Get Those Vacation Pictures Off Your Phone
Show me your picture albums, especially the one of your last vacation? How about those picture frames on your wall? No? Where do you keep all your pictures?
Let me guess…in the pictures folder on your laptop. Or still on your phone.
How do I know this? It’s because I too am guilty of the same. Raise your hands, people! We all are!
But there is an easy way to get those precious memories off your electronics and out where people can see them! I’ve got tips to make this an easy project. You can repeat over and over until all your photos are organized and on display!
My family has been lucky enough to travel. We have been on some wonderful vacations! Recently though, money has been tight, and vacations have had to take a back seat. (If you’re in a similar place, you might also enjoy my post on How To Keep the Wanderlust Alive When You Can’t Travel). The boys have complained on more than one occasion that we don’t have any trips planned, but when one of them recently whined “We never go anywhere!” I sort of lost it.
“What do you mean we never go anywhere?!? Remember all the trips to Disney? Or what about our cruise?” I hollered in response. And the reply I got really hit hard.
“I don’t remember those trips.”
Whoa. My fault. Hard to remember when the photos are still on my laptop, the souvenirs packed away somewhere.
So, I set a goal to get our vacation pictures printed out, sorted, and put into a picture albums. It has been a lofty goal, let me tell you! It takes some time and effort, and money of course! And I’ve only made a dent in the trips. But as my kids gather around while I sort and insert pictures from our last trip, magical memories resurface (yes, it was a Disney trip). I can now see how important it is to preserve those family memories.
Here is my step-by-step guide, with helpful tips, to putting together a photo album of vacation memories!
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1. Buy a photo album
I tend to do this step first, because I like to pick an album based on the theme of the trip. Also, because you don’t know how many pictures to get printed if you don’t know how many will fit in the album. If this is a first time project, or if you have only a few photos, try a small “brag book” type album. If you know you have a lot of photos, pick a larger album. Try places like Michael’s, Walmart, Target or online at Amazon (a quick Google search “where to buy photo albums” will yield your local options too).
You can choose albums based on material, colour, theme, or size. If you think about having your albums on a bookcase and want to match your decor, try these fabric covered albums in a variety of colours…
2. Gather your pictures together in a single file
Make sure all the photos from one vacation are together in a folder or digital album. Depending on who is on your vacation, you might have multiple pictures. For instance, on our last trip, I have pictures from my mom’s digital camera, her ipad, my iphone and my son’s iphone. Yes, some of the pictures will be similar, but I find each person has a different “eye” or angle when snapping photos.
I have all my photos stored in “Photos” on my MacBook, and I’ll create a new album with the place and year, i.e. Disney 2014.
3. Highlight your favourite pictures
Set aside a block of time, say an hour, and scroll through all the photos individually. When you come across one you like, mark it as a “favourite” (in Photos, it’s the little heart icon in the top right). Don’t worry yet about the number of photos, just mark the best ones. If you want to get the family involved, have them help you pick their favourites.
Once you have gone through all the photos once, you will have filled a “favourites” album (If you are using Photos, you can now go to the Favourites album). See how many photos you have chosen. If it’s less than what will fit in your album, go back and add some more. If it’s more, try to pare down the number by eliminating similar pictures, or ones that aren’t as special. I usually go for a number slightly more, say 510 for an album that will fit 500. Inevitably when I sort and insert, some just won’t “fit” where I want them to, so I end up not using them.
TIP!! If you have special souvenirs that would fit in your album (like coasters/napkins from a favourite restaurant, maps, ticket stubs, etc) be sure to leave some spots for them when you’re deciding on picture numbers.
4. Get your pictures printed
There are lots of places to have your photos printed, with varying quality and price. When I really got serious printing my pictures, I did a test first to see which place I liked best. I took 10 pictures and uploaded the same photos to 4 different stores to see which ones I liked for colour, paper quality, price, speed and convenience.
With some places, you can take a USB stick with your picture files to the store, and use a self-service kiosk to pick and print. Others are strictly online. You create an account, upload your pictures and choose which ones to print.
TIP!! Make sure you take note of cropping! I learned after several attempts at printing pictures that digital photo files are not a standard 4 X 6 inch picture size. If you don’t custom crop, they automatically do, which in some cases results in crucial parts of your picture being cut off!
Costco was a clear winner for me, mainly for price (when I really started going at this project, printing thousands of pictures adds up!). They are usually pretty quick too. I can upload, crop and send my order to be printed, and it can be ready for pick-up the next day! I also keep my eye out for special promotions, and sometimes will save up projects to be printed then.
TIP!! If you have A LOT of photos to print, try breaking it up into smaller batches and spacing it out over a few weeks. This makes it easier on the wallet! Don’t try to do ALL your family vacations at once. Start with your most recent, and work backwards as you have time and budget.
5. Sort your photos and put in album
This is the best part, although sometimes the longest part. Make sure you have some space to work. Sort any way you want, but I tend to group photos together chronologically, day by day. I put shots of the room/resort/hotel together as well.
When you are satisfied with your order, start putting photos in the album. If it makes sense to group pictures according to a two page spread, or keep all the pictures of one thing, like food at a restaurant, on a single page, adjust accordingly. This can sometimes leave holes, which is a great place to add those souvenirs mentioned above!
Don’t get discouraged if you find you have to go back and remove pictures to adjust placement order. If you’re a little “perfectionist” like me, you might wind up doing this several times! In the end though, you will have a picture album you treasure!
6. Enjoy your album of memories!
You’ve put a lot of time and effort into it, now enjoy the best part… looking through your photos and reliving your vacation memories!
I find when my boys are bored (usually when I’ve banned the electronics for whatever reason), they will go to the bookcase, pick out a picture album, and sit down and leaf through the pages. Reminiscing about past trips brings a smile to everyone’s face! And I’m pleasantly surprised that each time, new or different memories of the trip emerge. A favourite food or drink, a special souvenir, a “remember when” moment. Maybe memories aren’t captured in a photo, but just reliving the vacation through photos brings it back fresh in our minds.
7. Lather, Rinse, Repeat
Once you’ve completed your first album, just repeat the process all over again! Soon you’ll have a collection of family vacation memories! And don’t stop there…you can do a similar project with family pictures throughout the years too. I’ve already purchased a couple of albums and plan to go through my pictures year by year, picking out my favourites and printing them. You can also do the same with collage picture frames on your walls.
In this age of digital everything, it is easy to forget the little things like browsing through family photos. Particularly when we’ve lost the rhythm of taking a picture with the camera, finishing off a roll of film and getting it developed to see our pictures. Don’t let your precious photos lay stagnant on your computer or phone. Get your pictures into albums or frames and enjoy the memories that you created!
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