Lesson 02 | Printing Photos

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Hi guys!

In Lesson 02 I want us to talk a little about printing photos and then I want to share with you a bit of my own process in organizing photos and my actual process for printing.

First off, let me be the first to acknowledge that printing  photos is one of the hardest parts of scrapbooking! I have heard from many of you that printing can be a daunting task, and can even be the thing that stops us from getting anything done at all. I have gone through that too, and especially working on a weekly project, this part can seem overwhelming.

Hopefully in Lesson 01 you have now created an outline (even a loose one is ok!). One of the biggest reasons I like to create an album outline is that it become the basis on which we will print all our photos, and in that way big decisions are already made. In that outline we have determined which layouts and which order, and now we determine which photos. Keep your outline handy as you work through your photos, if you are working with previous years. If you are working through this year, then I recommend using the advantages of metadata to give you access to your photos one week at a time. Metadata is the file information attached to your photo such as date, time, and camera, and you can also add your own metadata such as tags, locations, events, etc. I particularly use the date stamps on photos to help me organize them.

I want to share with you a video of this portion of my process that I complete with the help of Lightroom. This video is NOT a full tutorial on how to use Lightroom, and you don’t have to have Lightroom to do your process in this way. But in this video I talk about how I make some of the decisions of which photos to actually print and it is also an overview of how Lightroom can be helpful for printing. You will also get a closer look at how our photos are organized in this video!

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Once we have a general idea of which photos we want to print, we have to spend a little time preparing them for printing. If you are a digital photographer then cropping is a must so they will print in the correct aspect ratio. Digital cameras such as your DSLR and iPhone will capture the photograph in a format that prints more like 4 3/8″ x 6.” But photo prints are actually 4×6, so depending on how you took your photos, you might want to double check those ratios before you have them printed. For your phone photos there are apps to help, and we will chat more about that in Lesson 03. My go-to is Photoshop and Lightroom for edits on my desktop, and A Color Story app on my iPhone.

What we want to determine alongside with which photos is how many photos we need for each layout. I typically like to have five to six 4×6 photos on a two-page spread, and then any vertical oriented photos or supporting photos can be printed in a 3×4 format to go in the smaller pockets. Any photos that have been posted online and might be lesser quality can be printed square and smaller, if need be, and then layered in any pocket.

“Determine what you want to carry forward in your album and choose your photos based on that.”

My personal goal in my album is to tell the weekly stories about how our family is getting to be where it is, specifically through relationships , interactions, and scenery and events around us. In the Lightroom video I spoke about using photos that showed the relationship between Addison and Nick, and Addison and his Dad. I also have what I consider “points of reference” around the house and in our environment, such as the street in front of our house, the living room from a certain vantage point, and other consistent backdrops. These backdrops are the backdrops of our life and provide an ever-evolving snapshot of how our relationship to the world changes. Especially when you have children: their relationship to the furniture is constantly changing as they grow taller (or, in Addison’s case, as he has stayed the same while the others have grown taller). A few weeks ago I shared a layout about Natalie when she was not even as tall as a fire hydrant!

“These are excellent reference points that tell part of our stories right beside the who, what, when, where and why.”

So, let me summarize what photos I like to print:

1) the who, what, when, where and why. These are easy, easy to take and easy to select, aren’t they? They are important in their own right.

2) the relationships that our photos show between all the members of our family. In our family histories, relationships have been the thing that keeps us going. Our relationships to each other have enriched our lives and are particularly relevant to who we each are and how we all got here. Photos have a great way of revealing those special relationships.

3) our relationship to the world around us. We are all ever-evolving creatures, and as a memory keeping Mom I am particularly aware of our children’s relationships to the environment around us. They are growing and discovering every single day and I can’t possibly capture it all, but sometimes when you open those weekly photos, one jumps out at you and you realize you are looking at their growth compared to the bar stools at the counter, or the fire hydrant in the front yard.

This is it for me, regarding printing photos. Focus on these relationships, guys. I can’t think of anything more significant to include in our albums! Click below to access the process videos for this lesson!

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