So we’ve heard it all about a million times by now: Stay home! Love your family! Well, like some of you, my very delicate work life balance was thrust into chaos from the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s taken me a lot longer than normal to get back to business and figure out how to get back to work without being able to work. I’m at a loss about what to post–does anyone really want to see pictures of happy families when they can’t book any sessions? What sort of useful information can I put out there? I’ve spent some time now just documenting what’s in the square footage of my property these days. This led to reviewing my gigantic mess of my google photos stuffed into my computer for the past eleven odd years.
So I decided to give you a quick guide to getting those pics of your family off of your phone/computer/backup drive and put them were they belong: printed in your home to enjoy. There are a few things to consider when doing this. Firstly, you need to decide WHAT to print. This will determine what KIND of printing you would need to look into. Do you have an entire vacation that you want printed, or just one family portrait? Is there a family session you’d like print a few from? Are the pictures fun candids or portraits? All these decisions will determine if you print an album, a large print on a canvas or all hanging, or just standard prints to put in frames on your desk.
Here are my personal recommendations for where to print and how to approach your decisions:
Social Media Printing/Images on your Phone
There are many apps for printing the photos from your phone. You may have one already that you use, but when printing pics from birthday parties, family trips, and fun activities that I do with my family I use chatbooks. It is super simple to use, and you can set it to upload your photos automatically. They alerts you just before your book will ship in order to edit out the photos from your camera roll that you just do not want to include or are duplicates. You can print in soft or hard cover and the cheapest option is super affordable. My only disclaimer is that it is by no means quality printing. These books are used and abused by my kids, they love them. I am glad that I did not pay good money for them and Chatbooks makes it super simple to re-order if any of them get destroyed. I have recommended this option mostly because we typically are not interested in quality printing of our low resolution pictures taken on our phones. They are great memories that are super fun to look back on, but spending good money to have them printed is frankly not worth it in my eyes.
High Quality Album Printing
If you have had a family photo session done with images that were sent to you digitally, high quality album printing is a good way to have your session printed. Album printing is also a good way to print pictures you have documented: from birthday parties or trips, but it may be a little pricier than you would like to spend on these types of photos. For Album printing I highly recommend Artifact Uprising. They have a variety of album choices, and are committed to producing quality, artistic printing. Creating an album is relatively simple and their customer service is quick to help with any problems.
I have printed my images from many different companies over the years, either professionally or for personal use. My personal favorite printing company for large wall art (canvas or framed) is from Small Wood Home. They have super affordable large scale printing and you can often catch a really great sale. They look gorgeous and come framed and ready to hang. There are a few drawbacks, firstly they come only in specific sizing. If you’re looking to create wall art with specific sizes you are out of luck. Secondly, the prints come very well packaged but they do not feel super sturdy. If you are putting them straight on the wall in a low traffic area it should work out well, but if your kids are going to be smashing into them this might not be a good option.
There are a few things to consider when printing wall art. First take a look at the size and space where you would like to hang your photo/s. I always suggest to choose one photo to act as a centerpiece. Your centerpiece photo should be no smaller than 16×20 (I would hold up any picture in the size that you want to print in the space you have chosen to get a reference of how small or big it will look). Smaller photos can then be placed around this larger one.
Another consideration is the type of photos to print. Don’t be afraid to print a great lifestyle shot if you really love it. My kids always look at the pictures on our walls from places we’ve been and reminisce together about them. They create wonderful visual interest and can add a great touch to your decor.
When getting your photos printed to put in frames or send as gifts I would check out Mpix. They are very affordable, and have high quality printing. There are however, MANY great places to print from, this is just one that I have had experience with. Please keep in mind that not all printing is created equal! I know we’re all looking to save a few bucks, but skimping on printing will show. Quality printing makes sure that you get proper coloring and clarity in your prints. There is a difference between choosing one of the above companies and choosing Walgreens, Costco, or Target to print. I would stay away from bargain basement printing places. Look for a company that guarantees their printing and will re-print if you are not satisfied. If you can swing it, it is always advisable to contact your photographer and get them to print for you through a reputable company they are affiliated with. Printing with your photographer will ensure that your wall art will be of quality and that it will last. Feel free to reach out to me and ask any questions you might have!