Ok, I've been warning you for weeks now. Christmas is coming people! You have less than one week left. If you haven't done your shopping yet, I'm sure you are not alone this year.
The weather outside has been frightful and I'm sure it has kept people out of the stores. You might still be able to do a few things online but at this point stock is dwindling and you are almost certainly going to get hit with huge shipping fees if you want your gift to make it to your house before Santa comes down the chimney. At this point you might think your best option is to panic. Don't panic yet, you still have plenty of options to keep people from calling you Grinch.
With regard to photography, we have gone over and over the options, and to be honest, you have missed the deadline on a lot of cool gifts. But it is not too late to make copies of your old family photographs or make enlargements from your digital camera files. Picture frames are always a nice gift that won't break your budget, too.
If all else fails, you can always fall back on the good old gift card. It is the new age gift certificate. Perfect for when you don't know exactly what a person wants or to help someone get something that is too expensive to buy on their own. We sell a lot of gift cards to families whose weddings we have photographed or are going to photograph. Lots of folks also get gift cards for portrait sessions, camera classes and to go toward new cameras. They are great for people like me who know exactly what they want but want the most expensive thing in the store.
I can't imagine it but maybe you have someone on your list that wants something not photo related. I've got a great suggestion for that, too. Shop locally! Yes, the roads are too bad to go out and it is too late for online. Make the easy trip to downtown Elkins and do your shopping the good old-fashioned way.
At the risk of showing my age, I remember going downtown when I was a young boy to shop at Montgomery Wards, G.C. Murphy's and Grants. What fun it was to go see Santa and wander through the toy section. I'll be the first to admit that downtown Elkins is nothing like it was in those days, but we still have a lot of locally owned businesses in Elkins that have wonderful gifts just waiting for you to enjoy. A lot of those businesses are owned by your neighbors and friends who are trying to make a living doing what they love so they can live in the city they love. Help them have a great Christmas and give them the courtesy of stopping in to see what they have to offer.
(Brent Kepner is the owner and photographer at Foto 1 Pro Photo in Elkins. He is a master photographer, certified professional photographer and president of the Professional Photographers of West Virginia.)