At first, gift-giving is fun. During those first 10, 20, or 40 birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, Valentine’s Days, Christmases, and so on, you might actually enjoy picking out a present, buying it, wrapping it, and delivering it.
After a certain point, however, gift-giving becomes exhausting. What the heck do you get your dad after you’ve already given him birthday and holiday presents for 15 or 35 years?
If you have iPhoto, you’ve got an ironclad, perennial answer. The program’s Book feature lets you design and order (via the Internet) a gorgeous, professionally bound photo book, printed at a real bindery and shipped to the recipient in a slipcover. Your photos are printed on glossy, acid-free paper, at 300 dots per inch, complete with captions, if you like. It’s a handsome, emotionally powerful gift guaranteed never to wind up in the attic, at a garage sale, or on eBay.
These books ($30 and up) are amazing keepsakes to leave out on your coffee table—the same idea as most families’ photo albums, but infinitely classier and longer lasting (and not much more expensive).
Since iPhoto’s debut, in fact, the self-publishing business has expanded. You can now create equally great-looking calendars (covering any year, or any group of months that works for you), postcards, and new in iPhoto ’11, letterpress greeting cards (cards that have inked designs pressed into the paper). Your projects arrive beautifully wrapped in elegant, Apple logoed envelopes ...