I have heard it said that this will be the most photographed, but least documented generation. It’s funny to think about, since we all have camera phones with in arms reach of us, at all hours of the day and night. We snap photos of just about everything, and yet most of them stay trapped on a device, and never get seen, enjoyed, or preserved. You’ll never value a picture as much on the day you take it, as you will ten, twenty, or fifty years from now. Even after we are gone, our photographs transcend time by giving a visual history of who we were, to share with future generations we will never meet.
It’s easy to take photography for granted when it is everywhere, and people are always snapping away, but are you creating anything tangible to leave behind? What about when the phone dies, or the computer crashes, are your images safe? (For more tips on backing up and organizing photos, check out this past blog post, here). As a photographer, a mother, a friend, I want to encourage you to do something with all those photos you’ve taken. Maybe not ALL of them, but the special ones, the ones that capture who you are, and the love you share. Whether it is professional images, i phone shots, or anything in between, the ones that matter, let them be seen and enjoyed! Here are some tips, for ideas of what to do with all those images.
Come up with a print schedule
Once every other month, or once a quarter, even if it’s just once or twice a year, make a point of setting aside time to order prints of your digital files. Then have a few frames you switch out prints on every time you place an order.
Quick and easy options
Subscription services like Chatbooks are great because they automate the printing process. For every 60 photos you upload to your Instagram feed, a book is printed, and shipped to you. For just $8 a book, which includes shipping. You can now also add images from your phone that you don’t have on social media, which is big bonus for me, since I limit what personal pics I put on Instagram. You can also order special addition books, based on hashtags, so if you do a family trip or have a wedding and everyone uses the same hashtag, you can print an book of just those photos. There are other services that do similar things, but this is the one I use, and love the simplicity of it! You can get your first book free with this by going here, and using the code “9YLQEJKG” If you want a peek at what’s in mine you can follow me on Instagram @BreSessionsPhoto. (The image below shows what the chatbook volumes look like)
Highlight your favorites For special photos, your highlights from the year, or pics from special events, or trips make an a special book or album. If you want something high quality that you can do yourself, I love Artifact Uprising. They offer beautiful book options, that are pretty simple to create. They also make great square prints, that are cute to frame or put out on a stand to show off individual shots. (Below is a book I was given from Artifact Uprising, with beautiful photos by Scobey Photography.)
Create unique gifts– Calendars, framed pics, puzzles, magnets, holiday ornaments, there are lots of cool things you can do with photos now. For those hard to shop for people that already have everything, photo based gifts can be something unique and personal. For my parents, and in laws I love making Birthday or holiday gifts out of photos. Mac has a great built in Photo program that you can use to easily create Calendars, books and other gift items. If you don’t have a Mac, search the web for other options. These personal gifts are always treasured, and one of a kind, so next time you are stomped on what to buy, go through your old photos and order something unique for that hard to shop for family member!
Get help from a professional- Professional Photographers have the ability to make some really beautiful archival quality items. Next time you have photos taken, rather than just asking for digital files, talk to your photographer and ask them what products they offer, or how they would suggest displaying your images. They may have access to products you don’t see on the market, they can also help you design galleries, and custom artwork for your home. I recently ordered a 24×36 canvas of my daughters and I laughing in the park, that my very talented photographer friend took, and it is now the center piece in my new office, I love it, and it brings me so much joy seeing it every time I walk in the door! If you feel stuck on where to put your pictures, or what size to order them, just ask your photographer! I love when clients bring me pictures of a blank wall, or spot in their home, that they want to help create a gallery of images from their shoot, or multiple photo shoots we have done over the years. As a side note, even though you can make prints yourself, there are benefits to using a professional. Many local store printers and online places use machines that are not calibrated. When a printer isn’t calibrated, the colors can often end up distorted. To ensure all the time and money you spent hiring a talented photographer to shoot, and edit your photos isn’t ruined by bad printing, poor cropping, or cheaply made products, let your photographer finish the job they started. This is especially important for items like wedding albums, or any heirloom pieces you want to pass down to the next generation. (Below is a leather bound, custom album, with a metal print insert on the cover, it’s a new option my album company just came out with, and I love it)
I hope this inspires you, or gives you the little push you need to devote some time to doing something with all those photos you haven’t looked at in months, or years! If you found this helpful, or want to share your favorite way to print and enjoy your photos, please leave a comment below!
Until next time….