Organizing, Storing, and Printing Photos, Oh My! | Louisville and Southern IN Photographer
When it comes to organizing all of your digital photos, storing/backing them up and printing them to display in your home and put in photo albums, you can become so overwhelmed you want to give up before even beginning! But trust me, the last thing you want is something to happen to all of your precious photos stored on your phone or computer and to lose so many special moments and memories and not be able to get them back… And yes - I’m a bit ashamed to admit, this has happened to me.
You could probably guess that I have a LOT of photos - trying to manage all the photos I take on my cell phone and big camera in some sort of organized manner can be a daunting task, but before we had our first child I was determined to figure out something that worked for me so that I could stay on top of all the photos we’d be taking over the years to come.
What I’m sharing today is what has worked for me… There are SO MANY options of how to store your photos - different apps and online companies make it so easy these days, but the number of options can almost be overwhelming. So, take all this information knowing that I’m NOT saying this is the best way to manage your photos, but it has worked for me. You may even be able to give your own input of what’s worked for you to help others reading this post! So, let’s get to it!
What’s the best way to organize and store my photos?
Let’s talk about photos on your smartphone, first. I don’t know about you, but I take so many photos on my phone I start to lose space and memory quickly. So to help with this issue, every month or so I backup my smartphone photos and then delete them from my phone.
Before I do this - anytime I take photos, I’ll go back through when I have time and delete any duplicates or photos that are blurry, bad quality, aren’t meaningful to me, etc. If I haven’t already, I’ll go ahead and edit some or all of the photos using the VSCO app (see photo lessons one and two if you missed this).
Once I have my final photos ready, I go ahead and back them up. So now the big question, what’s the best way to do this? There are so many options! I don’t have a ton of time, so I want something that is quick and user friendly. Bonus points if I’m able to easily order prints!
Before my son was born, I started using the Shutterfly app to store and organize my photos. A family member suggested it to me and it was so easy I stuck with it. You are able to create folders on the app, so I make one for each month of the year. At the end of that month, I upload all the photos on my phone into the correct folder on my Shutterfly app. Once they are there, I delete them off of my phone. The thing I like best about the app is that once you have the photos uploaded you can very easily make prints or order other photo products from the site. With that being said - I typically only upload my cell phone photos to Shutterfly and use it to make small prints of those photos. In my personal experience, I haven’t found Shutterfly to have the best quality when it comes to printing large sized prints or other products (like canvases). However, they do have tons of fun products and gift ideas, so it’s worth checking out!
At the end of the year (or every few months, if I can remember) I purchase 4x6 prints of all the photos I’ve uploaded and place them in a photo album. Like I said, Shutterfly does not have the best quality if you are wanting large prints (for frames) or canvases. Since I typically only use Shutterfly for my cell phone photos I’m okay with printing the smaller prints to place into albums.
It’s great to have your photos backed up digitally, but there’s something so special about turning the pages of a photo album and looking back on your memories. Years down the road when my children want to see photos from the past, I want them to simply pull a photo album off the shelf and begin flipping back through time. The last thing I’d want is for them to have to search through folders and files on the computer in order to find the digital images to click through.
If you’re looking for a way to back up your photos, check out the list of options below. What works for me may not work great for you, so take your time looking through what each service offers and try some out!
https://www.thislife.com (by Shutterfly)
(again, I use Shutterfly because I can easily print my photos from the site; the mobile app offers TONS of sales and discounts that you may be interested in!)
Now let’s chat about photos you take with your big camera, or photos you have had professionally taken (family, engagement/wedding, newborn photos, etc).
These photos are typically better quality and better for making large prints to display in your home. If you take these photos on your own or have a professional photographer take them, chances are you are given the digital images to save on your computer or on a flash drive. To backup these types of photos, I always save them on my computer AND my external hard drive. This ensures that if my computer crashed, I’d still have the photos backed up someplace else. At the end of last year I also saved all our personal photos and videos on a flash drive (for 2017) and placed it in our fireproof safe. I plan to do the same at the end of this year.
I always make prints of these images also, but may use a different print company that offers better quality products. These are typically the images that I like to print in large sizes for frames, make canvases of, make hardcover photo albums, photo cards, etc. Wondering what your options are for affordable quality printing? Keep reading!
What are different print options that offer great quality AND at an affordable price?
Let’s be real - no one really wants to spend a crazy amount of money on prints, canvases and/or other print products. But I will say, the print company you choose to purchase from really does make a huge difference in the quality of product you receive. When you are wanting to purchase large prints or other print products to display in your home or to give as gifts, I highly suggest using a higher quality print company to ensure you’ll be happy and proud of your product. You will want to preserve these memories forever, after all, so you want to make sure you go with a company that will give you long-lasting, unique, well-made products.
*The photo labs and companies mentioned below are what I’ve found to be great quality at a reasonable price. These are the photo companies I share with my clients to ensure they have a variety of quality options when printing their photos (if they don’t print through me and the professional photo lab I use for my business).
Artifactuprising.com is a favorite photo company of mine! They offer really unique, high quality photo products that range from all different sized prints (including adorable square prints), frames, cards, photo albums and other gifts. If you want to splurge on some really special keepsakes definitely check this company out! *They also have an app that makes it super easy to upload photos from your phone and order prints and/or other fun products in a snap!
Nationsphotolab.com offers a wide variety of photo products at great quality and affordable price. They also run sales quite a bit, which makes it even better!
Framebridge.com offers custom framing, great for creating gallery walls, showcasing your favorite photos around your home and for giving unique photo gifts!
related articles and links to learn more…
Tell me, what have you found that’s worked for you when it comes to managing your photos? What about any favorite printing companies? I’d love to know and sure others would appreciate more ideas as well!
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