You may have noticed, I’m a bit of a photography nut. I love taking photos. It’s fun to look for treasures or special moments to capture and share. It’s a hobby that helps me be present and completely in the moment. It helps me slow down and pay closer attention to what is going on around me.
While my main focus (sorry… put sort of intended…) is nature photography, I find that when I am at a family gathering, a party or special event, having my camera on hand helps me be more observant. It helps me see small, precious moments I might have otherwise missed.
It’s later on that I run into a problem. I look at all the photos taken and wonder, what am I going to do with all of them? I mean on my phone alone there are over 2600 pictures! There is no way I’m going to print them all!
We Are Losing A Legacy of Sharing
I love my camera phone, I take it with me everywhere. And as the saying goes, “the best camera is the camera you have with you”, so my iPhone gets pulled out a lot! Using it has not only changed my photography style but it has pushed me creatively as well.
Digital photography in general, has changed the way we take photos, store them and use them. But sadly, beyond sharing them occasionally on social media, sending them via text or attaching a few to an email, most of our photos remain unseen.
By leaving our pictures sitting on a phone (or computer or memory card), we are losing a legacy of sharing the story of our lives.
Many of us grew up with those “lovely” peel n’ stick or magnetic style photo albums. Each filled with pictures of family vacations, baby pictures, birthday parties and even those terrible grade school pictures. We could look through those albums and see the story of our family. It’s a legacy our children and younger generations are losing out on.
Sharing Our Story
It’s important to capture and preserve not only the story of our families, but our own personal story as well. Photography is just one way to do that. I think it is time to get the photos off our phones and into a physical printed format.
So let’s look at a few ways to do just that.
3 Ways to Get Your Pictures Off Your Phone
I may be a bit biased on this one because it’s one of my favorite ways to use photos. It’s fun to create my own photo notecards to give as gifts. For example for a birthday I will create a simple photo collage of different images I have taken of someone through the years, here is one example.
To make these:
- I use Photoshop, but you could easily do the same thing in Photoshop Elements, or online with services like Canva or PicMonkey. Both have templates you can use and add your photos to.
- Next, print these photos on your printer or order at your local 1-hour photo.
- Then glue or tape these to a blank notecard, which you can find at a craft store, Target, Walmart or on Amazon.
This is one of my favorite gifts to receive each year. I look forward calendars full of family photos showing the growth of the kiddos and seeing family adventures from throughout the year. Looking at them makes me smile, so I keep one at my desk and one in my bedroom. After the year is up, I still have them as a collection of photos which I can add to a photo album.
To make these:
- You will need to set-up an account with a photo printing service like Costco*, Shutterfly or Walmart.
- Next, upload a selection of photos to use.
- Choose a calendar template and add in the images you want to use for each month.
*Costco’s photo center is one of my favorite places to order family style calendars. They are usually just under $10 and if you have it shipped, you do not need a Costco card to take advantage of their great service.
One of the many advantages of digital photography is that it has brought along a wide range of digital products and service providers. The options are amazing! Photo albums can be created printed with a hard or soft cover. They are available as small as 4×6 and all the way up to 12×12, you are left to your imagination and budget.
To make these:
- Just like the yearly calendar you can simply upload your images to photo printing service like Costco, Shutterfly and Walmart.
- Then, select the template and add in the images you want to use on each page.
Make It Easy
I have a love/hate relationship with the scrapbooking industry. On the one hand the creative, beautiful layouts found in magazines or on Pinterest get my creative juices flowing. But, it’s also more than a little intimidating. It has kept me from creating even simple albums.
Thankfully, I’m getting over that, for the most part. 🙂
Just remember, keep it simple and doable.
This is a quick overview but I hope it gives you a few ideas to try. I’ll be revisiting this idea in future with more ideas (and examples) of getting your images off your camera (or computer or memory card) and into your hands.
So… when was the last time you printed any photos off of your camera phone?
Marta Goertzen is an entrepreneur, writer, and nature photographer. She daily explores the trails and beaches of the South Central Oregon Coast with her dogs. You can follow along on their adventures on Instagram. She is also the author of several books, and now with the Selah Journal: A reflective journal and mini-retreat. Start your own daily gratitude practice with our, “7 Days of Gratitude Challenge – A Gratitude Journal Starter Kit”.