Why You Should Print Your Photos

Nowadays, sharing your elopement experience is instantaneous. You post photos on Facebook or Instagram, and boom–that’s it. And while this is a totally normal thing to do, most of our couples don’t have receptions or events to actually share the experience in a more thoughtful way. So while Instagram is a nice place to share initially, printing and sharing your experience outside of social media is super helpful.

Learning to Slow Down

We spend so much time consuming media on our screens that printed photos and albums force us to slow down and actually acknowledge what’s in front of us. We slow down, flip pages individually, and can more easily reflect on important memories. It’s also just a good mindfulness exercise to have something analog like prints and albums instead.

Create Connection

Sharing on social media will get likes, comments, and if we’re lucky–a few DMs. But that’s where it ends. Having printed photos or albums and sharing them requires people to physically be there with you! You’re able to tell a story, share your favorite memories, and hear genuine feedback from loved ones. And as humans, we need that kind of feedback from friends and family–something much deeper than what social media can give us.

A Symbol of the Future

Eloping was a bold decision. Not a decision just any couple can make! You two are incredibly awesome humans with the courage to do what’s right for you. That’s a big deal. And now that you have this experience under your belt, it can give you the confidence to take on other bold decisions in the future. If there’s a photo of you two climbing a mountain for sunrise hanging in your living room–that sends a message to you every day of what you’re capable of together.


Our Top Picks (from our online print shop)

Your online gallery is attached to a wonderful selection of print labs that we picked for printing your elopement photos. Below are our top picks for things you can order within your gallery for keepsakes. Just visit the “shop” tab in your gallery to get started. Our print shop always has holiday sales! Be sure to ask us for a coupon if you don’t receive a coupon when visiting the print shop.

Wooden Box with USB

It’s a modern, minimal keepsake while doing something practical (storing your photos on a separate USB drive). Your high-resolution photos come pre-downloaded on the USB for ya, and you can get a custom inscription on top of the box. There are other types of boxes with the print shop we use, but this is the only option that includes a USB. We also like the idea of having some 4 x 6 favorites stored in the box to make it a memory box you can easily access and reflect on your day.

Print Packs

We love the print packs in our shop because they come printed on sturdy matte paper with a white border. They’re cheaper than just ordering individual prints (if you’re ordering 20+ photos), and they come in two standard sizes (4×6, 5×7). But these are not just standard photo prints from somewhere like Walmart–they have a more artistic quality to them and don’t have the same glare you get with glossy prints.


Tip: Our print gallery has a “Send to Visitors” option on any product. You can create an album, print pack, etc. and send it via email to a family member to order. It’s automatically put in their cart to review. It’s a great option if you have a less tech-savvy parent who needs help ordering, or if someone wants to pay for a gift!


Lay-Flat Photo Albums

We’ve hand-selected all the albums available in our shop. All albums in our print shop can be “auto-created.” Pictime (our gallery system) already gathers your most viewed images and creates a layout for you. You can print an album with zero work at all, or go in and just customize it! We’ve only put the options we think provide the best quality (compared to other print shops). We like the lay-flat albums because the paper they use is more durable and meant to be opened and used often. So if you want to show your photos a lot, or keep this out in the open for anyone to pick up–lay-flat albums are your best bet! Ryan prefers the leather finish, while Jaclyn prefers the velvet.

  • “Parent/Grandparent” Albums available (smaller 6 x 6in size that you can gift).

Fine Art Albums

These are the “classic” wedding albums that most people have, with a high-quality paper and simple, timeless finish. Ryan will always prefer a leather finish, since genuine leather ages and has a rustic feel over the years. While Jaclyn prefers the classic wedding album, which is usually linen or suede. If you really want to go over the top, there is a “wrapped” option, which creates a custom leather-wrapped album. “Wrapped” is a terrible description for such a beautiful album–but it’s definitely one of the more expensive options. Our “velvet” albums are printed by a totally different company, with really awesome matte-style paper. But it just depends on how you feel about velvet! There’s a forest green velvet that would be magical for any PNW elopements (just sayin’).

While these are the few products we wanted to mention, there are other prints and albums available in your gallery. So be sure to check out the other options too!


Printing Tips

As elopement photographers, we have a unique background when it comes to printing (and why we even put together this blog post). Ryan used to work in a print shop, and Jaclyn worked as a curator for an art gallery. So we have some helpful tips on making the most out of your prints!

Frames

Create a color palette: Think about what color frames you want to use throughout your living space. Do you want earthy tones? All black to go with your more modern style?

Type of frames: Use simple frames for busy photos, and more ornate frames for simple, minimalistic photos. The contract complements the photos.

Thrift your frames: We recommend thrifting frames! It’s so fun to go searching for a frame, and some thrift stores have a good selection of old, high-quality wooden frames. The prints in our shop are standard sizes, so it shouldn’t be as difficult to find a good frame. But make sure you get the right size!

Be eclectic: You can also avoid creating a color palette or having similar style frames. Thrifting frames makes it easy to buy a range of totally different style frames to create a more “eclectic” gallery wall.

Prints

Different styles for different purposes: Matte and fine-art finishes are best for prints you intend to display, or for a handful of images you want to store in a memory box. These papers don’t have a glossy finish which helps avoid glare. Semi-gloss prints are cheaper, which is great if you want to print a ton of them for a project. But if you’re only ordering a handful of prints (less than 50), we’ll always recommend a matte or fine-art finish. Matte finish is going to have slightly “softer” colors, while fine-art is going to be more true to color/vibrant.

Diversity in photos: You want to make sure you print a diversity of photos for your walls. Have close-up photos, landscapes, details, etc. to make it look more balanced. You don’t want a shrine of close-up photos in your house, but you also don’t want a bunch of landscape photos that don’t show you eloping, right?

Print sizes: Print larger prints for bigger spaces like your living room where a big photo seems “proportionate” and easily viewable. While you should print smaller photos that can go in hallways, skinny spaces between doors, or unique “nooks” in your space.

The “Desk” Photo: Consider printing a photo for your work desk or your own home office/personal space. We keep a framed photo of each other at our desks, and it always makes us smile when we notice it throughout the day. Photos can bring us joy if we put them in places to be seen ๐Ÿ™‚

Layouts & Gallery Walls

Vary your sizes: A gallery wall is more attractive if you can have various sizes. We recommend a 16 x 20 in large photo to “anchor” the gallery, with a few supporting 8 x 10 in photos, and filling in the gaps with smaller photos.

Measure your space: Get out a tape measure and measure the wall space you have available for a gallery wall or any framed prints. You don’t want to accidentally crowd your space by overfilling it.

Don’t hang your photos quite yet: Once your photos are ready to hang up, figure out the layout first! Lay them out on your floor and figure out the arrangement before you start putting nails in the wall. Take a photo with your phone for reference of the layout once you have it figured out.

Add texture: Consider adding texture to a gallery wall with baskets, mirrors, thrift-finds, or other pieces you already have. It doesn’t have to be just photos. You can also hang National Park maps or topography maps of the area where you eloped.

Frame your flowers or memorabilia: A more unique texture you can add is getting your wedding flowers pressed and framed to go with your photos. You can also get a matte and frame other memorabilia such as parking passes, notes, tickets, or other items you collected from your trip. Think of it like a scrapbook, but you’re just framing it instead!

Don’t use frames: While we recommend framing most prints, you can also use bulldog clips to help add more variety (works best for smaller photos).