Without a doubt, one of the kids is assigned an “about me” project at the beginning of the school year, and I always end up scrambling the night before for enough photos to send with them—or making a late night trip to the one-hour photo desk at the nearest pharmacy. Every time, I think how ridiculous it is that I never actually follow through with the good intention of printing the photos from my phone on a regular basis.
So, I thought I’d share my recent (mini) accomplishment with you. I printed some of my favorites and am enjoying them so much. I used an app called Free Prints that lets me upload and place an order directly from my phone. (Not a sponsored endorsement, by the way; my hairdresser told me about it so I’m telling you. . .) You get 85 “free” prints a month, and you only pay shipping. (It was around $8, I believe.) It’s a great mindless activity to do while I’m waiting in car line or at soccer practice, which is the only way I’m going to get this done. (If you want to use my invite code, feel free: eclark125)
I’ve given up on the notion of putting them in albums, printing photo books or even organizing them in boxes. I’ve just been sticking them in a pretty bowl on the coffee table or displaying a few in my office. The kids love going through them. There’s just some satisfaction from holding pictures in your hand that you don’t get by swiping a screen, don’t you think?
It’s funny how this is such a novelty for our kids now. My mom and dad have a big trunk full of family photos, and I still love going through it from time to time. Of course, some I’d like to burn (think spiral permed hair and oversized glasses circa 1989), but they’re fun for the most part.
paint color // mirror // console table // lamp (similar) // basket (similar)
Hopefully, this will be the reminder you need to print a few (hundred?) for your viewing enjoyment. . .
Jody Olympia says
I love love love pictures! Check out Artifact Uprising too. They have 6×6 square photo package 25 for $19 on the most thick beautiful paper. It is definitely for paper people. Gorgeous matte card stock and great quality. I leave 50 on a tray and friends, family and the boys flip through them constantly. I also love a Polaroid camera at holidays. I just give it to the kids to take pics from their perspective. I have a glass box full of memories that are hilarious.
Emily Clark says
Thanks for the tip. Those sound like they could make sweet gifts, too.
Alyson Mayse says
Emily, thank you so much for sharing this!!! I take hundreds of photos and unfortunately leave them on my phone or eventually get around to saving them on a back up drive. This is a perfect and easy way to print those photos without all the download time!!! So excited to get mine in the mail!! This may be my new addiction 😂
I order prints from Shutterfly when they have one of their 100 free print specials. I just put them all in a big bowl on the coffee table. We love looking through them and it has saved me many a time when we need photos for the All about me pages!
R. Pyper says
You hit the nail on the head with this one. It’s so ironic—we take more photos today than any previous generation, yet we have very little physical proof of it outside our electronics.
I wrote a post about the dying art of portraiture recently; it’s interesting to me that we have lovely photos of our grandmas in their 30s, 40s, and so on, but moms today don’t usually get their photos taken. My grandkids will someday wonder what I looked like when raising my kids because I’m usually the one behind the family camera!
Anyway, here’s a link if you’re interested: https://boulevardwestblog.com/2016/09/06/the-dying-art-of-portraiture-and-why-we-should-care/
I love this! I haven’t been able to do a digital photo album since 2012 and have been feeling horribly guilty about it! My kids flip through those books all the time. I should, at least, be able to fire off some from my phone photos. I often question whether digital photography is a blessing or curse. The thousands of accumulated pictures hang over me constantly. Growing up, my parents only took enough pictures that they fit in a nightstand drawer. When I go home and look through those, they remind me of special times. It makes me think about the thousands upon thousands of digital images my kids will have to sift through. Surely I’ll have time to edit out some of those when they go off to college, right??? 😜
Sitting here reading your post while I’m supposed to be uploading pics to help with my son’s “Summertime Memories” project. We, too, suffer from No Photo Printing Syndrome!
Kimberly Hight says
Excellent tip! A photographer friend keeps reminding me how frequently technology has changed over the course of my lifetime and highly recommends printing our favorites. How sad to think of all the digital images that might never be shared with future generations.
Cristi Steed says
Another one you might look at is Groovebook.com. You get their app on your phone and then every month you get a photo “book” sent to you of 40-100 pictures that you choose from your phone. The books are the 4X6 size and come perforated so you can tear out ones you need for those school projects but otherwise they stay in a nice tidy book that can sit on your coffee table for whoever to thumb through them. My kids love looking through them. I’m not affiliated with them just got one this month from our family reunion we went to and thought it was great!
Emily Clark says
Thank you–that one also sounds good. I’ll check it out.
I love groove book. We have been getting them for almost 1 year now. The little booklet of 100 photos is only 2.99 a month!
Donna @ Modern on Monticello says
Thanks for a good reminder. My husband and I have been cleaning out a storage closet and have realized we have 5 – no kidding – 5 old laptops that still have photos on them that have never been printed. So many memories of the kids we could lose. I have been removing these old photos to a jump drive so I can print them out. Thanks for the suggestion on where I can send them for a great price.
I love how you’ve casually placed them around your home! Such a great personal touch. I’ve been going through boxes and found old photos of my husband and I and I did a similar thing and placed some of us (unframed) around the house using washi tape etc. There really is nothing like having the actual photo in your hand. Which reminds me, I need to print off a bazillion or so of my daughter’s first year of life! She’s one and a half now and I have fallen so far behind haha!
When you get your photos, it’s so important to put a date on the back & identify who’s in the picture. I have so many old family photos that I have no idea who the people in the photos are. They could be just old friends of my deceased parents. And I’m hanging on to them because they could be pics of relatives.
Lisa H. says
I am always looking for new ways to get use put pf the family photos I’ve taken, and I’ve been curious about Free Prints. A few years ago, I made a grid of six matching memo boards for my family room, which I them covered with black and white family photos and color botanical photos. It’s one of my favorite things in my houses!
Maybe you should do a link party on using printed photos!
Taste of France says
My kid made a huge photo wall of snapshots. Very fun.
When I think of the photography classes I took to learn to do it with film. All those chemical baths. A darkroom….sigh. Now it’s just click, and we’re too lazy!
Thanks for the tip, Emily! I always say that printing and organizing my photos will be my winter project. Considering I have over 1700 photos on my phone, you’d think we’ve missed a lot of winters here in Chicago! ;) #notproud
Amber B Design says
I definitely needed to read this post!! I downloaded the app and already started ordering pictures. Thank you! This was long overdue for me and I knew I would regret it down the road, if I didn’t get started on this. I will take the same approach as you… placing family pictures in spots where everyone can see. And you are so right about being able to hold a picture in your hands. The kids do love it!! Have a great weekend, Emily
Shelley @ Calypso in the Country says
It’s amazing how many we have on our computers – but not many printed. I have been trying to print more lately too…and I have been trying to be IN more! I am always the picture-taker!
Erin Andrews says
So, so true. Before Smart Phones when my kids were really little I’d upload and order from Snapfish each month and put them in albums. I’m now easily 4 years behind. I have to do this! Thanks for the kick in the pants 😉
I JUST told my husband the other day how I wanted to start printing pictures out on a regular basis because I miss the magic of holding an actual picture in my hand! I’m glad to know I’m not alone! :)