There are many different ways to store and enjoy your print photos. You might keep them in an acid-free box organized by date or subject to flip through when the mood strikes. Maybe they’re in photo albums protected by sleeves. If there’s a crafty person in your life, it’s possible you have scrapbooks with papers and stickers decorating pages of photos. All are common ways to enjoy your print photos, but there are positives and negatives for each.
Pro: You can store many photos in a small space. It’s easy to get your hands on many photos at once. Index cards can visually divide photos for easy retrieval.
Con: Your hands contain natural oils that damage the processed photo, and the more you handle photos, the quicker they will break down. It is not visually appealing to pull off the shelf and enjoy.
Pro: Photos are protected by sleeves. You can group them by date or subject. They are often held together with binder rings, allowing you to move pages around. It’s easy to pull off the shelf and open to any page. If you need to pull out one photo, it slides out of the sleeve.
Con: Lots of photos, no story to go with them. It may take time to find the photo/group of photos you’re looking for. You have to look through supporting or mediocre photos to get to the best ones.
Pro: The ability to tell as much of the story as you want. Enhances photos with coordinating papers and decorations. You can highlight the best photos for the story being told. It is visually appealing and helps to draw others into the story.
Con: Very time consuming. Costly to build up a collection of papers, ribbons, stickers, etc. Takes up more shelf space than other formats.
Project Life/Formatted Sleeve Album
Pro: Standard sleeve sizes to quickly fit photos in (3×4, 4×6). Pre-made cards make the page more visually appealing. It is easy to add names, dates and story details for each group of photos.
Con: Costly to buy albums, sleeves, and pre-made cards. Trimming photos takes more time than keeping them all 4×6.
Pro: Many online site providers means competitive pricing and frequent sales. Takes very little shelf space. Looks like any other published book – professional. You can tell the story alongside the photos.
Con: Bigger books (by size and by number of pages) can be costly. Add-ons such as page decorations can increase cost and final totals add up quickly. If you don’t have experience, you may be disappointed with the resulting font size or quality when the book arrives. Photos are permanently on the page (still need to store prints somewhere).
What is your favorite way to store and enjoy all your print photos and why?