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, 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!


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!