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Preparing for Christmas / How to be the best gifter

10 Ways to Prepare for Christmas AND Become the Best Gifter:

Give Digital Photo Frames for A Personal Touch

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. It’s a season of joy, celebration and quality time with loved ones. Preparing for this magical holiday is part of what makes it so special. Careful planning goes into making the holidays special and thoughtful organization with a touch of creativity can go a long way. Whether you’re a seasoned holiday planner or a first-time host, this blog will help you navigate the process of preparing for Christmas with ease and enthusiasm.

Create a Checklist

At the risk of being obvious, the most important thing to start with is a checklist. Outlining the tasks and responsibilities ahead is half the battle, and getting everything on paper will provide clear direction in the days to come. Divide your list into categories like decorations, gifts, food and events. This visual aid will keep you on track and prevent any forgetfulness that is likely to occur during this busy time.

Decorate Your Home

The first step (after the all-important checklist) in creating a festive Christmas atmosphere is to decorate your home! Start by setting up the tree, hanging ornaments, displaying lights and putting up garlands. This alone will give your home a cozy holiday feel, but you don’t have to stop there. Consider adding wreaths to doors and windows, placing candles throughout the house, potting poinsettias or adding other seasonal decor.

If you have a Nixplay digital photo frame, you can even add festive photos from holidays past or Christmas graphics to a seasonal playlist. 

Plan Your Menu

If you’re hosting Christmas dinner or a holiday party, having a plan for food is essential. Decide on the main dishes, sides and desserts before creating your shopping list. Once that’s done,  you can make a cooking schedule so your dishes will be timed perfectly and you can avoid any last-minute chaos. Don’t forget to ask your guests about any dietary restrictions they may have before starting.

Gift Shopping (for Digital Photo Frames)

If you haven’t finished your gift shopping yet, now is the time to do it. First, make a list of all the people you want to buy for and a few things they might be interested in receiving. Avoid crowds by shopping online, and make it more thoughtful by getting something that you can personalize. A great way to check both of those boxes is with a Nixplay digital frame. Digital photo frames are thoughtful, easy to use for all ages, and convenient to shop for online. 

Wrapping & Prepping Presents (and your Digital Photo Frame)

Once you’ve purchased your gifts, set aside some time for wrapping and prepping. With Nixplay, you can even preload the digital photo frame to make the gift that much more thoughtful and personal. We’ve included some unique ideas for preloading your frame in this blog to get you started if you’re feeling stuck.

Ideas for Preloading A Digital Photo Frame Gift: 

Personalized Digital Photo Frame

Start your digital photo frame preloading with the gift of personalized memories. Create a unique digital photo frame that showcases a collection of special moments with the loved one you’ll be giving it to. Whether it’s family vacations, weddings, or the first day of school, you can curate a digital slideshow that tells a beautiful story. Choose a frame that complements your recipient’s decor for a gift that truly resonates.

Family Time Capsule Digital Photo Frame

For many, Christmas means precious time spent with family. Encourage your loved ones to relive their favorite moments by gifting them a family time capsule digital photo frame. Collect photos and videos from previous Christmases, milestones, and celebrations. Create a slideshow that encapsulates the essence of your family’s journey and showcase it in a timeless frame. Watching these cherished memories year after year will become a beloved holiday tradition.

Digital Photo Frame Of Recipes

For the food enthusiasts in your life, consider a digital photo frame turned recipe book. Collect family recipes, heirloom cooking secrets, and seasonal classics. Compile them into a digital cookbook, complete with mouthwatering food photos. With this gift, your loved ones can easily access their favorite recipes and culinary inspiration for the holiday season and beyond.

Pet Lover’s Digital Photo Frame

Pets are cherished members of many families, and their antics make for heartwarming memories. For the pet lovers in your life, gift a digital photo frame that captures the essence of their furry friends. Create a slideshow filled with adorable pet photos, funny moments, and heartwarming interactions. This gift will undoubtedly bring a smile to their face.

Make Travel Arrangements OR Prepare for Guests

If you’ll be traveling for Christmas, be sure to book your flights or accommodations! The sooner the better to make sure you secure availability and affordability. Check your travel itinerary, make a packing list, and ensure your travel documents are up to date.

If you’ll be hosting overnight guests, make their stay comfortable and welcoming. Prepare a guest room with clean linens, extra blankets, and toiletries. Consider creating a festive basket of treats and essentials as a special touch.

