Most people do not take pictures to be stored on their computer for all of eternity – these moments and faces are meant to be shared!  However, without knowing the basics about printed materials, it’s hard to know if you will have {Pretty Prints} when it comes to your photos.

Once you’ve done all that you can to correct {Oops! Now What?!} photos, it is time to prep them for printing.  If you followed my advice and only cropped to standard sizes, this process should be fairly simple and straightforward.

Online Print Ordering

Many websites such as Mpix.com and Shutterfly offer user friendly options for ordering prints online.  Simply upload your chosen images to their gallery, select the size in which you’d like each image to be printed, select paper grade and finish, and Voila! In about two weeks your beautiful images arrive to your doorstep.  I personally have used both companies, and I thought Mpix had better paper and print quality, but that’s just my $.02 and I’m pretty sure with that, I’d have change coming.

Local Store Prints

Not comfortable doing all of that online?  No problem.  Simply burn your images to a disk, grab your memory/CF card or use a thumb drive and take them to your favorite photo developing store.  If the images are simply for scrapbooking and the paper and image quality isn’t super important, inexpensive prints can be completed at most department and grocery stores.  Simply drop off your disk and they will take care of the rest – many times in less than an hour!

Fun and Different

Consider ordering something other than standard prints to show off all of your hard work.  Options include stand-outs, canvas prints, holiday cards, and more!  These can take your snapshots and turn them into stunning pieces of wall art.  If you aren’t comfortable choosing and ordering these online, contact a local photographer or camera store for assistance.  Any professional should be happy to assist you in any way they can, and may even place the order with your images.  Keep in mind, their time and contacts won’t be free, but when you have your new artwork in hand, it will be worth every penny.

Didn’t Your Mama Teach You To Share?

If you want to share your images with friends and families, Facebook can be a simple way to get those images out to the masses, however I do not recommend you place the images there if your intent is for the receiving party to print the images.  The reason is Facebook compresses your images (reduces the file size) to help with the speed and usability of the website.

Online galleries such as FlickrPro was designed specifically for sharing photographs, therefore you can easily upload your beautiful full-size images.  Then, Grandma Sue and Auntie Betty can view your account, download and print those images without a care in the world.  Pretty neat, huh?

Printing Your Own Photos

There are many choices on the market in the consumer photo printer line.  The bottom line is if you don’t want to spend a ton of money up front, over the life of the printer you may be spending the pennies you saved on replacement ink cartridges and paper specific to your printer.

With basic prints becoming so affordable, I’m not convinced a photo printer is necessity in a standard household.  But, hey, if that’s your thing, no judgment from my end.

If you already own a photo printer, be sure your computer is calibrated to the printer.  There is a calibration process I highly recommend you complete prior to printing images, and it will help to ensure what you see on the screen is what you get out of the printer.   Also, use the recommended inks and papers in the printer, as it will yield much better results.

If there is anything you take away from this article, I hope it’s that you see how easy and important sharing your photos is to your friends and loved ones.  After all of the time you’ve invested to Go From Mom, To Moment Master, the fruits of your labor should not be kept a secret!  So, get out there – it’s time to share your {Pretty Prints}!

If you missed any of the Going From Mom, To Moment Master series, every article is located in the photography archives on www.moresugarthanspice.com.