What To Do with Photos On a Disk

So you’ve had a photo session – be it family, engagement, infant, or a fun couples shoot – and your photographer has given you a disk with high-res images on it, with a copyright release for printing. But now you’re not sure what to do with all those photos. The possibilities are pretty much endless. There are albums, canvas prints, accordion books, and an assortment of other types of prints you can purchase – all of which can be daunting when faced with which photos to pick, how to do it, where to do it, and the best selection for your particular situation. It doesn’t have to be difficult though. Here are some ideas for you, just to get you started, separated into different categories of sessions:

Engagement – Engagement photos are perfect for “save the date” cards, for parents (a nice framed 5×7 print would make Mom’s day!), and also don’t forget the newspaper announcement. Do people still do newspaper announcements? Shutterfly has a great selection of save the date templates, all you need are the photos to go into the template and you’re set.

Bridal – Wedding announcements are becoming more popular nowadays, as weddings are being kept more to a budget and less people are being invited. Can’t invite all 6 of your roommates from college? Send each of them a wedding announcement. Bridal portraits are also traditionally used in large prints for either your home or your parents’ home. Typically done in a canvas format, it’s a formal portrait that stays around for a long time.

Maternity – Maternity photos are an important time of your life to document. These photos can be printed for wall photos, placed in an album alone or with birth and infant photos. If you are putting together a “first year” book, images from your maternity shoot are a must! A creative use of maternity photos is thank you notes for your baby shower.

Infant – An obvious choice for infant images is a birth announcement, which you can put together easily via Shutterfly. Albums and prints are also a must-have for these little bundles of joy.

Family – Albums and large prints are fantastic for family photos, for decorating your walls, using in Christmas cards, Mother’s and Father’s Day gifts, and just simply framing and having around your house.

No matter what you choose to do with your photos after receiving them, a few key reminders:

–       Non-professional printers will do a (horrible) number to whatever editing and color correcting your photographer just did. Walmart, Target, Walgreens, and other “machine shop” printers should be avoided at all costs. If you don’t have a professional printing company in your city or town, mpix.com and even richmondcamera.com are very inexpensive and easy companies to upload your photos to. Both of these companies will then mail you the prints you have ordered.

–       Each photographer has a different policy for what can be done with the images they’ve given you on the disk. In my case, I provide high-res images for printing purposes, and then also provide a select number of those photos for internet sharing, on facebook, blogs, etc. Those photos have been resized to upload faster, and have had my logo added to them. The photos meant for printing may be shared with family and friends, via cards or prints or gifts. None of the images you are provided may be resold, or entered into a contest or publication for money. Simple enough, but be sure to read your photographer’s fine print before signing. (And if your photographer doesn’t provide you with a contract, be wary! Ask lots of questions about what you can and can’t do with your images once you have them – you don’t want your photographer to claim copyright infringement against you because you didn’t know what you could or could not do.)

If you have any questions or would like to see examples of some of these kinds of ideas, let me know and I’ll be happy to help!