Gone are the days of forgetting your camera to take pictures – as long as you have your phone, you have a camera. While smartphones make snapping shots of your family easier than ever, most people aren’t sure what to do with all those pictures. If your smartphone contains photos from the past few months – or even years – read on for some tips on how to get those precious moments viewable in a way you can enjoy.
Photo storage 101
While most smartphones have enough storage for hundreds – even thousands – of pictures, there are limits to their capacity. In general, each iPhone 5 picture takes up about 2.3MB of space, which translates into roughly 435 photos for every gigabyte. For a fee, you can buy more storage, but there’s a better way to handle this issue.
Backing up your photos is the best method to save your pictures and open up space on your smartphone. This process is easy – simply connect your phone to your computer and transfer photos from your phone to your PC or Mac. If you don’t want to overload your computer’s hard drive with a lot of photos, services such as Dropbox or Flickr can store your files online. Experts recommend regular photo backups to keep all of your devices uncluttered and organized.
If you enjoy sharing your photos with friends and family, online sites such as Shutterfly and Picasa are great options. After creating a free account, you simply upload pictures to the website, which opens up space on your hard drive. These websites will allow you to manage, edit and organize your pictures – plus, you can create web albums for easy sharing.
Finally, there’s always the old-fashioned way of photo storage: the photo album. Fun albums can be purchased anywhere from Amazon to Michael’s, and you can get the kids involved with choosing prints to display. Or, you can simply purchase some photo storage boxes from the Container Store (Stockholm and Semikolon make colorful ones) for easy organization.
Photo projects for beginners
Now that your photos are backed up and organized, it’s time to get crafty. If the thought of scrapbooks and hot glue guns leave you in a cold sweat, have no fear! The internet offers a myriad of photo projects for even the least artistically inclined.
Sites like Shutterly and Snapfish are a great place to start. After uploading your pictures, it’s easy to create photo books, photo cards and an array of gifts such as blankets, mouse pads and calendars.
Speaking of calendars, the classic wall calendar isn’t your only option. Prinstagram, a site that creates printable Instagram products, has a desktop calendar that showcases a print for each day of the year. This makes a great gift for parents who work outside of the home – or could be a cool item in a home office or kid’s room.
Lastly, canvas prints are a classic way to showcase favorite family pictures. In addition to Shutterfly, sites such as Canvas Pop and Easy Canvas offer canvas prints for very reasonable prices, and give users lots of options on size, color and finish.
For the more crafty types, Pinterest offers plenty of ideas and inspiration. From tips on arranging a photo wall, to interesting ways for displaying photographs, Pinterest is full of potential projects. For example, one user incorporated a reclaimed wood shutter for photo hanging, while another pinner chronicled her family’s travels by posting pictures on a US map.
Online parenting sites like Babble and Daily Mom also offer great suggestions. Both sites are searchable and offer easy-to-read directions for photo crafts and DIY projects. Some unusual ideas on Babble include blowing up a picture for an interesting backdrop to a room, or posting an image on a Scrabble board using letter tiles as a caption.
Another out-of-the-box idea is an illustrated photo of your family, which is a fun twist on the classic family portrait. Artists on Etsy can incorporate paper cut outs, water colors or digital media to make your family portrait into a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.
Start organizing today! With a little effort and creativity, you can take those favorite photos off your smartphone and turn them priceless keepsakes your family will enjoy for years to come.