Monday, February 11, 2013

What to do with all your Pictures

I've kinda self proclaimed myself as the picture police. It really stresses me out if you don't have some sort of "system" for your pictures.

Are your pictures just thrown in boxes?
Are they unorganized?
Do you just leave them on your phone or computer?

I'm going to share with you what I do with my pictures.

1. Make an Online Scrapbook

This is my personal favorite. It is a little pricey- but it's well worth the money. I've tried several different companies and programs. But I have found Heritage Makers to be the best for my needs and wants.
I upload my pictures to the company's site and work on the book all year long. It is not very time consuming if you keep it simple and don't over stress about making each page super detailed. I only work on it a couple of times per month and I stay caught up.

Every January after I finish up with the Christmas pictures I get my book printed and shipped.
It's like getting a present in the mail! So exciting! Our family makes a special deal out of looking at it together for the first time.

Our lives and memories are bound in a pretty book in chronological order. What a treasure!
You can do this in a Basic (Free) account! (or you can purchase a membership to get access to thousands of art pieces)

The money spent is worth it to me. The quality is excellent! (*Note- I do not receive any financial compensation from this company. I just truly love their product and wanted to share because I don't want your pictures to be in old shoe boxes.)

I've compared the prices with just printing my pictures off and putting them in albums and I've found the cost to be very similar. With using Heritage Makers I choose only the very best pictures instead of printing of 10 pictures of the same pose with only a slightly different tilt of the head.  (Yep.... All moms do that!... Don't Lie)

Another reason I love Heritage Makers is because I tell our family story throughout the pages. On each page I write about what's going on in our lives, what cute things the kids are doing, what we are thankful for, or the story of the picture etc.. etc...

Also the projects are saved on Heritage Makers forever. So my plan is to buy each of my children a set of the albums when they are settled with families of their own. I will buy each child 1 per year  from our past until they have their own collection. (My plan is to have more $$$ when our kids are out on their own so that I will be able to do this... surely that's how it works!!)

What else do I do with our pictures?

2. Make "The Wonderful History of  (insert child's name) boxes"

I wrote about it here.
Each year I make them a small photo album of photos of themselves to go in their box. I also include favorite pictures of them with us (mom/dad) and their siblings. I put their little photo albums in their stockings for Christmas. They love getting to look at their own personal memory book. The key here is to not get carried away with printing off all 300 pictures of them throughout the year. Buy a cheap photo album and PICK YOUR FAVORITES! 

My daughter is 3 and when she is sick or on a special day I allow her to look through her box. She loves it!

This is not time consuming at all.

Another Thing?

3. Shutterfly Calendars

To keep my pictures stored I
1. Upload them to my computer
2. Upload the ones I'm going to scrapbook to Heritage Makers
3. Upload them to Shutterfly

I create Monthly folders in my Shutterfly account to store the pictures. To stay on top of it I upload about once or twice a month to my shutterfly account. Also several members of our family  have Shuttefly Share Sites where we look at all the cute pictures of everyone's kids. I post mine monthly to the site for everyone to look at. (You can set this to private so only your family can see)

 Every December I make myself and family members (Christmas presents!) a calendar for the next year. Everyone loves it! You are able to put pictures on the actual Birthdays of loved ones. (Maybe this year I can manage to get some Birthday Cards out to nieces and nephews.... ahem.. hopefully)

All the pictures are already stored and ready to go.

4. 50 Year Anniversary Book

I purchased a $5 photo album from TJ Maxx that only has 50 picture slots.
Each year put 1 picture of you and your spouse in the book. Write the year and a small description of what you are doing. (This is easy to catch up on!)

For your 50th wedding anniversary you will have a book to showcase your 50 years of change together! (not to mention you will have your story from your online scrapbook) (Maybe our kids will throw us a really cool party and the book would come in handy) ..... If you hadn't noticed I really love Celebrating!

Last thing......

5. Random Loose Photo Box

Do you guys somehow end up with random loose photos throughout the year? I do... This happens when people give you pictures, you replace pictures in frames, you print off a couple extra every now and then, etc.. etc...

What do you do with them!?!

I put mine in a decorative box that I have easily accessible on a shelf in our living area.

A couple times a year I go through it. The pictures either go 1. In the kids "special boxes" or 2. in a photo album that I keep stored on a top shelf in a closet.

I only go through the box a couple times/year and it is not time consuming either. Because... Most of my pictures are online in my Heritage Makers scrapbook waiting for me to print off in January. This box is just the "catch all" for those random pictures we all end up with.

