Most of my blogs are about how to take better photographs, but it’s time we looked at what to do with the ones you take. What do you do? Share a few on Facebook, send some to grandparents and every now and again print and frame the special ones? Gradually your hard drive gets full and your computer starts to slow down and you buy another external drive. If you’re wise, you back up to one of the many online services offered. Eventually your precious holiday photos get lost and forgotten. Digital photography is so much better than film in so many ways, but at least we printed pictures in the old days, put them in albums, frames or boxes and left a legacy for our children and grandchildren to browse through. There is a very real risk that we are leaving future generations nothing to remember us and our lives by. How will they know to access our hard drives or online folders?
This is what I like to do with family holiday photographs – more for sharing and enjoying as a family, but there is the added advantage that they stand a chance of being seen by my grandchildren and great grandchildren.
- Pick out the best ones. I always get carried away and take too many, so the first step is to get rid of the rubbish and then select the best ones. On our holiday to Florida in 2012 I returned with about 800 images and reduced this to around 250.
- Edit them. I love editing photos, knowing that they’ll have a little extra zing if I make the effort. You don’t have a to be a whiz with Photoshop as you can perform basic edits with software like Picasa (free from Google). Where necessary I crop, adjust the brightness and contrast and make the colours more punchy. Occasionally I make an image black and white if I think it makes it look more impactful. If you enjoy editing and want to have more scope then check out Photoshop Elements, a simpler version of Photoshop and aimed at the keen amateur. You can download a free trial if you’re not sure.
Now you’re ready to get creative.
- I love photo collages as a way to give people a quick view of our holiday without them having to browse through an entire gallery. I create them with Picasa, it’s extremely simple to do and if you’ve not had a go, take a look at my blog on how to create collages with Picasa. The one above is from a 2011 holiday in Cornwall and I framed it in a cheap IKEA frame and hung it in the downstairs loo. I love seeing the photos on a daily basis.
I also made a collage using pictures from a very special trip to Venice and included some quotes from a Venetian chef. Create the quotes in Word or Powerpoint, save them as JPEG files and then include in your collage.
My favourite framed collage is a huge one I did of the kids. I picked out my all time favourite photographs of them as babies and toddlers, converted them into black and white, created it and had it printed and framed at 50″X50″. It’s stunning and I see a different picture each time I look at it. If you’d like to know which professional printing and framing company I use, leave a comment and make sure you like my Love Your Lens page 🙂
- I ‘m also a big fan of photo books as a great way to have your favourite photos handy. I’ve used lots of companies and my favourite for book and print quality is Bobs Books. You download their software, pick the book size and quality and then build your book using their templates and dragging and dropping your images into place. You can choose from photographic quality paper or magazine type print. The former is more expensive but if it’s a special book then well worth it.
- Calendars are another way to have images on display all year round. I used to create a collage for each month using pictures from the same month in the previous year, so that we could see what we’d been doing one year ago. I had them printed with Vistaprint as they always seemed to have special offers, but you can get them from all sorts of online companies now.
- We have travel mugs with images on and I’ve been looking at personalised photo phone cases and bank cards.
The message here is that there are ever increasing ways of displaying and sharing digital photographs and no excuse for them to remain hidden and forgotten on hard drives or in The Cloud. What are you going to do with your’s?
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