Finalize Your Schedule

As Christmas approaches, finalize your schedule to ensure that all your preparations are on track. Revisit your checklist, complete any remaining tasks, and take a moment to appreciate the beauty of your decorated home.


Preparing for Christmas can be a joyful and fulfilling experience if you approach it with careful planning and a loving heart. By setting a budget, creating a checklist, and tackling tasks systematically, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable holiday season for yourself and your loved ones. Remember, the true magic of Christmas lies in the warmth of your heart and the love you share with those around you. So, embrace the spirit of the season, spread joy, and create lasting memories that will bring you happiness for years to come. And don’t forget to take a few photos and videos to cherish in your digital photo frame

Nixplay’s Christmas Gift Guide | Nixplay

Christmas Activity Ideas: Celebrate the Season with Your Digital Photo Frame

Christmas is a joyful time for creating cherished memories with loved ones. It’s a time to celebrate family, friends, and even strangers. There are a plethora of activities that go into making this holiday season special, and in this blog we will give you tons of creative ideas and activities to truly get in the spirit. At the center of it all will be your digital photo frame, because the best way to keep these special holiday moments alive well past the Christmas season is by documenting and cherishing them. Whether you’re celebrating with family, friends, or even strangers, there’s something here for everyone to enjoy.

Decorate Your Digital Photo Frame

Before you dive into the holiday activities, you can set the tone for the season by giving your digital photo frame a festive makeover. Create custom digital slideshows with holiday-themed images and messages. Include pictures from past holiday celebrations and family portraits. You can even update this playlist throughout your holiday preparations with snapshots of this year’s activities. Make your frame a part of your holiday decor and use it as a guide to remember the most important parts of this season — cherished time with loved ones. 

Scavenger Hunt: Christmas and Digital Photo Frame Edition 

Another way to incorporate your digital photo frame into your holiday activities is by organizing a Christmas scavenger hunt. You can display the list of objectives on the digital frame so everyone can easily see the list they need to complete. Get the whole family involved and use your digital photo frame to display photos from the hunt itself. You can even make taking photos a required part of the list, and enjoy the display on your digital photo frame for the entire holiday season. 

Virtual Christmas Cards on Your Digital Photo Frame

Sending Christmas cards is still a beloved tradition, but sometimes it’s hard to get the physical copies in the mail. Instead, create a virtual Christmas card for you and your friends to display in a digital photo frame. This way, you can share this virtual card with friends and family near and far, spreading the holiday cheer with a personalized touch. 

Plus, if you’re running out of room on the fridge for all the physical cards you’ve gotten and looking for a creative new way to display them, we’ve got you covered! Just take photos or scans of the Christmas cards you receive and put them in a playlist for your digital photo frame. That way, you can keep these treasured cards on display without taking up too much space. 

Digital Photo Frame Recipe Swap 

During holiday celebrations, food brings everyone together. Host a recipe swap where each person shares their favorite dish and a digital copy of the recipe.You can create a shared playlist for the recipes and display them on your digital photo frame throughout the evening. Plus, you can take photos of the evening and add those to the shared playlist as well. Anyone who has a Nixplay account can add their photos to the mix and enjoy the playlist – and delicious recipes –  when they return home.

DIY Ornament Crafting + Digital Photo Frame Displays

Unleash your creativity with a festive DIY ornament crafting session! You can even create an ornament inspiration playlist on your digital photo frame to get the ideas flowing. Include friends and family, and after creating your ornaments, capture their (and their creator’s) beauty with photos. Add the pictures to your digital photo frame as a lasting memory of the day (and share the playlist with loved ones who have a frame as well)!

Tree Decorating Contest (Make a Digital Photo Frame Playlist)

Compete with your friends or family in a Christmas tree decorating contest. After the trees are decorated, capture their magic with photos and display the images on your digital photo frame for everyone to admire. You could even create a shared playlist for the occasion, so everyone can upload and update photos of their tree for everyone to see. You could even include the judgment criteria in the playlist and hold a vote after everyone is finished decorating. Decide on a prize for the winner — maybe a digital photo frame of their own! 

