Official Merrypad memo: This is not a sponsored post. It’s me trying to save you a load of money by switching to… Snapfish.
I know it’s getting to be a little bit of a lost tradition with the adoption of digital cameras, ginormous memory cards, and technology that makes it easy enough to wirelessly upload your photos directly to Facebook, Flickr, Insta-everything, but I still make an effort to get photos printed a few times a year. I don’t do it for album-building purposes, not for scrapbooking projects, just solely to have real, physical photographs in my possession. I like thumbing through photos. I like having photos around for other people to look at. I like not having to rely on iPhoto to browse my collection (I don’t know about you, but for me it’s stop-you-in-your-productive-tracks s-l-o-w, even on my new kick ass computer). And I like being able to stick a printed photo in the mail for Grandma to frame on her own mantle. She likes that too, I understand.
I have a few rules as I go about this ritual of printing photos, though. Or else I’d be spending hundreds of dollars a year on this hobby:
Only print pictures that are worthy of framing, or help capture a specific super-super important memory, like when you convinced your then brand new boyfriend to help build your deck. And when you threw him a party on it. The week before our garage sale last month, I discovered and emptied four photo binders from high school/early college (which sold for 25-cents each). What I had been saving in those binders was basically trash: 15 good photos capturing fun memories and happy people, and 385 downright blurry images, unbearably pixelated snapshots (from my first 2MP camera that still cost $325), and duplicates (because before digital, you not only shot the same photo 2-3 times to make sure everyone was actually smiling or the dog was looking at the camera, but you also always developed your film in sets, so you inevitably ended up with one good photo, it’s unnecessary dupe, and 4 other similar but not right photos. And in a digital age, please remember that there’s no law saying you need to plug your memory stick into the kiosk at Target and hit “print all”. Nor, for that matter, do you have to upload each of the 25 almost identical photos to Facebook that took of your kid in the left outfield of his first little league game. With the time stamp on.
Limit the production of photos of your garden, objects, and your dog. I know, I know, I take about 8,000,000 photos of Cody every month. But I only print a few. The best ones, where his eyes aren’t goofy, crossed, closed, red-eye, or looking rabid. You know what I threw away from those albums I mentioned earlier? Hundreds of super blurry dog-running and dog-sticking-face-in-camera-lens photos of the pups I had growing up. And you know this, I take thousands of photos of my own home every month; I don’t print all those. In fact, I print very few of them, maybe only .0001% of the photos posted on merrypad actually make it to print, and they’re usually just the cute ones of Pete. Similarly, I love looking at flowers as much as the next girl, but I only print photos of flora when it’s something I want to frame. And even then, it’s usually a one-off print job to get exactly the size I want, whether it be an 8×10, or something poster-sized.
I only print pictures when they’re 1-cent each. That’s right, screw the 10-cent/per print “low” pricing wherever you get yours printed and wait until you see an offer for penny prints. I use Snapfish exclusively for my photo printing needs (and have for over 10-years now); they seem to have this offer quarterly (or more often, or less often) where you can order 99-prints for 99-cents, or sometimes 200 for $2.00. And sometimes with free shipping. I’m writing about this because they have PENNY PRINTS going on RIGHT NOW (through Wednesday 7/11), so use offer code FIREWORKS at checkout you’ll get 99 prints for 99-cents. And you can use that code on unlimited orders. Whoop-whoop, photo time!
Actually, if you let me refer you to open a new account I’ll get some more free prints too, so leave me a comment and I’ll invite you today.
Final note: I still label every photo I have printed with the date, location details, as well as the people that are in the photograph. It might take a little extra time (hours, sometimes), but it’s totally worth it down the road when you can’t remember what year you went to Mexico. Which was only just last August.
Have a great second holiday weekend, lucky Americans! Back on Monday with a project that I’ve been putting off like it’s my job.