“You’re like, so old school” is something I was recently told regarding my photo preferences, and after I finished laughing I thought maybe I should do a blog post about it…
It’s a kind of a part of my creative journey… and one that I want to share. I often get asked (regarding my Big Picture Scrapbooking classes) what photo sizes to print/what students need to do to be ready. My answer? Good ‘ol 4×6’s work just dandy. It’s what I work from most all of the time!
Once upon a time I wanted so desperately to be COOL. To be the girl that could do the amazing things that those totally awesome + popular scrapbookers were doing with tiny photos. huge photos. all kinds of odd sized photos but no regular 4×6 print sized jobs. I printed out 5 x 7 and 8 x 10 prints when I ordered batches of photos so that I too could be cool. When I first got my photo-quality printer I did a good deal of custom size printing too.
So why did I stop a few years back?
- The cost. It was eating up my budget – both ink/paper + cost of enlargements in every batch of pictures
- It ate up my time budget. As mom of one baby, my time was in short and precious increments. To plan a layout in my mind, then print photos, then go make layout it was insane.
- I ended up happier with layouts made with 4×6 prints more often than not.
These days if I print from home it’s because I have a specific idea or digital template I want to play with, or I am on deadline and have some odd size print that I want. I work from 4 x 6 prints about 99% of the time, and those prints are ordered from costco.com or www.scrapbookpictures.com. I’ve really come to LOVE www.scrapbookpictures.com for quality, speed, and ease of use. I like that if a photo is slightly off (color) they auto-correct BEAUTIFULLY and I can skip that step altogether.
When it comes to pictures – I’m all about saving time so I can PLAY with them!
I’ve always been a “print the pics you want” vs a print as you go girl. Reason #1? Not trusting technology/backing up/myself to remember to ever print. I don’t want photos lost. I’d MUCH rather have hard copies. I love them. They inspire me so. I do have digital back-up, but since 2005 I’ve gone back and re-printed a photo… twice at most.
Having photos on hand changes the creative process too. There is the wonderful ability to just scrap. No need for printer to be working or ink to be full – you’re already there. GO! scrap! enjoy! It also lets me see photos in unexpected combinations at times, and I do enjoy cropping my photos too. I do that a lot – it just depends on the page.
Sometimes I see layouts from awesome ladies who have used tiny photos printed special. or HUGE photos. These days I mostly appreciate their talent, but don’t try to copy them. I am ok with not following their path. I stay here in 4 x 6 land.
It should be said that:
- I am ruthless. Blurry, useless, too many duplicate/similar images, repetitive, and/or not loving them images are DELETED from my files. Same with photos taken just for the blog here or photographic experiments. DELETED. I’m not printing out as many photos as you might imagine because I cull the herd first. I do sometimes save imgs but not print if I can’t quite hit delete but don’t want them now.
- I am lazy when it comes to a lot of stuff. I do not want to be responsible for having supplies on hand to print pictures out or dealing with all of that. Upload files + hit order is much more my style. Even better? When pictures are delivered to me at home. Unless I’ve planned a trip to Costco, then I don’t mind picking up.
- I think it’s cheaper per print and better quality. Only at my printer’s best, with top of the line paper am I happy with prints. SO much cheaper to just let professionals print for me.
- I don’t do much photo editing outside of the awesome-tastic button known as “auto correct”. Oh I can, I just don’t. For me it’s like homework and I’d MUCH rather play with products + photos vs just editing pics.
- I want the photos to be a BIG part of my pages. Not something I make tiny to allow room for more embellishing and not something I make huge so there’s no room for embellishing. 4 x 6 is a place of balance for me.
Do I think everyone should print out like me? NO! I just thought it might be a good topic to blog about and let it be known that this girl thinks it’s A-OK to not print yourself. There are a lot of us who like the challenge of making it work with multiple photos that are standard print size. That cropping of photos post-printing and having a stack of pictures (literally!) to-scrap is a-ok. Heck – having boxes of photos that are NEVER going to be scrapbooked is ok too!!!
One of my favorite childhood activities was going through photographs. I loved seeing myself, my family, people I barely remembered, events I cherished all captured in the images within the photo box. I keep that image (of my own children) in my mind vs fretting over the “haven’t been scrapped” photos. It’s ok. Some are going to be boxed. Others in albums. It’s ALL wonderful.
Follow the path that works for you, and enjoy.