Don’t Just Take Photos—Do Something With Them

Woman holding a handful of photos on a stack of photos spread on a tableVadim Georgiev / Shutterstock

How many digital photos have you taken? 10,000? 20,000? 50,000? Instead of leaving all those photos on your smartphone or hard drive, why not do something?

Stroll through any city and you'll see hundreds of people taking pictures with their phones. Some of these images could be on Facebook or Instagram, but most of the time, they are forgotten and are ignored by digital limbo. It's a shame. Photos are a great way to memorize people, places and events. In addition, the photos taken by your smartphone are really excellent.

The good news is that you can do a lot of interesting things with your digital photos. Here are some of our favorite ideas.

Sort them

I took thousands of photos with my smartphone and my dedicated camera. Most of them are terrible. Blurred selfies, missed photos, screen captures of the same and God-only-knows-what. They do not deserve to be ignored – they deserve to be deleted and have the hard drive on which they were crushed. Exceptional photos, however, are buried in there. The kind of thing I want to keep forever. As long as the good and the bad are mixed, I will never see the good pictures. I'm sure it's the same for you.

Now the bad news. There is no easy way to sort photos. The only way to do this is to sit down, broadcast your favorite TV show and delete all the bad pictures, sorting the others into albums and focusing on the best ones.

But you're probably not going to do that. Almost everyone (me included) is about to take too many digital photos for this option to be realistic. This means that we need to use less thorough strategies to get the right pictures:

Go through your Facebook and Instagram accounts. If there are photos that you really like there, go through your phone and take out the original. In addition, use it as a stepping stone to remind you of events or places you have loved, and go back there to find pictures of them.
Use your photo application. IPhone Photos and Google Photos apps (available on iOS and Android) will show you photos of past events, organize photos by location and event, and more. Although they are designed with machine learning, they will emit some helpful suggestions, like the vacation you spent in the Florida Keys.
Take it easy, when you remember something fun, take five minutes to review your photos and take them. It will take time, but you will gradually sort pieces of your photos.
If you have an iPhone, you can use Gemini ($ 2.99 / month) to eliminate bad pictures, which will make it easier to find the right pictures.

Print them

Printed photos spread on a tableHarry Guinness

My grandmother's house was covered with photos. She had four children and 14 grandchildren (plus a bunch of brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins ​​and friends who made the cut) and each of us was introduced at least four or five times. The favorites would have an entire mini-shrine dedicated to their achievements. Most of the pictures were pretty terrible, but as they were the ones she had, they were the ones on display.

Now, most people have hundreds of much better photos, but since they are not printed, no one sees them. The best thing you can do with your digital photos is to print them.

You can print a few dozen photos you like in 4 × 6 "format and place them in frames around your house, just like my grandmother. Or, you could get one or two of your best creations in 36 × 24-inch framed prints or canvases that dominate a wall.digital photos, even those of a smartphone, can be printed if you work from the original. Really, the options are unlimited. You can also make a photo album. Just be sure of check out our guide to find out why photos do not look alike when you print them on How-To Geek to make sure you do it right.

Create shared albums

In addition to taking thousands of pictures of myself, I also took thousands of pictures of my friends. And they took lots of pictures of me. The problem is that I only have the pictures I took and that they only contain the pictures they took (and they are all sitting on hard drives or smartphones). We did not share more than a handful.

There is, however, a simple solution to this: create shared photo albums and online. In this way, everyone is left with all the photos. even those they did not take.

If everyone uses the same smartphone platform, things are really simple. Just consult Geek's practical guides for create shared albums on your iPhone or with Google Photos to begin. If this is not the case, you will have to use a cross-platform service –here are our favorites.

Make them your wallpaper or your screensaver

Although the default wallpapers for most modern cameras are quite good, nothing distinguishes your smartphone or computer as much as the use of an image you yourself have taken. Why not find a good photo and set it as wallpaper on your phone, tablet and computer?

Or better yet, set it on your TV's standby screen. here is how to do it with an AppleTV and a Chromecast. When you want to see your favorite photos, you can view your slideshow on your TV.

Make greeting cards

You do not just have to print your photos like, well, photos and hang them at home. You can also do more with them. One of my favorite things to do around Christmas is to create personal greeting cards and send them to my friends.

example of a personalized Christmas cardHarry Guinness

And it does not have to be for Christmas: you can create birthday cards, postcards or even stationery at random. Improve each letter with your face.

Do something weird

selfie toast

In recent years, a market for very strange – and wonderful – personalized photo products has emerged. Ever wanted your face on a pair of socks? Well, you can. You want custom Vans shoes? They covered you.

There is virtually no limit to which products you can print or create with your photos. If you can think about it, it can probably be done. I have seen puzzles, cases for smartphones, murals and skis. If you have a hobby, you can get material from your photos.

Give them as gifts

Although people do not know the pictures they take, they still love them. Everyone wants to see their friends' childhood photos or images of their aberrant years. If you are going to spend time sorting out your photos and extracting the right ones, you can give yourself gifts for years to come. Print the pictures and frame them or use one of the craziest suggestions, depending on who you're giving the gift to. They will appreciate it.

Whatever you do (or do not do) with your photos, there is one thing we have not mentioned yet that is crucial: back them up. Hard drives fail; smartphones are breaking. Do not let the security of your photos, otherwise they might not be there when you want them.

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