Photo Legacy: Print your pictures


Square photo prints

Print your pictures

It has been often quoted that this is the generation that is taking more photos but will have no legacy because we are not printing our pictures. Sad isnt’ it?

Printing our photos is also a part of our family history.

Family History – Seeing the legacy

My father-in-law turned 70 in March. We wanted to do something unique. It’s always hard to find a gift for family, but wanted to do something that would have lasting meaning. I spent a lot of time researching and on pinterest.

There are a lot of really sweet ideas out there. I really liked one idea: to put together 70 letters from friends and family. But as I got thinking about this it was a much bigger project than I could take on.

Over the years, I’ve taken thousands of photos of our family at gatherings. For the first 4 years of our marriage, I was really good at printing pictures and making scrapbooks. I thought, perfect. I’ll print 70 pictures and give them to Steve on his birthday.

Over the next month I went through ALL my photos 14 years worth in scrapbooks and on our photo storage. It was such a JOY to look through all these photos and memories. It was so special to remember all the fun times we have had together as a family. Each photo is a reminder of something we had done together.

The great thing, is that as I was going through all the photos, I was also able to back them up onto the cloud. I’d been using Amazon Photo but it was too glitchy for me and switched to Google + photo. I’ve been very impressed with it and was able to make a special folder on Google+ with photos just for Steve’s 70th birthday.

As I went on, I kept finding more and more precious photos. From weddings, baby blessings, family gatherings, camping in the Tetons and just the day to day with cousins. It made me appreciate all the traditions and family gathering that we have and it has created a great desire to hold more gatherings with family and friends.

My goal for gathering 70 photos quickly went out the door as that number easily doubled.

Printing  photos

Getting the photos printed was actually easier than I thought. Because we were creating an heirloom gift, archival paper and ink were of high priority. Using archival ink and paper ensures that the images won’t fade or the paper won’t degrade over the years.

Sure, you can go to Costco and get your photos printed, but the ink they use isn’t very nice. I’ve found the color matching is usually off.

When looking for a place to print your photos ask yourself:

1. What is my budget

2. Can I upload photos directly from Instagram and Facebook?

3. Do they use archival paper and ink?

4. Do they offer different sizes? (square is not a usual print size, 4×5 and 5×7 are typical).

5. Will they care for my images when uploaded? (I had only uploaded three photos to one order of 20 and a customer service person contacted me immediately to let me know of this error and was able to refund my money and not be charged for 20 blank prints.)

Photo Box

I wanted to create a special keepsake box to keep the photos in. Artifact Upraising has these great reclaimed wood boxes that you can customize to say what ever you want. I had “Dalton Legacy” inscribed on our box. You can also print a photo onto the box.

I made a fun birthday card it was suppose to be 70 candles, but only 50 candles fit on a 12 x 12 piece of sparkly paper from American Craft!

Birthday Card

The photos were printed on archival quality paper and use archival ink, which means the photos will last longer.



The gift was well received. My favorite was being there to watch his reaction as he opened the gift. It was so special and made me so happy that we were able to give him this gift of memories.

Printing square images is a nice way to get a different look and feel to your photos, but a lot of my images were already landscape and didn’t want to crop people. So I would edit them in photo shop or snapseed and add them into a square background. The final image would have white around the image. But this way we didn’t cut out people from the picture.

Print your photos

The box took longer to make and did not arrive in time for the birthday party, so we stopped by a few days later with the rest of the gift.

So, if you are planning on printing photos and the box, know that the lead time for the box is much longer. I’d allow at least 2 weeks for them to print and ship the box.
Photo box with reclaimed wood


Printing your photos is a great way to share a legacy of a life well lived.

What other creative ways have you shared photos with loved ones?

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