3 years of personal photos printed

With all the trips I’ve been on in the past six months I knew I had to print the photos.  What I didn’t expect was to go as far back as almost three years when I realized that I had left off way back then in regards to printing my memories and putting them in albums! THREE YEARS!  What on Earth?

So, after 400+ images were submitted online to my local Walgreens, I then headed to Aaron Brothers to pick up some albums.  50% off put them at $6.50 each which is basically amazing and far surpasses the cuteness found at Target or the like.  All of this, for under $80.  I found a discount code for Walgreens saving myself $20 at checkout thanks to RetailMeNot.com. NOTE: These images are not fancy images I need to submit to a lab, we’re talkin’ images captured on my hot magenta Casio Exilim here!

If you didn’t already know by now, I don’t read instructions.  And, I seem to be proud of this, I’m not sure why.  This habit also goes into not reading labels, descriptions, and rarely dimensions of things.  (Hm, this might be why I’m not very good at cooking…) Therefore, I purchased double of what I needed in regards to albums.  But they were on sale and it’ll take a good while until I’ll need more.  That was my excuse after I realized my mistake, and yes, I told that to Mr. Wonderful.

And here is my blog post to really push all of you out there to print your images.  Not just for frames, but for albums.  Here’s why:

  • Facebook might not be around forever – what happened to your MySpace photos?
  •  When we’re 95 with terrible memory loss, maybe we won’t be as tech savvy to find our images or remember our passwords or how to use a computer.
  • Your friend might download a virus to your computer and then you lose all your images.
  • Going through albums is way more fun than pulling up Facebook on your little iPhone and scrolling through.
  • It’s always good to have double back up – the external hard drive and the prints.

And yes, I print my personal photos from my Casio Exilim at Walgreens.  That is the only time I use a place like that.  Why?  Because there is no way my clearance hot magenta point and shoot is taking any spectacular images that I need to be printed via professional lab.  However, if you are using a fancy camera and good lenses, then yes, please use a lab.  All of our framed photos are professional and lab prints.

Your simple homework:

  1. Go to Walgreens.com or Costco.com to upload your images.  Tip: Upload in the order you want them to print, so start from the earliest time.
  2. Next day, go to Aaron Brothers to buy albums on the cheap.
  3. Pick up prints (usually prints take 1 day at most).
  4. Fill albums.  Captions optional (I still need to do mine).

On a personal note about my images, I can’t tell you how many times I caught myself smiling as I tucked each frame into it’s album slot.  The past three years of my life have been amazing – even surpassing the love I had of my college years.  And really, the best year has been this year.  I have found that the same people have been in my pictures for the past 6+ years, some even going as far back as 10 or more.  That’s the best thing about getting older – you have more memories to share.  Which means, the more pictures to take.

Diana Elizabeth says now if only there was a print size for all the Instagram images taken.  She still sends them to the printer online anyway and they are cropped but still, you get the idea.  

Diana Elizabeth is an author, photographer, and obsessive antique shopper. You can typically find her in the garden wrist deep in dirt, at a local estate sale or planning her next epic party. She continues to blog weekly.


  • Rea

    This post just motivated me to print my photos STAT. This post is over 6 years old now but with the surge of the popularity of albums like Chatbooks and Blurb where you put together your own album and many do one for each year, what are your thoughts of those vs traditional prints like this? I think the albums take up less space for sure.

  • Kay

    I had been iffy about whether to print my personal photos or not, but this post gave me a push. Thanks so much, Diana!

    With the digital era and endless clicking of our shutter though, how do you choose which ones of an event or trip to print? I tend to take a lot of random detail pics when I travel and while I wouldn’t hesitate to share those on social media because sharing is free, I’m not sure if they’re worth it to print (cost to print + space in the physical album)? What rule do you follow when picking what to print? Would love to hear some tips in this regard! :)

    • Diana Elizabeth

      Hi Kay, I was just thinking the other day about how children will not have the same type of access to the physical albums we have – how will they know to access mom and dad’s Facebook or IG? I’m so glad you brought up this post again!

      I’m not sure if you’re a photographer, but culling images does take time. I’ve always been fairly good at just deciding pretty quickly which ones I need – it doesn’t need to be a flip book – does that photo seem framable? Am I standing in front of something historic? Is the scenery (even without anyone in it) something I want to remember – like I’d want to put it as a screensaver? That’s how I know – that I want to be flipping through funny poses, great scenery and be reminded how I felt when I was there. I hope that helps! You can also sign up for 100 free prints with Shutterfly if you’re a new customer. I think Walgreens prints cheaply too (I print casual photos through them). Good luck!

  • Mailinh Nguyen

    I love your sales pitch for albums. ;0) Also…here’s a link where you can print instagrams (though I’m not sure if this is what you’re looking for): http://printstagr.am/

  • krystal

    Great idea! I need to do this more. I just have my pics on my comp and external hard drive, but we really need to start backing them up via other ways too. It is neat to have pictures in your hand to look at! I just have no space for all mine haha! I was thinking of using the site Carbonite to store comp info/photos. Ever heard of it? What do you think about it, if so?

    • Diana Elizabeth

      I used Carbonite before when I had a PC – it saved me when a virus was downloaded to my computer. For $50 a year it’s a steal. But, I think that it’s more of a backup for files if something bad happens, not to have them permanently stored there. So, I’d look into an external hard drive and then print your images. That is good enough for me. :)


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