What to do with your family photos – 5 step guide

So you’ve been on your holidays, taken loads of snaps, way too many probably, shared them on facebook and then what…  ?  You forget about them?


Don’t just leave them on the net for you to forget over time.  These are your children’s memories you’re casually ‘saving’ somewhere online or on your computer where you will no doubt either manage to delete by accident, or misplace, or when you buy a new PC you’ll loose them completely, or once online, you can’t remeber which ‘cloud’ you’re supposed to go to to find where they are…

So here is your 5 step guide of what to do with your family photos – read and inwardly digest!

1.  Save them in at least 2 places – it’s so easy to hit the delete button only to find you’ve managed to delete the whole folder not just a single image, and if the folder is large the likely hood is that it will be permanently deleted rather than placed in the ‘trash’ folder…believe me, I’ve done it with my own family photos.  For my client photos I save them in 3 places just to be certain!  Get an external hard drive if you’re running out of room on your computer or save to an online facility.

2.  Edit them within a week or so of the holiday – this way, they are still fresh and interesting and you really want to show people the photos.  Get rid of the bad ones, the blinking ones, the out of focus ones and the badly lit ones that can’t be salvaged.  This way, apart from making you look like a far better photographer than you really are, it’s far easier to choose the ones you want to print out later on.  You’ll also save storage/’cloud’ space.

3.  Rename them..give them a meaningful name so that if you do ever manage to misplace them, you can do an easy search.

4.  OK now you really need to think about PRINTING THEM OUT..

This is the must do bit.  Technology changes so fast there is a real risk that you’ll not be able to access your images as you do today.  There are so many options for printing out depending on how many images you have and how big your house is.  My personal preference is to print out some hard backed gloss prints to put into a sort of gallery in one of my downstairs rooms, it’s called The Lavatory Gallery!  I also do a hard backed coffee table book album each year which has a little list of what we all did that year and then all the images that are worth seeing.

prints gallery

             Print house recommendation – do please be careful who you choose to do your prints.  You can get them done really cheaply but the paper quality is seriously rubbish and the colour is tragic… the print house I recommend is called One Vision.  These guys produce brilliant prints and also do a great range of wall displays from canvasses to acrylic frames.  Be adventurous and get creative.  I wouldn’t recommend printing on your home printer, simply because unless you have an amazing printer the colours will likely be slightly off and they will fade far more easily than professionally printed images.  Although this is better than not printing at all I’ll admit.

             Album recommendation – for a coffee table book album that is not too pricey but effective I would recommend My Publisher.  It’s based in America but even with the fedex costs, they are cheaper and better quality than some of the uk based album makers.  They also do regular special offers that are really good value like 50% off big albums.  They are easy drag and drop production and very fast turn around with albums arriving within a week of being sent for print.

Here is an example of my yearly albums using My Publisher family album cover

5.  Repeat the above once a year at least so the job doesn’t get too big..


For anyone who doesn’t know, I’m a family portrait photographer based in West London, but I’m also a mother of 2 boys and have the same issues with family photos as everyone else.  I learned long ago to edit and print out the images, they are fantastic to look back on and to show to grandparents etc.  These albums will be handed down to my boys when they have their own kids and hopefully treasured forever.


Susan Porter-Thomas LSWPP – Family Portrait Photographer London