1. The Calendar
Each year I make a calendar for my family. I usually wait until they go on special at Snapfish (great service, excellent prices and good quality for calendars and the like) and order about 12 of them. I add in families birthday's and photo's of us throughout the year. I never realised how much my family liked them until one year I didn't do them and ended up having to order them all on Boxing Day with the amount of complaints I got... ;-)
2. A story staring you
I make these all the time for my kids. We have a long running series - "The Adventures of Fairy Angel Bottom" where we will go out and take photo's during the day and then at night I will turn them into a story which I will get printed as a story book through Snapfish. We have had all sorts of adventures - a girl who lost her giggle, the day the giants attacked Christchurch - let your imagination run wild. The best thing I find - take the photo's without a story in mind and let the images guide the story at the end (I once wrote a story on a plane this way flying back from Christchurch and it is amazing the weird and wonderful stories photo's can tell). Again, a really cost efficient and a great way to bring photos to life..
3. Show that you listen
You know those times when someone points something out that they love - a favourite flower that only grows in Spring, a favourite song, a favourite colour, a drink. Make a note of it, photograph it and then turn it into a canvas that they can hang in their house and always know that you listened, you cared enough to find it and to make sure it was there for them always.
4. Make taking the photo the fun part
My favourite way to engage kids with photography is shutter speed. This gets a bit technical in terms of the camera set up and I am not great at explaining it but her goes.... Get a dark room. Turn the camera on to manual, wind the ISO down as far as you can (try for 100 if you can) and the aperture up as high (numerically as you can - try for 20 or higher) and the shutter speed as long as you can (5-10 seconds) and have fun with motion blur. My favourites are setting the camera up on a tipod (or bench if you don't have one) and letting the kids run around and see their "ghosts". Or, if you can find some glow sticks, turn off all the lights and increase the shutter speed to 30 seconds and let them play with painting with light. It's loads of fun!!