How to Choose Photos to Print & Display
You have photos, right? Dumb question, I know. I personally have over 12,000 on my phone alone – that doesn’t take into account all the ones from my “good” camera, of which I have plenty, being that I’m a photographer. (And a mom. I think my kids are over the camera in their faces).
I get it. I get photo overwhelm.
I also get the desire to want to print some photos! And *gasp* maybe even FRAME them?! Haha! Isn’t that the dream? Gorgeous Pinterest-worthy walls of adorable vintage-filtered square shots with giant white mats and skinny frames?! (Um…I want a wall like that.)
But what about something starting somewhere easier, like a frame on the mantle? A canvas in the hall? Something to replace the years-old photo of your family – the one that doesn’t even include your youngest – sitting on your husband’s desk at work? And hasn’t Aunt Donna been asking for some updated photos forever?
Oh, and let’s not forget that professional family photo session you just had! Love, love, love the photos, but now you have to decide either which images you want to purchase from the photographer, or maybe you got ALL the images (go you!) and now you need to pick a few to print.
Picking photos to print and display is not as hard as it seems. I promise. It’s just because we have too many dang choices.
Let me help you get those images off your phone and into your home with a few questions to ask yourself.
1. Who wants a copy?
This question is especially useful after a professional photo session or if you feel you just took some really great photos of everyone on your phone. Go through each family member, even really close friends who are like family, and think if they would appreciate any printed images. For example, grandma & grandpa on both sides, what do they want? An 8x10 of each kid? And then another, smaller, 5x7 of the kids together? Ok, check that. Do you have sisters and brothers who would like some? Go ahead and text people, too! “Hey, I’m finally printing some photos of the kids! Do you want any to frame?”
Make sure to ask, too, which kind of image they prefer – a standard, looking at the camera smiling one, or one that shows more personality? My mom always picks at least one where my girls look grumpy! Haha! She says they make her laugh!
Here’s my biggest tip on this point: ask your kids to pick a few. So many times parents pick photos, print them and put some frames in the living room. But, you know what? Kids LOVE photos of themselves and their families in their own rooms! They love to giggle at silly photos, feel all warm and fuzzy with family photos and, best of all, they feel so confident when they are surrounded by images of themselves that they think they look great in. Have them sit on your lap, and go through and see what they want. Then, create a little space on a dresser or on the wall where they can display their memories!
2. Where are the photos going?
Take a look around your home. Is there a wall you’ve always wanted to decorate with glorious photos? A few spots on your built-in shelves? Maybe something in your bedroom or even in the bathroom! You know, a really funny or sweet photo can be great in a laundry room. Now’s the time to walk around and look at shelves and walls and think about some places that could use some style!
I feel like there’s always a need for an updated photo in someone’s office. Even a home office – treat it like an “away” office! I like to keep a couple of frames on my desk in my home office, and my husband does the same in his “away” office. Maybe twice a year or so, we simply print some new images and swap them out!
Like I mentioned above, don’t forget kids’ rooms, their bathrooms and their hallways. It makes kids all kinds of happy to see faces they love around them! (Especially silly ones!)
Here’s the small hallway that leads to our master bedroom. We had a photoshoot done last April during our 10 year anniversary trip to NYC. I thought this was the PERFECT place to put photos that were just of my husband and I - without the two of us together, we wouldn’t have a family! So, I decided to make it kind of a like mini art gallery and hang some of my favorite photos in frames all at the same height.
3. Which do you simply love?
You know you’ve got ‘em. A few photos that you just LOVE. You’d show them to the checkout guy at Kroger if he wasn’t 17 and talking to his friend who’s bagging. Aw, heck, you’ll show them to him anyway!
Even if you have no idea where you’d put these photos in your house, print them. Print them in a standard size and then look for frames. Or, print them on a giant canvas. OR, make an album out of all your favorite images from the last 3, 6, 9 or 12 months!
Especially print them if you have some images of YOU that you love. You deserve to have some photos out of you looking super fab also!
That’s how I was with this project. I had found these frames MONTHS ago at TJ Maxx HomeGood - if you find something you like there, you have to snatch it up fast! I bought them before we moved into our new house and only knew that I loved the frames. Then, after our trip to the lake in October, I had some photos that I also loved, especially the one with my daughter’s hair blowing in the boat wind
It didn’t make sense for me to blow these up really big, but I just love them as a clean collection in my living room. They sit on either side of the fireplace and make me so happy! And, it’ll be super easy to change them out seasonally!
NOTE: These work because there is a cohesiveness to them. The frames are the same style and the prints are from the same location with the same editing style. :)
4. Now go forth and print!
Hopefully, you’ve got some good ideas to get your photos off your phone and into your home! For prints and canvases, I highly recommend mpix.com. For great albums and other photo products at a great price, I recommend Shutterfly.