{don ‘t let your images die…}

final screen shot -01-02 at 4.35.02 PMWe all do it…hell, I am photographer and I do it (or should I say, don’t do it) all the time. PRINT PICTURES! Weather it’s on your phone, point-and-shoot camera, or professional gear – it just doesn’t seem to come off and if it does, it’s for sure to die a slow death on your computer. It’s crazy because we ohhh and ahhh over these moments in time and then bam…onto the next memorable moment. That is the thing – images are meant to capture a moment in time you don’t want to forget so let’s focus on some fun, easy, inexpensive ways to make the most of those images.

Don’t throw holiday cards away
This is an easy one. Your friends and family are spending lots of money these days printing those awesome holiday cards. Don’t throw them away as your putting away your holiday decor, rather use them year round. You can get creative with this but on the most basic level – grab some ribbon, hang it from your mantle, bookshelf, where’ve you have about 4-6 feet of horizontal space. Then cut out the images of your favorite holiday cards (so just cut the picture out and get rid of the “holiday” text). Get some funky paper or some card stock that matches your decor, glue the images on the paper and use miniature clothes pins to hang the images on your ribbon. It becomes a cute way to use those images already printed!

Canvas prints are all the rage and have been for the past couple of years. The great thing is they used to be quite pricey but have come down a lot recently. You can almost always find a deal on canvas prints on sites like Living Social or Groupon. I personally prefer CanvasonDemand.com – great quality and pricing. If you are unsure of how big to get your canvas, measure your wall space. I really love the 16×20 and I typically order that for most of my canvases.

Memory Game
There are all kinds of photo gifts out there but a new one I came across and absolutely love is a customized memory game. It’s a really special, unique gift or a fun game to have around for your kids and/or grandkids. I ordered mine from PinholePress.com – it came in an adorable box and only cost $19.99 – close to the same price you would pay for a board game, only this is much more fun!

Photo Blocks
Another great way to display your photos in a fun way is photo blocks. These also make great gifts. You can use the name of someone (ex: Mom, Dad, Nana), anniversary date, birthdate, quotes… the possibilities are endless. What I like about this is you can use several photos so you don’t have to pick just one favorite to display. There are several shops on Etsy.com that offer photo blocks. Check it out on Etsy.com and find your favorite style.

Photo Books
This is an oldie but goodie. Photo books are a great way to capture an event or recap the year. They are great gifts but also great to make for yourself or your family. The best part is they are easy to create and inexpensive. Shutterfly.com does a great job and I also love Blurb.com.

This is my personal favorite! It takes your photos one step further and creates a special memory. It seems intimidating but you can do this yourself or there are plenty of places that will do it for you (We do it for clients all the time) at a reasonable cost. I love making these videos – each year for my kids birthdays I make them a video of the year. The whole family looks forward to gathering around the screen to watch their “year in review”. My kids are 3 and 5 and beg to watch their birthday videos throughout the year (and honestly I love watching them myself). *Tip – it’s scary to go to your computer at the end of a year or at birthday time and try to compile photos in order so here is the best tip I can offer….when you import your photos simply make sure you label them with the month they were taken that when you go to view your images – you can easily sort them.

Polaroid Camera…yep, they are back
If you are totally doomed to ever print another picture – go out and buy yourself one of the awesome “polaroid type” cameras that have recently made a comeback. I recently purchased a Fuji Instamix mini camera and love it. I can instantly have a credit card sized picture at any event, vacation, wherever/whenever – then boom, create a cork board or frame a collage of them in your house. Super easy and fun. *Tip – I just saw the Fuji camera mentioned above on sale for $60 at Walmart – cheaper than any prices I found online.

Where to print?
It’s all about personal preference. I LOVE WHCC which is a professional photographers resource for printing however a couple years back I did a “color” test from all of my local developers/printers. For the Charlotte area, I thought Biggs Camera (on King’s) and Costco did the best job with my prints.


Mention Charlotte Today
Stay tuned for my feature on Charlotte Today (video to be posted shortly). Until then, if you would like to learn more about my photo shoots and/or inquire about booking a session. Please email me at nicole@WholeLottaGrace.com. Make sure to mention Charlotte Today to receive a discount.