In a world that is becoming highly digitized and obsessed with technology, many of our favorite pictures are kept in that tiny “Photos” app on our phones. However, I am a strong believer that you should always display your pictures, especially after a professional pictures session. Yes, you can still use them as your background. Yes, you can still share them all over Facebook. But why not hang them up too? They are memories meant to be cherished and displaying pictures after your session is one way to remember these beautiful moments.
Where should you start?
Before printing your pictures, I recommend doing a little planning and preparation beforehand. Once you receive your edited gallery from your photographer, go through and download all the images to a safe place (maybe even twice to be safe!). Then, take some time to go through each one in depth and star or tag each picture that you would like to print. If you’re super Type-A like me, you can even create different folders. For example, if you had family pictures done, you could create folders entitled “Siblings”, “Mom + Dad”, “Individuals”, etc. so that it is easier when it comes time to print. This first step in displaying your pictures after your session is crucial!
Where should you print them?
First things first… you MUST understand that the price you pay directly correlates with the quality of image that you will receive. If you are wanting to pay the bare minimum and get pictures printed at a local CVS, so be it. However, don’t be disappointed if they come back a little bit blurry and the colors are distorted. It’s important to find places to print that are both cost-effective and have high quality printing. My first recommendation is always mpix.com. This website has some of the lowest printing prices for the quality that you will receive. I have ordered countless prints off this website and both the customer service and fast delivery never disappoint!
If you are wanting some higher quality printing, I recommend trying WHCC (White House Custom Color) or Miller’s. Both companies make all prints in a color lab and ensure that your quality will be the highest possible. I would go this route if you were looking to order a very large decorative piece of wall art, such as a canvas. This would make sure that your print is produced to be as clear and true-to-color as possible.
How can I display them?
There are DOZENS of ways in which you can display your images after getting them taken. My favorite way to display images is using either wooden or metal canvases to hang in various places in your house. Canvases are durable, long-lasting, and high-quality pieces that can really add beauty to your living space by incorporating your images. You can hang them up, put them on shelves, or even hang them in a gallery with other prints. There are so many ways for displaying pictures after your session, you just have to decide which one is best for you!
When hanging on a wall, there are plenty of options as to how to design them. One way is to get 4 large prints, each the same size, and set them up in a square pattern. If you are wanting to use more photos, then choose smaller print sizes and arrange 9 of them in a grid pattern to hang on the wall. For something more creative, you can even get a variety of print sizes and hang them in different heights and patterns to create a unique, modern look.
Another common way to display your pictures after a session is to use basic prints and place them in picture frames. There are so many different sized print options to choose from and seemingly endless options of decorative picture frames to put them in. Hobby Lobby, Home Goods, or even TJ Maxx all have inexpensive picture frames that look modern inside homes. Picture frames look wonderful when put on hanging/floating shelves, especially above beds, couches, or other pieces of furniture. In addition, they always look timeless when placed on top of bookshelves, nightstands, mantels, or other high areas. There are so many ways to hang them or place them, it’s just up to you to find which you like best!
Keepsakes through an album
One last way in which you can formally display your session is to order a photo album or photo book! These are high-quality and durable books in which you can customize and design your images into 30+ page albums. Albums are unique because they are collectible and will never grow old. I still have photo albums in my closet from my younger years and they are just as special now as they were 10 years ago! You can even write in captions or text that you want to remember about certain pages or images.
These look beautiful when placed on an end table for guests to look through, or even set up on a bookshelf for you to flip through whenever. Even further, albums allow you to include as many images as you want, so you don’t even have to decide which ones you want to print! Some families will even take all the images from their session and compile them into one book to remember those sweet memories.
The Ordering Process
Once you are finally ready to order, make a list of everything that you are wanting ahead of time. For example, you could say I need two 8 x 10 wooden canvases, ten 4 x 6 regular gloss prints, and three 5 x 7 regular gloss prints. This can drastically help you keep track of what you need to order before even entering the website. When ready to order, make sure that you upload the highest quality images that you are wanting. No one wants a blurry image, so make sure to use the clearest version of your pictures!
Ensure that you are ordering the products you need. It may sound silly, but there are hundreds of different options on printing websites. It’s very easy to select the wrong option on accident. You may need to crop your images if they are too large for the size of print you are ordering. Make sure to crop them how you like so that nothing gets cut off. Finally, once you have everything added into your cart, go through your list and cross check it with your original list to make sure that everything looks correct.
When in checkout, make sure to also check any boxes that say, “no color correction”. Sometimes, printing companies will “color correct” prints and the editing style can come out a little bit different than what you see on your phone. Make sure to uncheck this box so that you receive exactly what you see on the screen! Place your order and wait for your prints to be here soon! :)
My promise to you
As a photographer, I cannot stress how important it is that my clients print their photos. My mission is to bring life and joy into every relationship that I have the opportunity photograph. Part of that is displaying pictures after your session so that you can relive the beauty and joy of those moments. Please also know that I am MORE than happy to help with any printing of photos or advice about displaying your images after your session. I am here from the very beginning until the very end and want to help along every step, even printing!
If you do print your images, do me a favor and send your photographer a picture of how you have displayed them! I can promise you it will make them smile and so, so happy to see that you are enjoying your pictures! I hope you will be able to use some of these ideas to display your own family, couple, wedding, or newborn pictures in your home! :)
Indy-based wedding photographer for the joyful, classic-living couple