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Stocking Stuffers Juuuust For You! Yay!
candy canes and tinsel

You know for a fact that we at Photojojo love you little munchkins.

And, because we love you so very much, we stuffed your stockings last night with twelve little goodies! Merry Christmas everybody!

(If you’re not a Christmas person, we declare today your Unbirthday. That’s the reason we got you all these awesome presents!)

Four things for printing:

Lens hoods: Print these out on cardstock for a disposable alternative to the standard pricey lens protector.

DIY flash bouncer: If you bounce your flash unit’s light off the ceiling, it makes your flash pictures look less harsh. But what do you do if there’s no ceiling or if it’s too far away? Use this handy little device instead, bucko. Ta-dah!

Readymech cameras: Pinhole cameras to print and fold together. Now in five super-stylish designs! Oh my!

Wax paper flash diffuser: You know those little white plastic caps that go over the end of your flash unit to soften the light? That’s what this is, except it’s made out of wax paper and costs about 2 cents to make.

We couldn’t fit everything in your stocking, but there are four more printable projects over at DIY Photography!

Three crafty projects:

Photo ornaments: Got a couple extra prints lyin’ around? Then you got yerself some ornaments, Ace.

DIY snow globes: What says Xmas better than Ye Olde Snow Globe? Ye Olde Photo Snow Globe, that’s what.

Paper elves: Full disclosure here: these have nothing whatsoever to do with photography. But they were such awesome little figures that we just had to put them in your stocking. You can make Santa too!

Two games for playing:

Elf Yourself: Our favorite holiday photographic dancing elf site is back! Slap your face on an elf’s body and virtually boogie to your heart’s content.

There are some changes this year; you can’t turn yourself into Scrooge anymore (Bah! Humbug!), but you can make five different elves and make all of ‘em dance at the same time. This season’s dance crazes include country, disco, and the Charleston.

Like that? Head on over to Jib Jab and check out their insert-your-photo-here version of It’s a Wonderful Life!

The holiday alphabet game: Take pictures of holiday things that start with each letter of the alphabet. “T” is for tinsel, “C” is for candy cane. Get it? Post your photos on Flickr, or just put ‘em up around the house.

One photo guide:

Photographing the holidays: Everything you need to know about taking photos of lights and presents and shiny shiny baubles.

And a partridge in a pear tree. Hurrah!


   
   
A Photojojo Family Festivus
Happy Festivus!

Here at Photojojo, we’ve dallied with all the major winter holidays. Chrismukkawanzaa, St. Bodagisil’s Day, The Feast of a Thousand Hams… you name it, we’ve tried it.

But Festivus is our favorite.

As many of you know, Festivus was popularized 11 years ago by an episode of “Seinfeld” and is now celebrated by discerning holiday-makers around the globe. Unbeknownst to many, Festivus was in fact started in the 1960s by the father of a future Seinfeld writer.

Festivus (long may it live) has three fine traditions:

  1. The Festivus Pole
  2. The Airing of Grievances
  3. The Feats of Strength

One of these traditions is a bit difficult for us, but we’re leading up to that. If you want to learn how to celebrate the finest winter holiday the Photojojo way (i.e. with cameras, photos and a double helping of silly), keep reading.

A Photojojo Family Festivus

p.s. Like us? Nominate @photojojo for a Shorty Award with a quick twitter.

Photo credit: Mark Demeny

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Polaroid: R.I.P. in 14 Days :(
Orders placed in the Photojojo Shop today will arrive for Christmas
In stock items to the U.S. only, choose flat-rate $6 Priority Mail shipping at checkout
(Or choose 2-Day shipping by 12/21 or Next Day by 12/22)
Poladroid pictures

Well gang, we fought the good fight, but it’s official: Polaroid isn’t making any more film after December 31st, 2008.

Sad though we are, we’ve found a few bits of good news scattered amid the wreckage.

1) The New Instant Camera
Fuji’s instant camera, the Instax, is now available in the United States. The photos are rectangular instead of the old familiar square format, but it’s the next-best-thing to our beloved Polaroid cameras.

