I was asked by a family friend to donate a basket to a Tricky Tray fundraiser to benefit my former elementary school. The easy part was saying "Yes, of course!" while the hard part was figuring out WHAT to donate. I even tried googling for "how to create a donation basket for photography" but barely found any results. So, I had to put my creative energy to work.

I figured the best gift would be something that didn't come with any strings. For instance, I toyed with the idea of giving a gift certificate for $500 off a wedding collection...but that would have to guarantee too many uncontrollable things - like availability on the winning couple's date, that we'd connect & be a good fit, and they'd still have to purchase a wedding collection to be able to use the gift. So I narrowed it down to a Complimentary 1-Hour NYC Engagement Session (valued at $500).

But how on earth do I put that in basket form? Well, I starting of thinking of things that were helpful to me as a bride. I absolutely LOVED Real Simple Weddings as a bride, and I threw in Brides magazine as well. They are both such helpful resources!


I didn't want to buy an ordinary wicker basket (I kind of hate wicker), so I thought this grey storage bin would be adorable and practical! As a planning bride, I had a lot of stressful moments (am I riiiight married ladies?!), so I included a copy of Bride Wars to help lighten the mood and remind her that as long as her BFF-turned-ex-BFF doesn't try to turn her hair blue...everything will be just fine! But I couldn't let the bride have all the fun! I included a copy of Wedding Crashers for the groom! Then I wrapped them up, because honestly, who doesn't love un-wrapping gifts?! :)


And of course, a hand-written thank you note on my custom stationery to introduce myself. Looove this color!


Lots and LOTS of tissue paper to bring it all together!


And lastly, how to describe the prize! I bought a simple black frame that would look good in any home to display the prize description. Once the images are done, the couple can put their favorite in the frame!  I made sure to include the following info on the prize description: my business name & logo, contact information, a few images so they could see my style of photography, a little bit about me (because I put such an emphasis on personal connection), a detailed description of the prize, how to book their date, and lastly, the terms & conditions...aka the not-so-fine-print! If you are a photographer, you are probably wondering exactly what wording I used, so feel free to download the PDF! I hope it helps to see an example of what you can do to create a donation basket! Obviously my way is not the only way, and you should feel free to get as creative as possible! :)


I've already photographed the lovely winning couple, so be on the look out for their session on the blog next week! :)