At nearly every class I teach, this question comes up: “where do you print your photos?”
Although I’m sure the mom who asked this question really does want to know the places I love the most for printing quality images with ease, I always like to think about the deeper question under the question.
This mom is likely busy. She’s tired. She feels guilty that her photos are on a device.
So the real question she wants answered isn’t ‘WHERE do you print your photos’. It’s ‘WHEN do you print your photos’.
My guess is she’s feeling overwhelmed and lacking the time and energy to commit to the printing process.
Perhaps with her first baby she diligently hand scrapbooked a beautiful album.
But now she’s staring at a backlog of years and years of photos, has multiple children, and doesn’t have any clue where to dive back in to the process. She THINKS she just needs to find the right company to inspire her.
But I think the problem goes deeper.
It more about her level of commitment and where she’s willing and able (or not willing and able) to devote her precious time.
I I say all of this with utmost love.
Because I was this mom, and I had this problem. The deeper problem. I knew the value of printing my images and how they allow my family’s story to be shared. I thought if I just found the perfect company it would magically make the process easy. But ultimately I discovered it wasn’t simply about finding a place to print.
The other bigger problem was that I wasn’t making the time to sit down and do the work.
I was saving it for another day. And another. And another. 4 years later and my photos were still sitting on my hard drive.
That all changed this year. Something in me shifted and I didn’t even want to take photos anymore for the fear that I still wouldn’t do anything with them. I began to question my purpose as a photographer, coach, and mentor to other moms.
So I made the commitment last fall to printing. And I’ve learned several lessons after a year on this journey, and after the completion of over 10 projects since I started.
From October 2014 – October 2015 I printed:
*2 thumbprint photo display boxes
*A set of photo magnets
*A print of preschool artwork to hang in our craft room
*2 annual hardcover yearbooks (of close to 300 pages each)
*A softcover book of preschool art my daughter created
*An almost 400 page softcover trade book with photos of our family dating from the 1920’s to the present
*A refreshed photo wall of canvas squares in my home office
*Refreshed frames in our family room with 8 new 8×10 prints
I took 60 students along for the ride with me during my online based Embrace class and learned several lessons during the process.
Here are 9 secrets to printing photos I’ve taken to heart along the way.
Perfect photos are an illusion
The photos you saw as terrible or imperfect 3 years ago are now your favorites. They’re the reminder of that silly expression she used to make or that place you used to always visit or her sheer smallness.
We take too many pictures
The digital age affords us the opportunity to snap photos 24/7. Which pulls us further away from the present moment and connection. We can do better. We must do better. It’s ok to stop snapping for a bit and enjoy a moment for what it is.
There is no one size fits all project
I went into this year wanting to print annual yearbooks. I stayed the course but also found others feeling overwhelmed. Breaking up projects into smaller parts: monthly books, event books, vacation books are a way to bring more ease, confidence, and success to the process.
Time can always be found
We think we need big chunks of time to get these book projects done. And it’s nice when we can devote a good long hour or two to the process. But we can also accomplish A LOT in smaller 10, 20 or 30 minutes chunks too. Think of how much time you spend on your phone, on social media, or watching TV per day. Imagine what you could accomplish if you replaced even a few hours of that time with the dedication to your photo archives. That’s where I made the magic happen on my own journey.
There’s always a sale
I found that right at the time I was finishing up a book a new sale with my favorite company would begin! Instead of waiting for sales I just worked my process and it seemed there was always a deal to be had when I was ready to order. If there wasn’t I would save my book project until there was one.
Books bring us back to center
Having photo books to look at are always a tool for connection, guidance, and a quick refresh. They were a way to ground if we were getting way off course and an instant conversation starter
Images are a tool for gratitude
Photos allow us to see our memories through a positive light. Even if the moment before or after a photo was snapped was the most terrible or grumpy moment of our year, the preservation of that memory now is like a beacon of light that allows us to feel grateful to be on this journey.
We owe this process to our kids
It’s important that they are able to see their history in print. Not just in a flash of fleeting digital time and space. They need to know their story is important enough to appear in the pages of a book that is proudly displayed in our home.
Commitment is key, but community helps
We have to commit over and over and over again to the mundane task of sorting, organizing and prepping our photos for print. Simply saying you’re going to complete a project doesn’t mean it will get done. But having a community of friends who are all there with the same commitment can keep you on track when you start to veer off course.
LET ME SHOW YOU HOW TO JUGGLE YOUR FULL SCHEDULE SO YOU CAN GET BACK TO THE CREATIVE PROJECTS THAT FULFILL YOU.
I know you want to finish the book that’s been sitting on your nightstand for ages, or complete that half finished quilt in your sewing room, or print that photo book of memories you’ve been wanting off your phone.
You can during the FREE 6-day Recapture Time Email Class. Sign up HERE!