A little bit about home and leisure

My Friday Five: “Fab 5” Photography Faves

My Friday Five:  “Fab 5” Photography Faves

Hi there! Welcome to my Fab 5 Photography Faves . . . Do you just LOVE pictures? Me, too! With our smartphones so easily accessible, our lives are constantly captured in pictures. But what next? Are you exceeding your storage on your smart phone due to all the photographs? Or if you’re like me and still LOVE the quality of a good, old school photograph, is your drawer or even better, your organizer, filled with memory cards or sticks? But where are your pictures?

A few years ago, I refused to allow myself to continue adding to the stacks of memory cards and paying for more & more memory on my iPhone, so I want to share with you my Fab 5 Photography Faves!



Print, PRINT, P – R- I – N – T!!! I love displaying family and landscape photography throughout our home. Because of our ever growing collection of pictures spanning years of family, I now rotate pictures seasonly mixing past with the present. I love the convenience of uploading digital images to Mpix. They are the sister company to a couple of professional photography print labs and produce crisp, clear, vibrant images. Before sending a load of pictures to any lab, send a few test images to calibrate your monitor to their lab (some labs offer instructions for monitor calibration on their sites).

And don’t forget – collect frames . . . Anytime I’m strolling through TJMaxx, Homegoods or boutiques, I make sure to thumb through my favorite sized frames for displaying family photos.




As a follow up to printing, the simplest, least labor intensive manner of storing and displaying photos is old school photo albums. A few years ago, we were visiting with W’s aunt and uncle. Knowing my love of photography, his uncle shared his love for documenting their grandchildren’s’ lives in pictures and filing them into albums which served as an “A-ha” moment for me. Fast forward a few years and we’re expecting our first grandchild . . . Once Hailee and Cory knew they were having a “Hadlee Ann”, I immediately ordered a beautiful pink album from Exposures. . . . Personalization, Various Sizes, Numerous Page Layouts, even spine labels that can be added later . . . LOVE THEM!



A simple beach scene from a family vacation now adorns the wall of our youngest daughter’s beach theme bathroom.

Do you have that special photograph that brings a pause in your thoughts, joy to your heart and warmth to your soul. It could be a special moment with family or that breathtaking landscape that you either happened upon or waited patiently to capture. Why not share that moment of beauty with your family and friends?

Honestly, we have a large wall in our family room that I continually contemplate whether to add some decor, but my LOVES are displayed in a large multi-canvas and framed portraits wall gallery; therefore, I always walk away and remind myself – keep it simple! Canvases can get expensive, so I always use my brain and not my heart as to what becomes a canvas and when I order them. Three rules I use: (1). If it’s a family member or grouping, I always use higher quality, more expensive canvases – Mpix.;  2). Before ordering a canvas, watch for sales – yes! Occasionally canvases are marked 25% off, if you’re not in a rush, wait for those sales! (3) If a landscape is not a major focal point in a large room, then I tend to lean towards the less expensive canvases, a great resource for those canvases is Mail Pix.  (That’s where I purchased the canvas shown above)



If you are the artistic, creative type, SCRAPBOOK! Our church offers a monthly crafting day for women to gather together, which started as a scrapbooking night from noon to midnight. The ladies reserve a space, bring their supplies, contribute a side dish, come and leave on their own schedule, fellowship with other women and work on their latest project. Unfortunately, my current season of life doesn’t usually allow me the time to join anymore or scrapbook, but if you do have the time and desire – SCRAPBOOK those pictures and journal those special moments. For the scrapbooks that I was able to create, my family loves to go back and read through the memories. Michaels and Hobby Lobby are GREAT resources for books, paper and embellishments, not to mention, usually they are either on sale or you can download a coupon.



Finally, what has become my “go to” for preserving memories . . . In the fast pace of life, scrapbooking has fallen by the wayside for me, but I still love having our memories in print; hence, the photo book. There is quite a potpourri of choices and styles in photo books almost as various as the labs that offer them.

Hard back, lay flat photo books from Mpix.com is my favorite for annual pictures. (A little tip – at the beginning of the year, establish a yearly photo file with your favorite lab, then at the end of each month, upload your favorite memories from that month and place them in the appropriate layout; therefore, you’ll only have the production of the book at the end of the year.)

For those special seasons in life, i.e. vacations or in our case “Dawg Days” – yes! We are die hard UGA Bulldog fans, create a smaller, soft cover book. Again, Mpix offers several choices in soft cover books for those memories.

Finally, if you don’t have the luxury of time to design your personal photo book, artifactuprising.com is a great option for easily uploading your favorite Instagram photos, they even have an app that will allow you to work from your smart phone. Another option is the automated, economical Chatbooks.com . . . Create your account and every 60 pictures you post on social media, they’ll create and send you a new book. Of course, you have a few days to make changes, corrections and even add captions, but within a few short days you’ll receive another book in the mail. HOW EASY IS THAT?!

Our family has always resembled the National Lampoons family, so having images documenting those fun, crazy and special times in our lives just adds to the enjoyment . . . Go ahead, try making your first book!

I want to hear how you preserve your family’s memories in the comments or even post some pictures to Instagram and tag us with @ann_magnoliahouse.

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