Have a look at the Flickr Instax pool to see what the photos look like.

2) There’s Still Some Film Left
Unsaleable, our favorite source for Polaroid goodness, has morphed into Polapremium. You can still buy film there, sorted by camera type or film type, along with books, accessories and stuff like that. (The name’s no lie: it’s quite pricey now that supplies are limited.)

Polaroid no longer sells film on its website, but it lists sources including Calumet, Amazon, and B&H.

3) Fuji Makes Substitutes
Fuji makes versions of Type 100 and 4×5 Polaroid film. That means if you use a medium-format Polaroid back, a Polaroid pinhole or Holga camera, or a 4×5 view camera, you can still get film.

4) New Zink Technology
Instead of making film, Polaroid’s branching out with the portable digital PoGo printer. We were a little disappointed when we tried it, because it’s basically just a tiny printer. It doesn’t feel the same as having instant photos magically pop out of your camera. Sigh.

We have higher hopes for the TOMY xiao, which combines the camera and printer in one, but so far that’s only available in Asia.

5) You Can Take Action
If you refuse to go down without a fight, get an action pack from Save Polaroid. It includes pre-printed postcards to send to the powers-that-be at Polaroid. It’s worth a shot, right?

6) There’s Still Time to Play
While you can still scrounge up some film, you can still mess around with it. Try double exposures or manipulating the emulsion, especially if the film’s already expired. What have you got to lose?

7) There’s Always Poladroid
If all else fails and there is no more film, at least there’s Poladroid. It’s a free application that’s as close to real thing as it gets. You can drag & drop your photos into Poladroid to make them look like Polaroids. You can even shake the picture while it develops. Aaaahhh, that’s nice.

Bye Polaroid! We still love you! Please sell the 600 and Type 80 rights to another manufacturer so we can have them back! Pretty pretty please?

Save Polaroid
News, information, and hope for the lovelorn Polaroid fan.

p.s. We’ve teamed up with our superpals at Vimeo for a contest for the best Stop-Motion Video! Three winners get gift certificates to the Photojojo Store, and 1st place gets their video printed in our upcoming book! Go read all the details and enter. (Already on Vimeo? Just tag your video “PhotojojoBook” to enter.)

p.p.s. Check out some fun Photojojo photo projects in December’s issue of Macworld magazine!


   
   
Best New Photo Gifts of the Season (2 of 2)

Dear friends, ’tis our final installment of photo goodies for the holiday season, and we’ve got a frame, a lens cap, and a tripod — all with an unexpected twist.

(Orders placed by Thursday will arrive in time for Christmas with our flat-rate $6 Priority Mail Shipping to the USA)

Doodle Frame1. The Doodle Frame

With an 80-page paper pad surrounding its 4×6 frame, the Doodle Frame lets you design a custom frame for any photo.

Use it to draw speech or thought bubbles, write notes or reminders for yourself, or write out the story behind your photo.

Affordable and fun at only $15! (Limited quantity available)

White Balance Lens Cap2. White Balance Lens Cap

Proper white balance is critical to getting the most out of your camera. This is, quite simply, the simplest way to get perfect white balance.

You can finally ditch your gray card, because the White Balance Lens Cap lets you white balance without any extra equipment to lug around!

Available in 52, 55, 58, 62, 67, 72 and 77mm. (Limited quantities)

Bottle Cap Tripod3. Bottle Cap Tripod

Push the Bottle Cap Tripod onto any soda or water bottle and you’ve got an instant tripod — perfect for self-timer shots and still night shots.

Stuff this 1-inch marvel in your bag of tricks and you’ll never be without a tripod.

The most perfect stocking stuffer for a photographer (or a new camera owner), ever. Just $10!

