I stopped having photos printed a while back, as they were just adding to the clutter in the house. I have 4 photo albums of my life leading up to the digital revolution, but since then I have been avoiding printing any more photos. Well, at least individual pictures, as I do still have some printed, but in a different way.
I have books printed for each year that passes.
As each year ends, I go back through all of the year’s digital photos and pick out a bunch that best represent what happened in the last 12 months. Using iPhoto (there are others, but Apple apps are usually easiest for me), I arrange the photos in a virtual book and then submit it for printing. A short time later, a beautiful book shows up at the house with all my chosen pictures professionally printed inside. It really is pretty cool.
Many will say “but isn’t that adding to the clutter”? Well, yea – kinda. But think of it this way: in the future, these digital pictures we all save might not be viewable by different technology, and some older relatives might not have computers, so having a book is a nice touch. In addition, young kids like flipping through books (for the time being, at least ), so picture books of the family can be a fun thing for them to have access to.
The key is to not print every single picture! The advantage of digital photography is that we can take a ton of shots of any and every event, so there are bound to be a few good ones worth saving and putting in the book. A book of the best photos for each year of your or your families’ life is much easier to organize than a bunch of shoeboxes under the bed!