The magic of Christmas lies in the moments we create with our loved ones. With the help of a digital photo frame, you can make this holiday season even more special. From decorating your frame to enjoying festive activities, the possibilities are endless. Embrace the spirit of Christmas by sharing laughter, joy, and precious memories that you can revisit year after year. So, fire up your digital photo frame, get into the holiday spirit, and make this Christmas unforgettable.

nixplay blog-photography challenges-main

5 Photography Challenges You Can Try In 2019

If you’ve always wanted to improve your photography skills, 2019 is the best time to work on it. You’ve got a whole year ahead of you to seize every opportunity to take better photos, so don’t waste any time! Start by taking on these challenges.

1. The 52-Week Photo Challenge

The annual Dogwood 52-Week Photography Challenge dares photographers to stick to a specific prompt every week. You’ll start by taking a self-portrait—a deceptively easy task, until you keep reading the prompt and realize that the prompt prohibits you from showing your face. When you’ve accomplished that task, you move on to showing motion in photos using the Rule of Thirds, then Black and White photography, and so on. The challenge ends with another self-portrait, one that illustrates how others see you. You can also join a Facebook group where you can talk with others who are also taking on the challenge. See all the prompts here.

2. The 365-Photo Challenge

Think the 52-Week Challenge is too easy? Try the 365-Day Challenge. Taking one photo a day looks easy on paper, but when you’ve got a million things going on in your awesome life, you might find it nearly impossible to stop and shoot. No photography prompts required—you don’t have to go out of your way to find a great subject to take pictures of. The real challenge here lies in making the mundane beautiful.
Tip: Create a folder on Google Photos for your images and sync it with your Nixplay Frame so you can view all your photos easily!

3. Go Analog

Film photography isn’t dead. It’s just lying dormant, yet ready to embrace those who discover it. One key takeaway from shooting with film is that you’re forced to be more selective with your subjects. You don’t have the privilege of taking photos of everything because you can only shoot a limited number of images, and you don’t know how the shot will turn out until much later. On the bright side, the thrill of waiting for your film to develop is incomparable, and there’s nothing like a hard copy of your photos. This year, dust off your film camera (or get a disposable one), load it up with film, and shoot away!

4. Portraits of Strangers

Humans Of New York is one of the most inspiring Instagram accounts anyone can follow. Founder Brandon Stanton’s photographs, combined with the moving stories of the people he features, make for a riveting read. This year, take a page from HONY and try taking photos of the people you encounter! It’s also a great opportunity to get out of your shell and meet interesting folks. Who knows, you might just meet someone cool!

5. Recreate Famous Photos

There are some photographs that anyone can recognize instantly. Take the 1965 photograph of Muhammad Ali towering over a fallen Sonny Liston, taken by renowned sports photographer Neil Leifer. Or, the nude portrait of a pregnant Demi Moore, taken in 1991 by Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair. Let these photos inspire you to make your own mark in the photography world, one frame at a time!

blog-nixplay-halloween photography

5 Scary Good Halloween Photography Tips

Halloween is just around the corner, and we are pretty sure that you’re looking forward to getting dressed and having some fun on the spookiest day of the year. And speaking of fun, taking photos of your favorite Halloween highlights is definitely a must-do.

However, some folks might find that capturing the spirit of Halloween is easier said than done. This holiday has several tricks up its sleeve, from low light situations to busy subjects, that can frustrate even the most seasoned photographer.

Here, we’ll share with you some helpful tips so your photos of the holiday’s trickiest costumes, decorations, and low-light spooky parties will turn out to be a visual treat. Read on!

1. Mind the light

Shooting using natural light is always sound photography advice. It’s especially good practice during autumn, when everything is bathed in a warm glow. Since Halloween happens during this time of the year, take every opportunity to shoot outdoors and fill your images with the golden tinge the season brings. You’re bound to have some stunning photos, and making the effort to go out of town to capture some Halloween festivities will be worth it.

The above advice, however, cannot be applied if you’re shooting indoors or at night. The good news is that many camera manufacturers have been making some really impressive improvements in their sensors, making some good progress in terms of ISO behavior. Test your camera before your big Halloween party or trick-or-treating escapade so it’ll be easy for you to shoot decent photos in low light with a minimal amount of noise.

blog-nixplay-halloween photography

2. Play with masks and costumes…

Halloween’s the one day in the calendar when it’s perfectly fine to walk around in costume. Experiment with different masks and outfits, and play around with various light effects (remember how you’d scare your pals by holding a flashlight below your chin?). You’ll be amazed by how easy it can be to achieve some crazy and eerie effects that will photograph well.

