You know how it goes …
You take one million photos of your travels/your kids/your adorable puppy and they just sit in an album on your phone.
This was totally the case for us with all of our roadtrip photos. As I’ve mentioned before, we took hundreds (and we’re so happy we did!) but we didn’t want to just let them sit on our phones.
The obvious choice is to print your favorites and frame them. Maybe include a few in a gallery wall (here are my gallery wall hanging tips) or have a large scale black and white print made at an office store for less than $10 (see how to do that here).
Of course you can turn all those precious photos into books (Artifact Uprising is my favorite place to order from).
Or create a slideshow on your computer that plays on a loop when the computer is not in use (Ryan did this on the computer we have in the kitchen and I love glancing over and seeing family photos showing on rotation).
Years ago, I ordered mini magnetic books for the kids’ Christmas stockings and they are adorable.
All of these are great options.
But, I have three more for you :)
And they all start with ordering a stack of 4×4 prints.
I order my prints through Social Print Studio (use THIS LINK to take $5 off your first order) but you can print them anywhere. I just happen to like the quality of paper they use and that little white border on each photo.
This beloved stack of our favorite road trip pictures has sat untouched for nearly a year. It was time to figure out what to do with them.
WHAT TO DO WITH PHOTOS IDEA #1 | put them on display in a bowl
I’ve been keeping the photos in their original packaging so they don’t get bent or smudged or lost and realized that that thinking is really silly. It’s like my tendency to buy a yummy smelling candle and then never burn it so it doesn’t run out. #burnthosecandles
So instead of hiding them away, I put a big stack in a wooden bowl right in the middle of the coffee table. The kids can look through them and guests can enjoy them. Yes, they will get bent and smudged and a few will probably go missing, but at least they will be out for us to enjoy.
This decorative wood bowl is from Target but any bowl, basket or tray would work as well.
WHAT TO DO WITH PHOTOS IDEA #2 | string them up
We have a massive old chalkboard hanging in our kitchen and it is the perfect background for a banner made of cherished photos.
I just knotted a length of twine from corner to corner and used small paperclips to attach the photos. This makes it super easy to switch out the photos and no hole punching is necessary.
I need to remember to order prints of each of the kids so I can do this for them on their birthdays!
WHAT TO DO WITH PHOTOS IDEA #3 | Put it in a floating frame with a special message
We visited the Bodie Island lighthouse in North Carolina and those wide black and white stripes were right up my stripe-loving alley. This is one of my favorite photos of our whole trip partially because of the memories attached to it (we were enamored with the whole Wright Brothers/Kitty Hawk/first flight history which is right down the road from the lighthouse), but I also just have a thing for lighthouses.
Also, I have a thing for this passage in scripture. When I forget my purpose or get lost in comparison or insecurity, I always circle back around to what the Lord asks of me … “let your light shine”. Easy as that.
So it seemed fitting that I add that little line to my lighthouse photo.
I started with a floating frame (two pieces of glass that you put your photo in between), my 4×4 print, a small piece of paper cut to size (4×1), pen and tape.
Next, I wrote out my phrase. If you don’t love your writing, you could print it out or use letter stamps.
I like to tape my photo into place in a floating frame just to make sure it stays put.
You could do the same with a special date, location, song lyric or quote.
If you’re searching for a floating frame, this is the frame I used, this zinc frame is very similar, this brass one is super cute, and here is a simple white lacquered wood version.
Okay, I have one last suggestion for what to do with your photos.
Label the back!
My grandma had a drawer full of old photos and I remember looking through them and always loved the old-fashioned scripty writing on the back sharing the location or date or who it was.
So I decided to do the same. It helps us remember where and when, but also great for guests to just be able to flip the photo over to find out details.
There you go … my best suggestions for what to do with all those photos you snap with your phone.
Need help taking and editing photos with your phone? You’re in luck! I just opened a new mini online photo class called SIMPLIFIED PHOTOS. It has 7 lessons and only takes about one hour to get through. Once you’re finished, you’ll not only know how to get better pictures, but you’ll be able to edit them like a pro in less than a minute. Yippee! DETAILS HERE.
Omg these ideas are so cute!! Thank you for sharing!
Emily — I can’t thank you enough for this post. What to do with iPhone photos is an ongoing struggle. I just haven’t found a strategy for archiving, printing, storing, etc. This post has inspired me!
I was so excited when I saw you mention Social Print Studio. I wanted to include a small gift in my wedding thank you cards, so I recently ordered magnets from them of a picture of the beautiful statue of Mary outside our church from our wedding day. I figured it would be a nicer memento for guests of our wedding years down the road then yet another picture of a couple on their wedding day.
The customer service I received was phenomenal and I’m so excited to order from them again. Keep the magnets in mind as another option!
I went on line and filled out an order with Social Print Studio and the discount code did not work. I did a live chat with them and they were very nice about giving me the $5 discount, but said the code was not valid. you may want to check into that.
Thanks for letting me know. I’ll double check the code.
Thanks for sharing all of these great ideas! A couple of questions — are the square photos you printed for the bowl on a heavier stock paper? Second, the company for books, artifact, have you compared their quality and pricing to other companies such as shutterfly? I used to use My Publisher before they went out of business. Quality was excellent (and if there was a problem which happened a few times, their customer service was fantastic) and the colour of print matched what was on my computer. Plus they always had these great coupons quite frequently. Have not found something comparable and I just returned from Tanzania so i’m looking to do a new book again(but I live just north of you in BC).