The Doodle Frame   Twitter it

White Balance Lens Cap   Twitter it

Bottle Cap Tripod   Twitter it

p.s. Have we gone too commercial? Not quite. But the Photojojo Shop does help put bread on our table, and lets us afford to put together fun photo projects all year long. Plus, we’re quite proud of it. If you’re shopping for fun gifts this holiday season, we hope you’ll give it a look.

p.p.s. There’s plenty of other stocking stuffers in the store! Try our retro Wall Decal Photo Frames, Striped Hoodie Camera Case or Multi-color Magnetic Photo Ropes (now back in stock!)

Flickr t-shirts and Eye-Fi also make great gifts for that special someone.


   
   
Take Family Portraits That Break the Rules. Because You Answer to No One.
family with silly glasses

Since time immemorial, family portraits have been constructed thus:

Everybody put your nice clothes on and pose in front of this decorative interior/ body of water/ big rock. Now smile.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But if you already have that picture and want something new, here are some ideas.

1) Work with contrasts: John Olson did a brilliant series for LIFE in 1970 of rock stars with their parents, including David Crosby, Frank Zappa, and Eric Clapton. The whole set’s on Google now that LIFE has put their archives online.

How you can do it: Olson contrasted scruffy rock stars with their clean-cut families. Try posing your goth cousin with Grandma in her Sunday best and you’ll get the same effect.

2) Use downtime: Katrina D’Autremont takes advantage of quiet moments like watching TV or resting on the comfy chair. Some of her best family photos don’t even have people in them, just the space they occupy.

How you can do it: D’Autremont uses stillness as her ally. Take photos of your family when they’re not posing, just being themselves. And remember to document the rooms and things that mean home to you.

3) Be a complete spaz: Akihiro Furuta takes hilarious (and definitely memorable) family pictures using silly outfits, odd situations, and matching costumes.

How you can do it: Furuta dresses his family in goofy costumes and has a lot of fun. If you must have matching outfits, go for ponchos and bunny-ears instead of white shirts and khakis.

70s Rock Stars with Their Parents
Keep clicking “more” to see the whole set.
via FFFFOUND!

Katrina D’Autremont’s Family Portraits
via Conscientious

Akihiro Furuta’s Goofy Family
via Swiss Miss

Photo credits: Akihiro Furuta and © Katrina D’Autremont

old man at tableman with accordion and doggirl with christmas tree


   
   
Capturing Life from Dawn to Dusk
Don’t miss our *last* San Francisco Photo Safari this Sunday!
Dawn to Dusk photos

Once a year, a small army of photojournalism majors swarms over Athens County, Ohio, taking photos of everyday life from sunup to sundown.

It’s called the Dawn to Dusk project.

Documenting a whole day in a county sounds like a big, complicated undertaking. But break it down, and you’ve got a project doable for just about anyone.

In fact, you can do this with only as many people as you can count on your hand (even if you don’t have extranumery digits).

Read on for our tips on how to do your own Dawn to Dusk project: where to shoot, who to involve, and how to show off all your hard work.

Capturing Life from Dawn to Dusk

Photo credits: Sam Saccone, Alex Snyder, and Rachel O’Hara.

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DIY Cardboard Hipster Frames
cardboard frames
Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2

Our parents are still complaining about the Year of the Box. That was the year they got us this really big, fancy, expensive toy for The Holidays, and (rotten little squirts that we were) we had more fun playing with the box it came in.

It wasn’t really our fault, it’s just that you can make such great stuff out of cardboard boxes. Forts, spaceships, hats, even picture frames!

Oh yes, that’s right, cardboard picture frames.

Big urbane one-of-a-kind picture frames that will make you the envy of all the other kids on your block. (Well, the figurative kids anyway. Real ones aren’t that big on interior design.)

No matter what we get this year, we’re going straight for the box it comes in and making a whole wall full of these hip frames.

Photojojo’s DIY Cardboard Hipster Frames

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The Best New Photo Gifts of the Season

We’ve been scouting out new photo goodies like they’re going out of style, and today we’ve got not one or two, but five new goodies to put a smile on your face.

photo decal frames1. Our new Re-Stickable Decal Photo Frames.