3. But don’t forget your photos’ backgrounds

Whenever you are shooting people dressed up in their costumes, remember to also consider the backdrops of their shots. A dark, gloomy background will give you photographs a whole different level of spookiness. You can even derive inspiration from The Haunting of Hill House and get other people to be “ghosts” in the backdrop, which leads us to the next tip…

4. Make ghosts appear via long exposure

Have you ever seen a photo with a ghostly figure fading away in the background? Are you curious about how these images are made? Well, they happen inside the camera, and not in Photoshop as some might believe. Fine, you can achieve this during post-processing, but trust us, it’s easier to do it using your camera.

What you have to do is to make sure your camera is perfectly still (using a tripod is the best way to go about this) and then expose manually in order to achieve a well-balanced exposure but with a long shutter base. Images with two to five seconds of shutter speed will work fine.

Now, put your subject in front of the camera for a brief amount of time, and then ask him or her to get away as quickly as they can. The resulting photograph should have a spectrum of the subject. There is no exact recipe for this, so you’ll need to play around for a bit to achieve your desired effect. Ask your subject to dress in black and stare blankly at the camera for extra goosebumps!

5. Document all your Halloween shenanigans

There are some really iconic activities that happen during Halloween like pumpkin carving and trick-or-treating. Take out your camera and get lots of photos of the Halloween activities you’ll be participating in. This is basically the soul of Halloween, so it really makes sense to have some nice photographs of these precious moments. Don’t forget to display your pictures on your Nixplay frame—we’re giving you up to 20 percent off, only until November 4!

However, you decide to celebrate Halloween, don’t forget to always have fun and take as many images as you can!

Federico is a documentary photographer, writer and educator based in El Salvador. Check out his photography portfolio.

nixplay blog-food photography

5 Food Photography Tips And Tricks

These days, it’s not enough for food to taste good. To be on the radar of the most discriminating gourmands, your dish has to be photogenic as well—a feast not just for the palate, but also for the eyes.

It is hard to know exactly when food photography became so popular, but we have a theory that social media had a lot to do with it. It doesn’t matter if you are shooting with a phone, a point and shoot camera or a DSLR (even an analog film camera can work), what really matters is composition and lighting conditions. You don’t need to be a food stylist—anyone can make real food look good by following these simple tricks. Don’t forget to display your shots on your Nixplay Frame!

1. Mind the colors

The best thing you can do to achieve great food photos is to compose your shots with colors in mind. Colors are the biggest asset of food imagery, and can do wonders in making your dish look mouthwatering (or unappetizing). We suggest that you do some homework on color psychology, and you’ll see how important it is to use colors correctly.

2. Rustic and organic never fails

After news leaked about food styling and high makeup inclusions in food photography (especially on advertisements), there was a huge wave of food photographs depicting natural looks. Many dishes these days are plated to look good, so all you need to do is take out your camera and find a good angle. The best way to achieve a rustic look is to use fresh ingredients against a neutral backdrop.

Pro Tip: Need to get inspired? Keeping up with photography trends has never been easier with Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and many other platforms. Magazines and culinary shows like Chef’s Table are likewise great resources for inspiration.

3.  Use a tripod whenever you can

A tripod is a photographer’s best friend. It allows you to shoot in ways that are technically impossible to do handheld, giving you a wider range of angles to find the best shot. If you can’t work with a tripod, you can always figure out some solutions to keep your camera or phone stable and secure (bean bags are great for this).

4. The 90-degree approach

Never underestimate the power of the direct 90 degrees approach, also known as the overhead or top shot. This works fantastically for making dishes look tasty and beautiful.

Pro Tip: Use a macro lens whenever you can to better capture the details of your food—that lovely bokeh effect is awesome for food photographs. If you don’t have a lens-interchangeable camera, you can always use the macro mode on your point and shoot, or you can use selective focus (or even a converter) on your phone.

5. Keep it simple

Less is more in pretty much every creative discipline, and food photography is not an exception. Back in the old days of still-life paintings, food was depicted as a symbol of abundance and prosperity. Nowadays, the minimalist approach does the trick, keeping the focus solely on the dish.

We hope you find these bite-sized tips and tricks useful for making your meals drool-worthy in your photos. And remember: #FoodPorn shots are great, but eating your meal while it’s still hot is way better. Dig in and enjoy, folks!



Federico is a documentary photographer, writer and educator based in El Salvador. Check out his photography portfolio.

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