Currently, I have 8,231 photos living in my phone. I won’t look at the number on my computer because I know it’s A LOT! I love photos; I always have and I always will. My house is decorated with them. I print them a few times a year. I have been into redecorating our spaces this year. Photos are my favorite art.
I was telling a friend about this, and immediately she delved into the idea that photos are so overwhelming. She’s not the only person I have heard this from. As a photo lover, I have so many ideas to share. As a photographer, I ask that you please print out your photos! We spend hours tweaking your photos, so they look artwork ready — get them out of your phone!
Step 1: Organize your photos.
This step is the hardest. Start small, 15 minutes a day. Delete duplicates or accidental feet shots. Breaking into a small chunk every day helps, once you go through the initial organizing it is so much easier to maintain. I have files on my computer for each year and then split into months. I spend about 5 minutes a month organizing once I made the initial effort 7 years ago.
Step 2: Make them tangible.
I feel very strongly about getting photos off of your screen. I make a photo album every year. It is a labor of love and it takes me a lot of time. I work on this several times a year.
There are a million companies that do this. I often use Shutterfly because it will save my work for an entire year as long as I order something every year. Other companies I love are Mpix and Mike’s Camera in town is amazing for prints and photo products! (Both of these are professional quality, but available to everyone.) I love Artifact Uprising. The products are stunning! I haven’t actually ordered from them… yet!
I keep the photo books on our bookshelf, and it makes my heart swell every time my kids take them out and look and laugh at our memories. It makes the effort I put into them worth it.
I used to print out photos every time I saw a sale. It was overwhelming — I had to spend weeks organizing them all. I am a little more strategic now, printing out my favorite photos for each kid around their birthday. I store them in photo boxes. Each kid has one, I have a box from my husband’s and my childhood, and another for family memories that are all jumbled together.
I get prints four-ish times a year. It drastically reduces duplicates and excess. I have a string with clothes pins above each kid’s bed. I let them choose a few favorite photos and we hang them up. They love being surrounded by their memories, and I love seeing how it changes every year! I have been eyeing a photo frame box from artifact uprising. It’s on my list for my birthday! 37 is the year for photo gifts, right?
I have four photo walls in my house. I try to plan for photos that can last years. My favorite display is above our couch. It’s from Smallwood Home. The photos are printed on wood and come framed in wood — I love how it looks. I planned these frames around milestones. One blank spot needs to be filled, and I have family photos from this year to use! Another area is filled with vacation photos. And I have one large family print in our dining room that I change out every few years — I paired that with landscape shots of places that we love!
My stairway art, I try to change out seasonally. I love reliving memories of past years this way, and it’s a fun way to decorate for the seasons. Mixtiles decorate my kids’ rooms; they are affordable and really easy to hang up. I love the way they print, and how many options they have.
Step 3: Forget all the rules.
Photos can be overwhelming; there is a pressure to get that one perfect shot. There’s a need to have a Pinterest-worthy house to show. There are decorating rules that need to be followed, etc. It is too easy to get caught up in the rules. Have fun. Use the photo that shows three chins because you were laughing sooo hard. Hang up the photo that shows your kid’s face smiling so huge that you barely notice the hours-old crusted spaghetti sauce dried on their forehead.
There are no rules to loving your family. I promise you won’t regret smiling at your sweet child’s face hanging up in your hallway! Photos are magical. They are the only way to pause time.
Now I want to know, how do you display your photos? What is your favorite way to display your family?