by giving him something he really wants.
1. The Big Book of Dad
For grown kids with families of their own—and lots of years of memories with dad to showcase—there’s nothing like a Father’s Day photo book that features landmark moments to honor him on Father’s Day. Get your hands on pictures of the two of you riding bikes and walking down the aisle, you heading off to college, and him holding you and his grandchild as a baby. With photographs from several decades to curate, remember to look at broad strokes and big moments to keep the book from getting too overwhelming. Consider scanning some handwritten notes and letters, poems, and artwork to make your project even more robust. (Don’t forget to build in some comic relief!)
2. A Year of Favorites
Create a custom photo calendar to wrap up for dad on Father’s Day. Start by thinking of his very favorite things to do each month in the year. Simply upload photos of him doing those things with family and friends to illustrate each month, then customize the calendar itself with notes and reminders about important dates that relate to his favorite pastimes. Remember to note family birthdays, celebrations, graduations, and other upcoming milestones. You can even build an ancillary gift right into your calendar by promising to take him out to dinner and a movie once a month—and getting it down in ink! Have a little fun by noting anniversaries of humorous follies or made-up holidays. And, by all means, if you want dad to take you away on vacation, pencil it in!
3. Kid Picks Photo Book
For dads of young kids, a kid-picks portfolio photo book is a priceless gift. To get started on your project, interview your kids about their favorite things to do with dad. Then gather pictures that illustrate each activity. Add quotes to capture the inherent awesomeness of the way kids naturally phrase their thoughts. You can even have them create artwork to scan and upload into custom stickers and design details like backgrounds and borders. This Father’s Day project is one that’s ideal for establishing a new tradition since each year children will naturally have different picks, commentary, and perspectives. Each year’s volume will evolve into a sort of Father’s Day time capsule he’ll treasure for a lifetime.
4. Coach Dad
If Dad doubles as coach, you’ve got a sports photo book project in the making. You can create a photo book that captures a year of coaching moments—especially if he coaches multiple teams. Or make a book tracking a decade or more of coaching. Simply gather photos of him on the sidelines, in team photos, dispensing wisdom from mid-huddle, getting Gatorade dumped on his head, leading the team to victory, and plunging into the dunk tank at the end-of-season carnival. Gather photos of Coach Dad with everyone on the team, and then add classic quotes that capture the spirit of the season. Make sure you also snap shots of trophies, newspaper clippings, and important stats if they’re relevant.
5. Pop-Chef Cookbook
If your dad is a master in the kitchen or at the grill, gather shots of him whipping up his signature dishes, his tried-and-true recipes, then publish them in a custom recipe photo book. If his recipes are top secret, keep them locked down by printing only a single copy for safekeeping. And if it’s just plain wrong to keep his gastronomic genius under wraps, evangelize his creativity in the kitchen by printing a dozen or more for friends and family members. For extra credit, create a custom sticker for the front cover to make it look like he’s been honored with an award for culinary excellence.