Do you have a baby or toddler? Do you need ideas and tips for recording all your little ones memories and milestones? Then my Memory Making Magazine is for you!

Too many photos, too little time

The amazing thing about digital photography is that we can take as many photos as we want, with minimal cost.  The greatest disadvantage of digital photography is also that we can take as many photos as we want, which means more often than not we don’t do anything with our photos because we’re overwhelmed by how many we have.

Today I’m sharing with you some of my strategies for managing your growing collection of digital images as well as some of my favourite ways to display and print our own family photos.  
printed family photo in hallway
1.  Before you even consider printing your photos there are two important first steps to consider: how are your photos organized and do you have a system for culling your photos when you upload them to your computer?  If you don’t already have a system for organizing AND culling your photos, this is the most important first step when it comes to displaying your photos.  If you have too many photos to sort through, you’ll never get around to printing them because it’s too much work to find the ones you want.  

Don’t worry about photos you’ve taken in the past, focus your efforts on how you want to organize your photos moving forward (e.g. by event, by week, by month) and making sure you have time to delete photos when you upload them to your computer.  You typically want to keep only those photos that are print ready and are not duplicates, which depending on how many photos you take, could mean you are deleting between 50-80% of your photos.   Once you’ve had 6-8 weeks to implement the new system with the photos you take, start going back, month by month, and organizing / deleting your photos from previous years.   
2. Canvas or Framed photos: How do you choose?
If you don’t have photography sessions on a regular basis and don’t often update the images hanging on the walls of your home, canvases are a great option for displaying your images because they are durable and, depending on the vendor, can also be wiped down and withstand moisture and heat.  If you like to change the photos in your home on a regular basis, I would recommend using frames to display your photos to reduce the cost and inconvenience of replacing them on a regular basis.  Another option is to install photo rails in different areas of your house and display your photos in mattes on the photo rails.  This allows you to change out the photos on a regular basis without the cost of canvas or multiple frames and also allows you to display your photos on your walls in spaces where a framed print or canvas would look awkward if hung (e.g. above doors or cabinets)
canvas photo hanging on a wall
2. What size should I choose?
The most common mistake people make when choosing framed print or canvas sizes for their wall is choosing sizes that are too small.  If you are reluctant to print one of your photos in a size that is appropriate for over your bed or couch (e.g. 20×30 inches), I would encourage you to hang a grouping of smaller prints over your furniture rather than framing one smaller print (e.g. 16×20 or 11×14).  
3. What other options do I have?

When it comes to displaying your photographs, your creativity is the limit!  If you struggle for unique ways to display your photos some of my favourites are magnets, clothesline style display with clamps, and magnet strips and boards (for my boys’ rooms).  I like to have a few options around the house that allow me to regularly change our small photos (e.g. 4×6 and 5×7) with minimal cost and effort. I have a Pinterest board dedicated to ideas for displaying your photos that I update when I find new and creative display ideas that I love.  
door covered with photos
4. Where do I print my photos?

The invention of digital photography put cameras into the hands of people around the world and made the art form of photography accessible to nearly everyone.  The downside of the digitization of the art of photography is that the quality of printed products isn’t what it was decades ago when printing the images was as much an art form as the process of taking the photographs.Photographs printed at retail outlets are done in high volume batches without the attention of a trained professional.  To save money the ink and paper aren’t always of the highest quality, which means the photographs may not last for decades without fading nor will the colours be especially accurate.

If you do have your images printed at a local or online retail outlet and you aren’t happy with the results make sure to check their policy about having the images re-printed.  While there won’t likely be any additional costs with having the images reprinted (aside from shipping if you had them done online), you do have to factor in the time it will take to return to the retail store for additional re-prints.

You can see a side-by-side comparison of prints from local vendors here.
5. Photo albums or photo books?

I used to print photos to add to our albums until photos started sliding out of the sleeves when the boys were looking at them and family members asked for the images from my albums when they visited.  I made the switch to using photo books and have been really happy with the switch.  If you want to ensure that your prints aren’t lost or damaged by being removed from the plastic sleeves, I would recommend photo books over traditional albums. 

I print my family photo books every 6 months.  In order to make the process as easy and painless as possible I don’t worry about choosing fancy formats or adding a lot of text.  My goal is to make sure I have photo books printed of our memories on a regular basis so the boys can enjoy looking at them.  I currently use Blurb to print my photo books.