January 26, 2016

GiftStarter | An Easy Way to Make the Gift of Photography Affordable

We have a guest blogger! Melissa is sharing the exciting news of how you can give a photography gift or receive a photography gift through GiftStarter. We find a lot of value in photography for our own family, and Giftstarter is a great, new way to help you realize that value with help from your loved ones!

We also have a special promo code that Melissa has provided to make it even more affordable! (Bottom of post)

My name is Melissa. I work for an amazing company called GiftStarter, where my job is to rally a community around our product: a community of people who long to create memorable, emotional gifting experiences. I’ll get to talking about GiftStarter here in just a moment, and why you’re hearing about it on this amazing photography blog, but first, I want you to take a look at this photo:

This photo is important.

I saved up for weeks to be able to afford a professional photographer who could capture a moment like this for my little girl and me. Today, this 11″x17″ print hangs on my living room wall. When I look at it, I’m reminded of my daughter’s fleeting littleness. I’m reminded of keeping her warm on that cold day, of her teeny, pink little kitten-nose against the blustery wind, of her goofy, silly demeanor. I’m reminded of my role in her life, and when everything around me begins swirling about, as it so often can for a single, working mother, this photo grounds me. Today, it reminds me of who I am, and why I do what I do.

In the future, when she’s all grown up, this photo will remind me that no matter how much she changes, or I change, the love I have for her will always exist just as it did on that cold March day.

Professional photography really is a gift.

It’s a gift I imagine countless people would love to give to a family or a couple who means the world to them.

But professional, on-location photography with an experienced, skilled photographer is never “cheap”—and it shouldn’t be.

Which means that there are probably so many people who would love to give the gift of photography to a family or to a couple, but who can’t afford to give that gift by themselves.

Enter: GiftStarter

GiftStarter is a 500 Startups company on the rise that’s making it easy to give bigger, more memorable gifts (like professional photography) together with friends and family. Now, instead of skimping and saving to be able to afford to gift a photography session on your own, you can use GiftStarter to create a gift campaign for the photography session, and then use social media to invite friends and family to pitch in toward the cost of the session.

Here’s a breakdown:

A Giver visits GiftStarter.com and contacts the Gift Concierge, informing them that they’d like to create a Gift Campaign for a photography session with Jennifer van Elk Photography (or any local photographer in the recipient’s area.) The Gift Concierge does the work of creating a special Gift Campaign just for you, and sends you a link to that Gift Campaign. You simply share that link with the gift recipient’s friends and family (Contributors), and from there, they can buy virtual “pieces” of the gift. Once the Gift Campaign is funded, GiftStarter will contact the photographer, order the photography gift certificate, and make sure it gets to the recipient.

It gets better though.

Each time a Contributor buys a piece of the gift, they also get to sign a virtual card with a loving message. Then, GiftStarter creates a really cute handmade card from all those loving messages, packages it up, and sends it to the gift recipient. 

Here is an image of a gift (an Amazon gift card) that’s being funded using GiftStarter. You can see that Contributors have pitched in and purchased “pieces” of the gift—their photos show up as a small circle each time they buy a piece! 

Here is an image of a gift (an Amazon gift card) that’s being funded using GiftStarter. You can see that Contributors have pitched in and purchased “pieces” of the gift—their photos show up as a small circle each time they buy a piece! 

The gift recipient is thrilled when they open their mailbox and find that card with all those loving messages on it, only to find out they’ve just been group-gifted an amazing photography session!

This is also perfect for weddings: wedding photography is one of those most invaluable expenses at any wedding. What if the couple’s family all pitched in to group-gift their wedding photography for them? Not only would they get amazing wedding photography, but they’d have that keepsake, handmade card that will forever remind them how loved and cherished they are by their family and friends.

When you use GiftStarter to group-gift a photography session—whether it’s a family session, or a day of wedding photography—the recipients not only receive amazing photography as a gift, but they’re reminded that they have a community around them who loves them.

Because GiftStarter comes complete with a personal Gift Concierge experience, we can customize any gift exactly the way you need it. Oh, and if the Gift Campaign doesn’t get fully funded, we got you covered there too: we’ll send the recipient a gift card for the amount that was raised, so they can still enjoy the excitement of a group-gift.

If you’re reading this right now, and wishing you could give the gift of photography to an engaged couple, or a family, contact GiftStarters Gift Concierge. We’ll make it happen for you, and we’ll help you create a gifting experience that no one will forget.

Reach out to us!



AND… Here’s the promo I’ve promised you!

Enter: “GiftPartner” to receive a discount from Giftstarters for JVE Photo couples and clients! 

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