by Ian McKenzie 9 months ago in how to

Producing Photo calendars for Clients

A monthly illustration on one of my calendars

Most photographers produce calendars at some time during their careers, whether they be for family, clients or perhaps with specific subjects to be sold commercially. Over the years, I have produced several. Some have been personal, just for family members; others I have used for distribution to clients and potential clients to promote my business; others have been produced specifically for clients.

From where do you get the templates to produce these calendars.

Well, I have just spent a couple of days researching and experimenting with the latest offerings available. Here I shall share some of my findings with the hope it may save you some time and effort if you also wish to produce calendars.

Usually the first port of call if you wish to find out anything at all about anything is a web search.

How did we survive over twenty-five years or so ago before we had access to the Internet?

My search with “calendars” as the subject turned out to be very time consuming, not to mention frustrating. Here are some of my findings.

There are countless firms offering calendars for sale. These calendars are of just about every type imaginable and with subject matters to suit just about any taste. But, as a photographer I wanted a specific type of calendar. The calendar I was after needed to be some sort of template into which I could load my own photographs and later have the document saved to be printed myself, printed by a commercial printer, or alternatively a file that could be sent to a client for them to process as they wish.

After narrowing my search criteria, I still found numerous options. The number of links that lead to web sites which did not exist did surprise me. And, I did wonder about the reasons for this. Was it because people set up a web site because they had a “good idea”, but it did not work out for them? Or, were there some other reasons.

After much browsing and many clicks later, I found a site which seemed to offer what I thought I had been looking for. The site was called, Photo Calendar Creator. They offered a software program free of charge with which you could design your own photo calendar with a variety of templates they had available.

So, I downloaded the software and started designing my own calendar. The software worked for me, but was not as user friendly as I had hoped. I did experience some difficulties resizing my photographs into the frames they had available. But, perhaps that was just my inexperience with the software. Eventually I produced a complete twelve month calendar with my photographs and was ready to save it onto the hard drive of my computer. After trying to do so, I received a message advising that I had the trial version of the program, and to save or print any calendar I needed to purchase the program. So much for the program being free! The free version to me was absolutely useless.

After following the links to purchase the program, I was given three options. There was Standard version, Deluxe version and the Pro version. All with respectively increasing prices. You can visit web site via the link yourself to view the pricing, but the only version that could be used commercially was the Pro version; and to me anyway, this was grossly overpriced. The trial version I have for ten days from the date of downloading. But being completely useless, for me anyway, I will be deleted from my hard drive well before then.

The next software I tried was Arcsoft Print Creations. The software has several favourable reviews, but I was disappointed and will be deleting it from my computer. Although the download is free, anything that you save or print will be watermarked unless you decide to make a purchase. I have given you the link to their download web site if you would like to check it out and decide for yourself.

Lulu Publishing is a site I have used over the years for publishing books. Among the books they make templates available for publishing is calendars. I have published a 2020 calendar with them which you can view here. Their template is very easy to use, and this is a site that would be worth checking out.

My favourite source of calendar templates which are fuss free and easy to use is Microsoft Office. I have produced several calendars using their templates. The templates come in Word, Excel and PowerPoint, but provided you have the appropriate software, they can readily be converted into other formats. You will of course need to have Microsoft Office 365 installed on your computer to use this software.

There are a couple of other sites which look interesting. One is Calendar Labs. They have a facility with which you produce a calendar online. I have browsed their web site, but have not as yet tried producing a calendar with them. If you do, and you like the result, or, if you come across any other calendar web sites which you think would be worth exploring, I would like to hear from you. Perhaps the easiest way is through my Facebook photography page.

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Ian McKenzie
Ian McKenzie
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Ian McKenzie

Lover of life and all it has to offer. Retired from full-time employment, but keeping busy with things I am passionate about including: family, friends, photography, writing, sustainability and keeping Australian native stingless bees.

See all posts by Ian McKenzie