A version of this post was originally published January 10, 2012.
Printing photos is one of those sticky spots in memory keeping. It is a place where scrapbookers can get stuck if you don’t have a game plan.
In this post I want to give you a work-backwards approach that will help you more easily and quickly decide which photos to print.
Selecting Photos to Print for Scrapbooking
1. Don’t print everything. In this day and age, there is little need to print all of your photos. Even if you’re not a scrapbooker at all, your photo album should include carefully chosen images that represent your life. The rest can be stored digitally. So before you try to make it ‘easy’ on yourself by just printing all your photos, I beg you to not to do that.
2. Consider the final medium first. Because printing is something we can do again and again, I find it helps to select several use cases for your photos first. Then, work from there. Have specific end-locations for your images in mind when determining which stories will be told and thus, which photos will be printed. Will they go in frames, in divided page protectors, in a mini album, on a multi-photo page or a single photo page?
3. Look for the juicy stories. If you’re like me, you have a lot of ‘pretty’ photos. Those are the ones that should go in frames, rotating in and out, if needed. It is often the images that are less technically correct, less perfect that are more meaningful. Select images for your scrapbooking based on the emotions they invoke and the stories that pop to mind.
4. Decide on a rough design. For each use case, which is essentially a project, determine how many photos you will need. Use this number to narrow down your favorite images. If you get stuck, remember #3 to help you pick between choice A or choice B. Select a few more than you think you need, in case you change your mind later.
4b. If your photos are not already edited to your preferred degree (which could be none at all), now is the time to do that. If your images were already edited, you can skip this step.
5. Outline the sizing. Not every project will need 4×6 images nor will cropping down always work. If your project will need particular sizes, now is the time to do some cropping on the computer. Often, I find it easiest and more cost effective to print a selection of smaller images on one 8×10 print, which is a standard size.
6. Print. Whether you print at home or send them out, working systematically through each needed use of photos will make sure you print the right number and sizes without getting overwhelmed or stuck with too many photos!
Do you have a different system for deciding which photos to print? Share it in the comments.
Before you can print photos, you need to know where they are and what you have. In Photo Crush, a new free event at Simple Scrapper, you’ll start to take control of your photo library in just 7 days.