Thursday, June 19, 2014

Digi Photos and Albums, Tips

I've done it, I've taken over the dining room table !
Hyla cat has, too !!!! 

Granted, the table is only used once a year,
but it was the one room in the house that was
uncluttered and organized. Until now.

I've decided it was way past time to work on
getting digital photos printed.
Slowly but surely since the beginning of the year
I have been sorting through photos on my external hard drive.
As many as there are, I still swear there are not nearly enough
and realize there are many things I never photographed,
especially as the kids got older. They just would NOT cooperate
with having photos taken (unless they were taking selfies!).
Not to mention the many failed attempts at photographing events
only to have pictures so blurry they are worthless, memories were not captured.

What a time consuming project this has been
(seriously, it is nearly JULY already !????
where has my time gone???  "wasted" working on photos!)
and I haven't even started putting them
into albums yet ! What a box full I've had printed so far
and I have 18 more months to go through. 

Note: Many times photos do not print out the way they
look to you on your computer monitor.
This is true of all the different stores I've used,
it never fails that many of my photos come back
far too dark. It's very disappointing and I don't know
a way around it since in the same batch, photos
can come back looking just fine. Sigh.
I've used Shutterfly (I like that you can have words printed on the back),
CVS , Walgreens and Walmart. Walgreens has the best deals
such as 10c prints the most often. I have received a couple of
free print codes to Shutterfly, but once you add in shipping
on those free prints, it is nearly the cost of having them done locally. 

Albums, oh my goodness, once I started really
looking into them I was finding so many options, 
becoming  overwhelmed with the 
pros and cons of different styles.
In the end I chose to go with pocket albums
to store more photos in less space.
The albums themselves are quite large in size,
but they will hold 400 photos in them. 
Because the brand I chose in the end offered refill pages,
I ordered a set for each album so they will now hold 500 photos.
 Searched all over, the best deals for me were found at Adorama.
I have dealt with them before with no issues whatsoever so I 
was going to order from them. In the end I did not since the 
albums they sold did not have refills available and the two
styles I was looking at didn't state the photo safety of them
(surely they are fine, but just in case ......). Plus, there was that issue
of what if there was a problem, I would have to ship it back.
So the new won, although much more expensive
especially when I add in my time/gas driving to the store for an exchange,
over which had the most budget friendly and a nice variety of albums.. 

Here are the albums I bought:

Recollections TREVOR black faux leather photo album from Michael's.
It is a two post bound album that holds 400 photos.
I'll be adding extra posts, I like having three vs two posts
because I know from first hand experience of dropping a two post
album, the pages can tear out easily (this was one of my
cons on my pros and cons list of which albums to buy.....).
Additional pages can be bought and they include post extenders.
Look for sales on them because the albums alone are $24.99 ! 
Refill pages are $3.99.

Measure your shelves first before buying albums!
They are bigger than I wanted (book bound albums are slightly smaller),
but I knew this when I bought them.
I am able adjust the height of my shelves to accommodate how tall they are.
 They will however stick out over the edge as my shelves are not as deep as the albums.

Real stitching detail, textured "leather" , a photo frame 
and a clear plastic protector.

CD pocket in back of album.

This is one of two book bound type albums I already had
and was going to purchase more of but in a 5 photo per page style.
I then decided that the other pocket type may hold up better
(like we are going to be looking at them all that often!)
and the pages can be easily replaced if they become damaged. 
I also had the thought that the cream paper will show dirt, etc easily.
Not that I would have dirty hands looking at them,
but just to be safe.
I read lots of reviews at various websites concerning each type,
both had glowing reviews as well as some negative reviews.
It did seem to me that there were more negative comments
about the book bound style though . Mainly flimsier plastic
and that pages tended to come apart at those little "welds"
causing the photos to slip.

This really is a beautiful photo album.

I already have a small pile of  regular 12x12 scrapbooks
that I bought over the years to put pet photos
in. I have yet to do that! 
I ordered some pocket pages for those as well
to hold more photos. They don't fit perfectly so I will
need to use my Cropadile to punch new holes. 

Now here are some tips:

~Even if a marker says it is 
safe for writing on the backs of photos,
that is not necessarily true. Be sure to check
the ink first before stacking photos on top
of each other if you are writing on the backs.
Also, different photo papers react differently
to the inks, so test all photos first. I've found most
print services include a "photo" that is your order summary
so test out inks on that piece before taking a chance on ruining a photo.

~If you are writing on the backs of the photos,
be sure to do it in a hard surface and don't press too firmly.
If you use too much pressure or the photo you are writing on is on
something soft, such as a stack of photos, you take the chance of
"embossing" your handwriting onto the front of the photo.
That is, the pressure from your handwriting will cause
raised up areas on the front side if you are not careful.

~As you are printing out your photos, if you are not placing them
into albums right away, be sure to organize them in a way that makes
sense to you then keep them stored safely in photo boxes to avoid damage.
I have mine done chronologically and some special events are in their own envelope.

~ You may want to consider adding the word "printed" 
to the file name of the digital photos you have printed out.
I did this so if I should ever need to replace photos or 
go back through the digital files to think about printing more,
I'll know which ones I have already done.

~ You may want to copy the digital files you've printed to a 
compact disc and insert it in the albums as a backup.
Some albums come with sleeves made into them for this.

~Back up all digital files from the hard drive to discs !
I do this for all of my photos, numbering each disc
and adding the photo folder names and a brief description
in a notebook that I keep with the binder full of discs.
I even made a second set of discs to keep at my parents house
in case of a catastrophe at mine. That way, if something
horrible happened and I lost the computer, discs, photos,
I would still have digital copies at their house. 
This includes old negatives that I scanned.

~There are numerous ways to organize your photos on your computer
just as there are many ways to organize your photo albums.
Store all of your photos in one folder on your computer/external hard drive. 
You would then make subfolders as you like; mine are by years.
I simply save my files based on the date shot, 
using the year / month / date file name format.
I haven't taken the time to add tags to them, shame on me. 
I then add on a couple of words to describe the main subject,
such as Christmas, a pet or kids name, birthdays, etc. 
As for my albums ? I'll have one for each pet then pretty much
jumble all the rest of the immediate family photos in chronological order. 
 We took two "big" vacations over the years (yes, sadly, only two!)
that will have their own album as well. 

~ If you are doing any photo editing, be sure to edit copies , not the original.
I've learned this the hard way and yet I still goof up at times!

You can do a search online for hundreds of websites offering 
photo organization tips as well as free software for editing!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! You have been busy! I spent a day burning photos to cds and then had a lot of photos printed, but nowhere near the amount you are accomplishing!


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