With the advent of smart phones featuring exceptional cameras it has gotten easier than ever to snap hundreds of photos while on vacation. We covered some basic tips on how to Take Smarter Pictures With Your Smartphone. Now, what do you do with those photos once you get back, or even while you’re traveling? Luckily, with one advancement in technology, along come many more to make your experience even better.
Here are 5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Digital Photos:
(Note: these tips are geared toward the smart phone user, but can also be applied to newer digital cameras with wifi capability.)
- Create a postcard.
There are several apps out there that allow you to use your own photographs to create a unique and personalized postcard to send back home. Among the top rated are Touchnote and MyPostcard. Touchnote features a user friendly interface that allows you to choose a photo right from your image gallery without first launching the app and a generous amount of text space to write your message. Both apps allow you to customize your layout to send a single image with or without a border, or a collage of several images.
- Send them home wirelessly.
Wireless Digital Frames are becoming increasingly popular and better than ever. Gone are the days when you needed to struggle with the device and hook it up to a computer or insert a memory stick to load photos (although that is still an option). Many digital frames now allow you to upload a photo from any wifi device remotely, even while you’re still on vacation! I’m currently considering the Nixplay Edge for my grandmother for Christmas. Not only does it have a high ease of use rating, but it also comes with a motion sensor, which is super handy because it means that it will only play when it senses that someone is in the room. She’s going to love the surprise of receiving new photos from me and my cousins while we’re on vacation!
- Print them out online.
For a wide variety of sizes and products, from your typical 4×6 photo print, to magnets, canvas wraps, metal prints and more, Mpix is great option. Although they are a little more expensive than other services like those offered by Shutterfly or your local drug store, their image quality is often better and more true to form. Their app makes it even easier to order prints remotely, but it’s best if you are connected to WiFi when doing so, otherwise you risk using a lot of data. For strictly online service with great quality for a good price, check out Pro DPI. Pro DPI ranks high in comparison studies, but their website could use some work in intuitive usability. Plus, they make you download their software to your computer before ordering. Also, check out one of my personal favorites, Moo. Moo is a great site that allows you to make unique sized business cards, postcards, stickers, magnets and more! For a fun and creative idea, check out their mini cards. You can order a pack with several different photos printed with your contact information and use them to hand out to new friends you meet on trips!
- Print them yourself.
If you’re a hobbyist who enjoys working with your own photographs, and don’t mind spending a little extra time, think about researching a good desktop printer to do it yourself. For professional quality home printing, Canon and Epson are great options. There’s also the fun novelty of being able to print on the go with the Fujifilm Instax Share SP-1 – a book-sized printer that connects via Bluetooth or WiFi. The drawbacks of this printer however is that it requires Fuji’s Instax Film to print, the print size is small (about the size of a credit card), and it has a short battery life of about 100 prints.
- Share them via Social Media.
This tip is often a given, which is why I saved it for last, but it does deserve a mention.
**Facebook is great, but please make sure you have strict privacy settings in place if you’re posting while you’re away. While your friends and family will all “Like” seeing that photo of you in front of the Eiffel Tower, you are also publicly announcing that your house is potentially vacant. You can choose to share with your friends only (don’t tag others in the image or else their friends will be able to see the post as well), or you can create a custom list before you leave of just a small handful of people. Then, when you return, you can go back and change the privacy settings on the images you want to share with a larger audience. We love receiving your photographs and seeing how much fun you’re having on our tours and we always get a kick out of seeing your photos of our buses around the country. We encourage you to post photos to our Facebook page!
**Instagram is also a fun tool. Their app is super easy to use and has a plethora of filters and adjustment tools to express your creativity. It’s also an enjoyable way to see the art others are creating.
**Flickr is a nice way to share photos in a social photography community. You can upload and organize your photos within albums and choose to share your albums privately with just a few people or publicly. Flickr also offers a photo community of people who all love photography. Like any social media effort, it can take some time to get established, but it does provide a good way to find other photo buffs with shared interests.
Don’t let your great shots get lost in the digital wasteland. There are so many great ways to share your memories! Try out the suggestions above and share your favorites in our comments section!