300 million photos are uploaded to Facebook daily (yes, daily!!!!)

Every second, about 26 photos are uploaded to Instagram

 67% of moms take a photo of their kids weekly on their phone

Clearly, we are living in a photo obsessed society.

We snap and share pictures without even thinking twice. Personally, I love taking pictures and posting them to social media or emailing them to my family. And I also love seeing photos that my friends and family share online, because I can easily keep up with their lives and stay current with their growing families.

But how often do we print our photos or make an album to preserve them for our future generations? To me, this is an incredibly important part of creating family memories!

“Want to make sure a photograph survives your lifetime? Print it out.” That’s the warning Internet pioneer Vint Cerf gave at a talk recently, saying that vast amounts of digital information may soon be lost in a new digital “dark age.”

Luckily, there are lots of great ways to make the task of preserving and printing digital images easy and fun … so read on my fellow shutterbugs!

1) First, let me start with what NOT to do. Please, for the love of all that’s holy and good, do NOT print your precious photos through an instant developer at a retail store like Costco, CVS or Wal-Mart. Ick, Yuck, No No!!

These instant photo developers are there for you when you need a photo immediately, but their prints are typically poor and the concept of “heirloom quality” doesn’t exist. I’m sure you’ve seen digital prints that are a few years old but already look faded and dingy. That’s due to an at-home print job or an instant developer.

Please, I beg you, use a quality photo printer … and have no fear, I have included some great suggestions below!

2) Work with a reputable, professional photographer. Photographers take great pride in the finished photos we produce. By enlisting a professional who works with photos every day, not only will your final images look great online, but if managed correctly, your images will look even better printed out — especially if you want large size prints.

A knowledgeable photographer will be able to educate you about all things printed, enlarged and framed. We take the time to color correct and process your images to ensure they look their best hanging on your wall or in your album.

Many photographers have partnerships with printing labs, which have delivered great printed photos and albums to us and to our clients countless times. We are able to ensure that images from our lab partners will come to you looking beautiful and you’ll be proud to showcase your images.

Working with businesses who comply with environmentally conscious, sustainable practices is VERY important to me, so I proudly print with Bay Photo Lab. They are are a “Certified Green Business” so you can be confident that prints ordered through me will look amazing and you’re doing your part to help Mother Earth.

Family photo printed onto maple - from Bay Photo Lab

Family photo printed onto sustainably sourced maple – from Bay Photo Lab

3) If you print your digital images yourself, choose a trusted photo lab that uses professional photo papers, so that you always receive the longest lasting and highest quality photographic prints available.

There are numerous professional photo labs to choose from, here are some of my personal favorites:

  • Search for a local print lab. If you’re in North County San Diego, I recommend using North Coast Photo.
  • For printing your photos through an online resource, I love Mpix. Their site is easy to use and I’ve gotten great results from this company. 
  • For eco-friendly and super hip prints and photo products, I love Artifact Uprising. You can upload images from your computer or make photo products directly from your Instagram account! How cool is that? 

4) If you want to create a photo album from your digital files, there are lots of fun options. You can choose to do a simple design process or you can have full control over the photo placement, text and add embellishments. Here are some of my favorite DIY album companies:

  • For a professionally printed custom album I recommend Bay Photo Lab. They offer beautiful, high quality albums and as I mentioned above, they’re a Green Certified Business as well, which I love!!
  • Shutterfly has great designs for making your own photobooks. And they often have discounts and coupons available.  However, inexpensive online printers like Shutterfly are not considered heirloom quality.  These albums are just not the same as a “professionally printed custom album” which you can source through a professional photo lab. But they’re great for quick easy gifts.

5) Here’s a trick that I use to make printing photos less burdensome: I have a folder on my computer called “To Print”. When I take photos that I know I want to print out, I save a copy of the image to that folder. Then I do a batch print job a few times a year. You can often save money when printing in bulk.

So, now I challenge you, to take action with your digital photos! Set up a plan to print or make albums regularly.

If you’d like to talk to me about creating beautiful photo memories of your family, please contact me, I’d love to work with you!