8 Reasons You Should Print the Phone Pics You Take of Your Kids

8 Reasons You Should Print the Phone Pics You Take of Your Kids

Get those awesome photos off of your phone and into the real world!

By Leah Maxwell

If you’re like me, you take way more photos of your children than you probably should, especially considering most of the pics just sit on your phone for months before they either get transferred to a hard drive (if you’re organized) or get deleted to make room for yet another silly gaming app. What you should be doing with your phone photos is printing them -- at least some of them -- and if you don’t agree, let me convince you with these eight reasons hardcopy photos of your kids will change your life.

1. Technology fails. Computers crash and phones get dropped in the toilet. Yes, there are ways to back up your data, but don’t forget that files can get corrupted and digital formats can become obsolete. (Raise your hand if you still have files stored on floppy disks.) If something happens to your digital photos -- poof! -- they could be gone forever. For. Ev. Er.

2. It’s cheap and easy. Online tools, one-hour labs, and in-person kiosks that print directly from your phone mean the photo printing process is nothing like it was in the olden days of developing rolls of film. Technology has made it simple and inexpensive to create real, high quality, lasting photos of the moments you want to remember, so take advantage of it!

3. Make the memories last. How much of your childhood memories are based on the pictures you have in old-school photo albums? Publishing your phone pictures into themed photo books will help your kids solidify the memories you’re helping them make. That epic trip to the theme park or the week-long family reunion on the farm will really stick in their minds if they can pull out the albums of photos whenever they want.

4. Celebrate the self. Why are selfies so popular? Because people like seeing photos of themselves, and kids are no exception. When my boys get ahold of my phone, their favorite thing to do is look at pics and videos featuring their own little faces. Feed this enthusiasm by printing out photos to display around the house for all to enjoy.

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5. Photos are time machines. Kids grow up right before our eyes, and yet the growing sometimes feels invisible because it happens little by little every day. Printing out pictures of your kids means that when your 3-year-old is having a tantrum or your teenager is being a pain, you’re just a glance away from seeing their sweet newborn faces and remembering they’re still your babies.


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6. Be choosy. Printing photos helps you curate them. Let’s say you take just one photo of each kid per day. If they live with you for 18 years, that’s more than 6,500 photos per kid. Chances are you will have tens of thousands of photos of the child-rearing years. That’s a lot to keep track of. Periodically selecting the best ones to print for frames or albums will keep your collection manageable.

7. Get organized! Printing photos doesn’t have to mean creating albums or framing portraits. If you have a ton of images in digital format (and I know you do), consider printing them out as “contact sheets,” which is a grid of thumbnail versions labeled with dates. Having these handy guides will help you more easily find the originals in the future, like when you need them for class projects or wedding slideshows. Also, if worse comes to worst and you somehow lose an entire hard drive of photos, you’ll at least have these miniature versions to remind you of what once was.

8. Think of the (grand)children. Even if you don’t display your printed photos in frames or keep a stack of albums on your coffee table, you should still print a selection of your photos for future generations. Keep them in a box you can throw in the back of a closet (safe from water damage and temperature extremes), and one day your grandkids or great-grandkids will have the awesome pleasure of discovering photos they never would have seen if they were all stored virtually on a server somewhere in the desert.

What’s your favorite thing to do with printed photos?

Leah Maxwell is a book editor, freelance writer, cereal addict, wife, and mom to two young boys. She has been blogging at A Girl and a Boy since 2003.

Image ©iStock.com/RealCreation

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