If you feel overwhelmed with how and why to print your photos, I’m going to break things down for you into small bite sized manageable tips. Before I get to the how…let’s talk real quick about the why.
Why print your photos?
You’ve already invested so much into getting photos done professionally. Maybe it was because you really want to remember this age and stage of life. Maybe it was to commemorate a special occasion. Maybe it was mostly because you enjoy sending and receiving photo holiday cards. Even if that is your main motivation to get your photos taken, you may also be harboring a few other motivators without realizing it. Perhaps you want to gift your future self with added memories. Perhaps an oral storytelling tradition is not very strong in your family so photos will help boost the passing on of so many little stories and details of your lives together. Perhaps you are looking to leave a legacy for your family someday. Whatever your main motivations for having your photos taken, you did it and you deserve a pat on the back!
Now here is a little food for thought…How often are you actually looking at your digital photos? How often do your kids get to see the photos? Getting your images off your phone and computer creates mood boosters for all in your home. According to psychologists, photography displayed in your home has a positive benefit for children’s self-esteem and helps them develop stronger confidence. Also, we know that technology is ever changing and a bit unreliable. How quickly did we go from cd/dvd photo storage to usbs to cloud storage? What will come next? Will we keep up with digital file management? Clouds are meant for dreams, not your most precious memories. My guess is that between not knowing passwords and not having the best digital organization, our families would have a very tough time finding old photos. How do we avoid this situation? By printing our images! Your kids will thank you!
How to order?
You have so many options when printing your photos. I’d say start with one or two primary methods that you know your family will love. In my family I prioritize yearly photo albums, a New Years holiday card, and a photo calendar, as well as a couple handfuls of 4x6 prints for each of my kids. But I’ve built up these traditions over many years. If you are new to printing, focus on just one or two.
What are your options?
Framed or loose prints
I really recommend going with a professional printer for loose prints and wall art. Often at the more inexpensive printers, images come back with funky colors and don’t last as long. I fully trust WHCC, which is linked to all of my galleries for my clients. The quality of colors and textures is so good.
As I said before, albums are my absolute favorite. They are easy to store, easy to share with others and so fun to flip through. The investment is a bit more than just prints or wall art, yet I’m never disappointed in the final product. And as someone with very little wall space in my home, albums are a great way to go.
Talk about mood boosters. Wall calendars display your photos and keep you organized. I have two favorite calendars. First, a very minimalist inspired look from Artifact Uprising that includes perforated pages so you can gift or frame the photos when you are done using the calendar. Second, the wall calendars from Shutterfly since you can add little photos on the date of people’s birthdays, which is the most helpful visual reminder! It definitely takes a while to do this option, yet once you’ve done it once you can save and reuse the images year after year.
There are so many great options for photo related gifts. My parents both love a good photo mug of the grandkids. I’ve gifted acrylic block photos, photo ornaments, and photo puzzles. I especially love making unique photo wrapping paper out of architectural prints (direct from my local printer: Sky Printing. They even give 15% off your first order with the code DREAMPRINTSAVE!).
Announcement or Holiday Card
There are so many good options now for holiday cards. All of the standard retailers seem to have such a great variety and awesome quality options now…it’s actually pretty impressive. It seems to me that most options are around the same price point, which is why I would recommend the ease and convenience of ordering through your own gallery (that is if you are planning to use only photos from your session).
It’s Never too late!
I definitely believe in this. Never feel embarrassed for finally getting around to printing your images. Photos actually get more valuable and special over time.
I'm here to help!
Still feeling overwhelmed? I'm more than happy to help walk you through an order. I am all about it if you want to DIY your prints, yet I'm also more than happy to have you outsource the time and effort to me! I love making heirloom albums and am happy to consult about the best wall art options, etc. that fit your exact space.
Ali is a Real Life Family and Newborn photographer serving Seattle and the greater Puget Sound area. She has two kids of her own, is a former public school teacher, and helps people prioritize quality time together in a playful, relaxed, flexible way. She is drawn to light and shadows and storytelling. Each session is therefore unique.