There’s nothing more annoying than seeing that notification on your smartphone telling you you have no more storage space for photos. Not only do you have to spend time moving photos off your phone and onto your computer or an external hard drive, but you have to figure out what you’re going to do with them once they’re there! It used to be straightforward “back in the day”, when we used to HAVE TO get our photos printed in order to enjoy them. But nowadays, you can take a photo on your phone, look at it once or twice, then offload it to a hard drive and forget it even exists.
I’ll be the first to admit that I have tons of photos I took on my smartphone that are just sitting in an external hard drive somewhere. But I’m ready to get those photos out into the light of day, so we can actually enjoy them! I’ve scoured the web for some fun and easy ways to (finally!) display and enjoy all those photos. I know I’m going to try out a few of these, and I hope you do too! :-)
There are a ton of great services out there today for getting your treasured photos out of your phone and onto the pages of a custom photo book. For using photos directly from your own Instagram feed, look no further than the Chatbooks app. It’s free to download, and allows you to order custom photo books based on your choice of photos, or you can order photo books based on the chronological order of your Instagram feed. And if this sounds awesome now, it’s about to get even better! The good people at Chatbooks have agreed to offer a special deal to all you readers – use the code JILLEECHAT to get your first Chatbook FREE! :-)
For non-Instagram photos, there are even more options available. If you have a Mac computer or laptop and utilize the Mac Photos software (previously called iPhoto), they recently introduced an option to create and order photo books right from the software. Softcover books start at $9.99, and hardcover books with dust jackets start at $29.99.
Several months ago I ordered a couple of sets of fridge magnets from Sticky 9, a service that allows you to order small, square magnets with your Instagram photos printed on them. They come in sets of 9 magnets, which can be either 9 individual photos, or one image spread across 9 magnets, like a puzzle. I love seeing my cute photo magnets on my fridge every day!
Fun & Games
For those with little ones at home, you can turn your photos into fun games they can play with! An easy option is or order your photo as a puzzle, like this one from Pinhole Press. You can also create a custom memory game through Pinhole Press (shown above), where you submit several pictures that will be made into matching pairs of tiles with a cute design on the back of each.
If a photo calendar brings to mind the image of a laminated, spiral bound kid’s project, you’re in a for a great surprise! The photo calendars you can order online these days are beautifully designed and printed on high quality papers. This one from Artifact Uprising is displayed on a wooden clipboard for an extra rustic touch. You can also find great options for photo calendars at Shutterfly, Vistaprint, and Mixbook.
Grouping several photos together in the same wall space can make a big visual impact in your home. But if you’re anything like me, you may struggle with committing to which photos you’re going to display! So why not create a gallery wall that’s easily changeable, so you can update the photos whenever it strikes your fancy? I found this photo on Better Homes and Gardens, as part of a larger home renovation, but I fell in love with the idea of using clipboards as the foundation of your gallery wall. Updating the photos is as simple as clipping the new one up!
I posted about a similar idea a couple of years ago when I was decorating my home office (long before we moved to our new studio space). I used picture ledges and frames from IKEA to make what I called my “perpetual inspiration” wall, where I displayed a mix of photos and inspirational graphics. While updating each photo took a bit longer than it would with clipboards, it also gave me more freedom in terms of the sizes of prints I could display.
Digital Photo Frames
If you’re looking for a way to display your photos that’s also eco-friendly, look no further! A digital photo frame is the perfect way to show off your vacation pics, family photos, or whatever else you may want to put on display, PLUS you don’t have to print anything! Most digital photo frames have a slot for a USB drive or an SD card, so you can just plug your preferred device right into the frame. Select your display options, like the amount of time you want each photo to display, and enjoy those photos!
Another great option is to get a digital photo frame with WiFi capabilities. They’re more expensive than their non-WiFi counterparts, but you’ll be able to upload photos directly to the frame via email or through an app. That means that you can upload new family photos to Grandma’s photo frame, even if she lives on the other side of the country. The new photos will display on her frame immediately, without her having to lift a finger!