How many of your photos are still just files? We talked last week about the importance of getting your photos out of digital form– printing them –so that they could be seen and enjoyed. But how? How, exactly, do you take files and make them into photos?
This can be a difficult question to answer because it depends on where you are. Some people don’t know how to get their pictures off their phones or cameras in the first place, and other people just don’t know how they want to print them. Here are some ideas and pointers no matter where you are.
How Do I Get My Photos Off My Phone or Camera?
If this is the hurdle that’s tripping you up, don’t worry because you are not alone. I am surprised sometimes to find how many people take pictures with their phone or camera but don’t actually know how to do something with them besides store them there. This prompted me to write a post with some options and directions a few months ago. The information there should help you over this first hurdle, which is a very important one to be able to jump! Without this, you can’t turn your files into photos. And, trust me, once you’ve gotten this far, you’ll be thrilled to now be able to actually do something with your photos.
By the way, sometimes you can send your photos from your phone straight to printing using an app on your phone. The link in the previous paragraph does that for digital memory-keeping, but some other photo printing sources have that option as well.
My Digital Photos are on My Computer. Now What?
First thing is to pat yourself on the back! No kidding. And now that your photos are on your computer, it’s time to make them into something! You may need to explore some options to find what works best for you, but these are common options these days:
- Simply submit them to a photo printing source to receive back plain hard copies. Walmart, Target, Walgreens (and others) have photo-processing centers, and there are online companies such as a new one called Snap2Finish* as well. Most of these have websites where you can open an account and upload your photos for printing. They print and you pick up the prints. Once you have your photos in hand, it’s important to give them a high-quality home where you can also tell their stories. A shoebox doesn’t count! You might want to re-visit some of the solutions for non-scrapbookers I mentioned a few weeks ago, or finish up with the scrapbooking style of your choice if you’re so inclined.
- Skip the step of printing physical photos and make your digital photos right into digital books or scrap pages. One of the advantages of printing digital books or photos is that you have the option of ordering multiple copies without repeated work. (I highly recommend using a website that keeps your project in your account indefinitely just in case something happens to your original project, too. And CHECK, because not all companies do! This was a huge factor in my own choice of digital publisher.)
Whatever you choose, be happy with it. Choosing something YOU WILL DO is vital to the success of getting your photos out of digital form consistently so you can enjoy them.
Storing Your Digital Photos
The current thinking for storing digital photos is TWO WAYS DIGITALLY and ONE WAY IN PRINT. I personally do all of that at the same website, but however you store your photos, keep in mind that the PRINTED form is the most meaningful way to store your digital photos! It counts! In a world that focuses so much on digital photo storage, print counts!
There are additional “how”s of getting your photos out of digital form, too, such as “How do I find time to do this?” or “How do I move forward with my goals for preserving photos and stories and memories?” or “How do I even begin?” We will visit these in upcoming weeks on #familyhistoryfriday as we break down FAMILY HISTORY into FAMILY STORIES and then into bite-size pieces. Start with getting your photos out of digital form, though, and you will have overcome the hardest hurdle. It’s just fun from here!
*When opening a Snap2Finish account to print photos, use referrer ID 101124153. Be aware that this is currently the Beta version of the brand-new Snap2Finish line, so not all products are available yet. All the products will be available this summer, as will the option of publishing from a PDF.
- snap2finish. (2017). Retrieved from https://beta.snap2finish.com/