The saddest part of my job as a photographer is when a client only orders a few small format prints from their session. In my head I hear the wha-wha sound. I feel like a failure as a photographer. Images are meant to be shared, large, or in a book or someway other than a few 4x6s in a tiny frame sitting on a shelf hiding amongst knick knacks and books and random other odds and ends. When I shoot, in the seconds before I click the shutter, amidst posing and directing the client I think, “is this an artistic composition that will look amazing huge, will it be striking, is it art, can it tell a story in a book of images”. My goal, with every image is not to take a photograph, but to create art. I’ve come to learn that most folks think “large format” is an 8×10. Try tossing one striking image, printed as an 8×10 on a standard 6’x9′ wall and you’ll see how ridiculous it looks. Print that same image as a 20×30 and you’ve got a piece of art that transforms your living room wall into an art gallery. It’s one of the reasons we do ordering sessions, to take measurements, to try to educate, to try to show people the difference and what the possibilities are.
Now let me step down off my soap box because this wasn’t even where I meant to head with this post. Because, well, I try my darnedest to follow my own advice with photos of my own family. And when it took me 3 years to print my wedding book I made a pact with myself that the images of our life, visual memories, will not sit lonely on a hard drive for years. The thing is we only have so much wall space, and I’m always on the hunt for creative ways to utilize our photos. So when I saw Andrea from The Organic Bloom (you know those cool frames we carry) share a book she created with instagram photos for her baby, and I got a free book coupon from Shutterfly, I had to totally rip off the idea and do it for Issa. So thank you Andrea for sharing, and let it be known that it was all her idea.
I’ve never used Shutteryfly before. I’ve always spent hours creating layouts in photoshop like I do for my clients, but I thought it couldn’t hurt to give it a try. I was apprehensive at first, pretty convinced that I’d get frustrated by the lack of customization options and time it would take to upload photos. I’m happy to say I was pleasantly surprised. There were tons of themes to choose from, lots of pre-made layouts, I could customize pretty much anything and they imported my photos directly from my instagram account. I’ll still do custom layouts for clients of course, and custom layouts with our professional images, but for a book of instagram photos it works. Best of all I get printed photos that I get to share with my daughter and our family. I’ll probably post some photos of what it looks like when I get it in the mail, but in the mean time here’s a sweet online version for you to check out.