These retro frames are made of high-quality wall decal vinyl. They can be removed and repositioned easily, meaning you can swap in new photos in seconds, or move your frames around on a whim.

They’re way cheaper, and far more fun than a trip to the framer.

Re-Stickable Decal Photo Frames are safe for any kind of wall, and we include 8 in every package. Only $20!

magnetic photo rope2. Redesigned Magnetic Photo Rope.

Our all-time bestseller, this simple and modern photo hanger consists of a flexible metal wire with a loop on one end. Stick a pushpin or a thumbtack through the loop, and use the included 8 super-strong, super-tiny neodymium magnets to show off photos of virtually any size.

It works everywhere, and you can swap in new photos in a split-second!

Just in time for the holiday season our friend’s sporting a new longer length and five spiffy new colors. As low as $9.33 each!

Watch our fun demo video to see how it works.

scoop and hoodie camera cases3 & 4. The Hoodie and the Scoop are camera cases that like to party.

These stripey neoprene-y, felt-lined cases are made to fit a variety of slimline cameras. (Pocketable, less than 1″ thick.)

They feature belt loops, expandable pockets for memory cards or extra batteries, and a hard EVA core to protect your fragile LCD screen.

Retire that boring black case and carry your new camera in style. Each case is unique and just $12 and $15!

flickrverse flickr t-shirt5. The Flickrverse T-shirt from our friends at Flickr.

For the very first time, you can now buy Official Flickr gear online — only from the Photojojo Store!

These tees are the perfect way to show your love for what is quite possibly the world’s best photo-sharing site.

Printed on American Apparel and available in guys and girls sizes. $20!

Re-Stickable Decal Photo Frames   Twitter it

Magnetic Photo Rope in 5 new colors   Twitter it

Hoodie and Scoop Striped Camera Cases   Twitter it

Flickrverse Official Flickr Tee   Twitter it

p.s. Have we gone too commercial? Not quite. But the Photojojo Shop does help put bread on our table, and lets us afford to put together fun photo projects all year long. Plus, we’re quite proud of it. If you’re shopping for fun gifts this holiday season, we hope you’ll give it a look.


   
   
12 Photo Contests to Enter Right Now: Win Fame, Glory and an Army of Minions!
contest roundup graphic

Well, to be fair, we can’t really promise you any minions. Minions are hard to come by these days.

But still, fame and glory! And in some cases, cash money!

Contests build character. They make you take a long hard look at your photos and admit that some of them are really, really good.

What have you got to lose?

12 Photography Contests to Enter Right Now

p.s. Turkey Day Special — 1st time ever sale on Eye-Fi (gives any camera Wi-Fi).
Normally: $99 One week only: $78.88 [Buy Now]

(We’re young and foolish and this price is crazy. Take advantage.)

p.p.s. Our super-popular new Super-secret Spy Lens is finally back in stock! Get it while it lasts. [Buy Now]

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What Are You Grateful For?
Thanksgiving dog

Thursday is Thanksgiving here in the US of A.

It’s our favorite holiday because it involves:

  1. Hanging out with people you like,
  2. eating yourself stupid, and
  3. falling asleep on the couch in the middle of the afternoon.

Some friends of ours host Thanksgiving for all their pals who aren’t going home for the holiday. When they sit down to eat, instead of saying grace, everyone at the table says one thing they’re thankful for.

Now that’s a tradition we can get behind. We don’t usually think about the things we’re grateful for, but today’s a good day to start.

This week, take some pictures of the things that make you thankful, whether it’s the big stuff:

  • your friends
  • your spark of creativity
  • being able to see well enough take photos

or the little stuff:

  • warm socks on a cold night
  • the first cup of coffee in the morning
  • that album that always makes you feel better when you’re in a bad mood

The next time somebody tells you to count your blessings, just whip out your photos and say, “I’m way ahead of you, buddy.”

What Are You Grateful For?
Post your photos of the things that make you glad.

The 52 Blessings Project
Take a photo each week of something you’re grateful for.

Photo credit: Angela Martini


   

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