I hope this helps you to get organized and do something with your pictures........
If I knew that you just kept them on your phone or in an old shoe box----- I really might cry. I don't want you to lose them!

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  1. Love photos, and love all your ideas. One of my goals this year is to make some sense out of all our photos both digital and print!



  2. Love the ideas. I have tons of really old family photos from generations past that I am trying to make sense of right now. Scanning is so time consuming. I do Picaboo books and calendars with my current photos but I'm certainly not as thorough as you. I really love the 50 year anniversary book idea--so easy and sweet!

    1. Thanks so much! I did the 50 year anniversary book for a friend when they first got married..... Loved it so much I went back and did one for me husband and I. I was only 7 years behind- So it didn't take long at all to find 7 pictures:)

  3. Those are SUCH great ideas!! I love every single one of them! I will definitely be implementing the online scrapbooking, the kids stocking albums and the 50 slot photo album for me and the hubs. Seriously, I think you just changed my life haha!!

    Do you do anything special with all the family photos of cousins, best friends, etc. that you receive? I admit...they are in a box in our office! I just don't know quite what to do with our cousins' pics. They are very special to us and we get them 2-3 times a year (school photos, sports photos, family portraits), but they don't really belong in our albums...especially since we have other cousins who don't send us pics regularly. Anyway, just thought I'd ask!

    Thank you so much for sharing your ideas :)

    1. Hi! I'm so glad you like the ideas!! I love my online scrapbooks. They are smaller and easier to display around your home as opposed to big bulky albums. They look so neat and organized on our shelf! I notice guests and family pulling them down to flip through often!

      For all the "tangible" cousin/friend pictures that I get- I have just been putting them in their own "big bulky album" with the other "tangible" pictures that I collect throughout the year of my family/kiddos. Since most of mine are now online and in our printed scrapbook- I don't have too many loose pictures of my kids floating around... but you still manage to get those few:)... So i just stick them all in an album together.... If it's my kids with a best friend/cousin (and it's a really cute picture)... I'll get a cheap small picture album and add it to their "special box" that I keep in their closets.

      But I understand! I'm like you- We somehow accumulate those "random" pictures of loved ones/friends... After they come off the wall/refrigerator or whatever- into an album they go:)

      My whole family uses shutterfly share sites- So really cute pictures of family/cousins I can download to my computer and put in my online scrapbook:)... or if you use Shutterfly for your memory books- you can put them directly in there. This comes in handy at family functions when 1 person takes lots of pictures:)....

      I'm so glad you love the 50 year book! It's also a great gift to give to newly weds.... (cheap too!!!)

  4. I have a ton of pictures that need someplace to go! Thank you for amazing tips!

    1. Yay! We love our family yearbooks... and I'm looking forward to seeing our 50 year anniversary book- (only 43 years from now!)

  5. Hi Amanda-

    I found you over at Inspired to Action. What I've done with all my pics is created a book for each child. I have a photo album for 2 of the 3 and then I have a box filled with photos in no special order. The reason I don't have a box for the oldest is I started this pretty late (like 2 years ago) so it would be crazy trying to create one for him.

  6. I hate scrapbooking real, paper scrapbooks, but I love creating things online to give as gifts and keep. Since we had our Ladybug, I've started making a "yearbook" on shutterfly for each year of her life. I make photo books of our vacations now, and well I've been making calendars on either Shutterfly or iPhoto for quite a while. It's so much nicer than just having prints or not any type of print, I think.

  7. These are such great ideas! I admit that organizing all of our photos stressed me out! I used to be on top of it until we had our boys and now I can't keep up with the zillions of photos!!:-) I do print one full year photobook each year but I have never thought of the 50- year anniversary album before. I am going to work on that for my hubby for our anniversary this year- it's such a great idea!! (And I only have to find 8 photos to catch up!) thanks for hating these ideas and I inspiring me to get organized!!

    1. Yay!!! I'm so glad! That's when I started our book- I think it was last year- So I only had to find 7 pictures- It was not overwhelming at all! :) I'm about to have my 3rd kiddo- So I'll have 3- 3 and under... So I'm a little worried about staying on top of it- But my husband loves the books- So he usually encourages me to work on it a couple times/month... (Or it could be that he likes getting to watch a movie that I don't want to see while I'm scrapbooking! lol)

  8. Love this! I'm a Shutterfly junkie myself, and have been making my son a "yearbook" each year of his life. My goal before his birthday (in June!) is to get caught up! I haven't kept up with this year like years past. This post is just the kick in the pants I needed - thanks!


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