Like most people today, I'm something of a guilty snapper. I spend ages trying to get a decent shot, longer still editing and adding filters, and then I stick it up on social media and all but forget about it. Because even though 75% of us say looking at printed photos makes us feel happy, it's all too rarely that we actually get around to printing some.
So when Bonusprint got in touch to ask if I'd like to be involved with the #proudtoprint campaign, I didn't waste any time in saying yes.
I am #proudtoprint - even when my photos aren't perfect. My favourite, most successful photos tend to find their way into frames on the mantelpiece, it's true, but I still want photographs for the fridge, the noticeboard, and scrapbooking projects. Plus, having lots of snaps of loved ones about the place makes our house feel so much more homely.
We were given £80 credit to spend on the site which, with the typical print costing just 12p, stretched a very long way! The first thing I ordered was a canvas print of Marianna and Anthony dressed in his white tie. Anthony has long wanted a big print of this photograph, so it was awesome to finally be able to make it happen.
All I had to do was upload a photo and choose the size I wanted; we went for 70 x 50cm (£44.99). I was so impressed with the quality of the canvas when it arrived - my order was split into two for timely delivery, so this was actually a few days later than the photo prints. Although we all love this shot, it was taken with a mid-range camera phone in far from the best lighting conditions. Looking at the canvas, you would never know it! It now has pride of place in Anthony's 'man cave'.
Next, I ordered a big bundle of photographs. I loved how straightforward the process was. I just uploaded the photos, and the site determined which size print was best suited to the shot. You can choose between matte or glossy prints, along with some fancy options like polaroid style snaps. You can see below the range of sizes - the quality is really impressive, especially when you consider that most of these were taken with my phone camera, and the vintage holiday pic was scanned in from the original.
These are destined for a variety of purposes; some will be given to grandparents and other relatives who always complain that we just post photos online these days, and some are going to brighten up our own house. Like this collection:
The rest are going to be used in some of our summer craft projects...
Choosing the photos, picking the frame, adding the finishing touches... Before you know it, an entire afternoon has been filled.
Scrapbooking deserves a whole post of its own, there is so much you can do with it. Here is a page of Marianna's baby scrapbook, an uncomplicated affair done with coloured markers and washi tape.
#8. Jar Japers
Jars can be a great way to display photographs - or simply great fun. A full face photograph can be curved around in a jar and filled with water to make it look as though there is a head in your jar.
#7. Snow Globes
Adding water and glitter to your photo in a jar is an incredibly easy way to make a snow globe. You can make it as simple or as elaborate as you like - you could glue scene setters to the inside of the lid, for instance, and fix a photo to one side of the jar. I made a simple glitter shaker for Marianna which she had great fun with, for all those googly eyes creeped everyone else out! (Tip: laminate your photo first - you can just cover in clear sticky tape - to make it last longer.)
#6. Hot Glue
From shells to buttons to jigsaw pieces to plastic flowers, hot glue is a quick and easy way to decorate photo frames. If you don't have a hot glue gun, you can use regular PVA; it just takes longer to dry.
#5. Lollipop Stick Frames
Super simple - but super effective! You can glue your sticks together, or attach with double sided tape. To decorate, you can paint, use stickers, glue decorations on, or apply patterned washi tape. The possibilities are endless.
Cardboard mounts are one of the easiest ways to display photographs, and can be decorated any way you like. They're great for young children as they can't really get up to any mischief with them. I glued a photograph to a larger piece of cardboard, and let Marianna stick stickers wherever she liked. She had a great time, and I enjoyed a few minutes of peace and quiet...
#3. Googly Eyes
Everything is more fun with googly eyes. Fact. You could even make a collection of little add ons - hats, glasses, mustaches, etc - and prove that you don't need an app to add a touch of humour to your photographs.
These can be as elaborate or as simple as you like - I glued my photograph onto a cardboard backing and simply cut the whole into pieces. I then took turns with Marianna to solve the puzzle.
#1. And the Rest
There are so many great photo crafts I haven't actually got around to yet - so check out the Pinterest board above I'm using for inspiration!
Why not order some prints of your own at Bonusprint? I'd love to see any crafts you make with them - and I'm sure Bonusprint would too; you can connect with them on social media via Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
If you liked this post, please check out my brief history of photography: