Print Your Photos - Part I | Quick and Easy

We document and share our daily lives through pictures more than ever before, but we’re printing less of them.  It’s almost as if having so many images (smart phones, tablets, cameras…) to choose from makes it harder to decide on any to print at all (at least that’s my personal dilemma).  And who has wall space for all those prints?  I'm not arguing printing ALL our photos, but there are few excuses to at least print more of them when we have access to so many different (and easy!) printing options today.  Online photo labs are inexpensive and quick and innovative companies make it even easier with smart phone apps that can automate the process for you, organizing your digital images and shipping products right to you. 

So, today I’m beginning a "Print Your Photos!" series sharing the reasons and ways I print and display my photos.  There are so many wonderful reasons to print your photos and I hope you’ll come away inspired both to print more of your own photos and share your ways of making the process easy and fun!

 Print Your Photos Wall Grid | Northern Virginia Lifestyle Family Photographer

But, first, a plea.  Please, please back your photos up.  It’s super easy to back up smart phone photos for free and there are many options for backing up pictures on your home computer as well.  We all know (or are) a person who’s lost or damaged their phone or whose hard drive dies, losing all their images.  It’s especially heartbreaking when there are irreplaceable family photos lost.  So, please go back your photos up!

Okay, now that your droves of photos are safe in the digital realm – how often do you actually look at them?  It’s nice to have the Facebook timeline reminder of images you posted years ago, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg of meaningful moments in your life that have been abandoned to electronic memory storage.  There are some arguments why these files may not even be accessible years from now, but even if they are, will you be spending much time looking through them?  Not likely.  But you will appreciate being reminded of special moments while walking through your house putting away laundry or working (or playing) at your desk.  And think of how fun it will be looking through physical albums with your children or grandchildren, recounting the stories behind those moments years from now.

Framed prints and photobooks are both great ways to get images off your phone or hard drive and into your daily life.  I’ll share my ideas for both these options in other posts, but I want to start this series with my favorite quick and easy way to print images: Artifact Uprising’s square print sets.  If you post lots of images to Instagram like me, you might notice how fun it is to see all your images together on the grid in the app.  That’s what I find so great about AU’s square print sets.  Every few months I pick my most recent faves and, using their online application which connects to my Instagram account, I just drag and drop the ones I want to print, enter my promo code (more on that in a second), click submit, and I’m done.  A week or so later, my prints arrive and I get to figure out fun places to put them.  And AU connects to your home computer and other photo platforms just as easily as to Instagram.

 Print your photos | Northern Virginia documentary photographer

I have them all over my cube at work and in front of my son’s car seat to keep him company. ;-)  I’ve used them to add a personal touch to gift wrapping.  And most recently, I created a grid on a not-so-pretty wall in our home office.  And the best part?  AU frequently has promo codes for free square print sets, so for the three sets I’ve ordered over the past six months, I’ve only have to pay for shipping.  [A quick disclaimer: I'm not being paid or receiving anything from Artifact Uprising for this gushing endorsement.  I just really like their prints and how easy the process is. :-)]

Pros:

-     Quick (set of 25 chosen and ordered in less than 5 minutes) and arrives within a week or so with standard shipping

-     (Practically) free, except for shipping, when you catch a promo code

Cons:

-     Not accessible to order via smart phone, so you have to order through your home computer

For fun, here's a behind-the-scenes look at how I created the gallery wall grid in my office. Artifact Uprising has a convenient blog post about other fun ways to display your prints, which is where I got this inspiration.  And I promise to post a code to my Facebook page as soon as I see the next one, so go like my page if you want in too!  Happy printing!