6 Steps to Stop Feeling Overwhelmed and Print Your Photos
6 Steps to Stop Feeling Overwhelmed and Print Your Photos

Not too long ago, I was working on a project that would require me to dig up some precious photos from my archives. At the time, I had a working folder of current images on my computer’s hard drive, but previous years of photos were tucked away, safe and sound, on an external hard drive…or so I thought.

I booted up my computer, plugged in the external drive, and waited. And waited. And waited.

A few of the folders popped up on the screen right away. The rest were loading as slow as molasses, or not at all.

I panicked.

I knew my hard drive was dying, and it was trying to take all of my daughter’s baby photos down with it.

Not to mention it was 4 o’clock PM on a Sunday. I knew I needed to make it to a store ASAP. My hard drive didn’t have a day or two more to wait. I grabbed my keys, told my husband I had to leave ASAP, and then went to the nearest electronics store, a 30 minute drive from home.

I didn’t care the cost; I just needed a backup solution…fast. Thankfully, when I returned home, all of my folders were there and I got the files transferred before it was too late. It was a huge lesson learned in backing up my images regularly, and ensuring that they’re also printed too.

In the digital age, we are playing a game of photography roulette, when we don’t make the time or space to come full circle with our craft, and preserve our images after they’re taken.

At the beginning of this year, I had over 30,000 photos to our family’s name, with only a fraction of them printed. Making the commitment to get them off the hard drive for good, I now boast having 10+ projects completed in one year (including 2 annual year books and a multi-generational archive album, each with close to 300 pages).

I have learned several lessons, not only in why it’s important to print photos, but also how to break out of feeling overwhelmed and actually get to work on making it happen.

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  • No.
    Perfect Pictures Are Printed Ones

    As professional photographers or aspiring ones, we can too easily get wrapped up in wanting to create the perfect image, the perfect layout, the perfect design, the perfect product. But at the end of the day, printed photos are simply a vehicle to connect with the people you love most. They’re not going to care if the light, composition, editing, and layout were up to your high standards.


  • No.
    Start Small

    If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of photos you have backlogged, don’t start with a large annual-type book. Find a company you love, get used to their software, and organize a small chunk of photos from a specific event or vacation. Once you start to develop a process and workflow that works for you, re-create that on future larger scale projects.

  • No.
    Simplify The Process

    Not every photo book or album has to be scrapbook quality with fancy backgrounds, embellishments, and journal entries. Most of my books these days contain almost no text and 1-3 photos per page.

  • No.
    Involve Your Kids

    Invite them to sit with you as you’re culling, editing, or putting your book together. I bet this simple act will open the door to some powerful conversation and connection, which will fuel your desire to finish your projects and get them ordered.


  • No.
    Make Time On The Calendar

    When you have a backlog of photos, it’s a huge commitment to actually get to work on the printing process. Instead of letting these projects fall to the bottom of the list, put them on top. Devote just 10 minutes per day to some part of the process, and over time you’ll see progress. My guess is some days you’ll start with 10 minutes, but get so engrossed in the work that you’ll end up doing more.

  • No.
    Find An Active & Support Community

    The printing process can be mundane and overwhelming, so finding buddies to help you stay accountable, and make the commitment to yourself and your family is key. Which is precisely why I created my own support network this year. Want a peek at what that community looks like? Join me for Embrace Your Phone – a FREE 2 week mini-class where we’ll work together to get a simple project off your device and into your life for good. Because in the end perfect pictures are printed ones.

    Click here to register for the FREE two week class now.



Photo credit goes to: Love Knot Photo

  • Mary Mouser
    October 21, 2015 at 12:56 PM

    I LOVE articles like this and yours is beautifully done. As a woman in my 60’s, I know the value of printing images and making photo books. I have made more than I can count but each one is cherished. I now have 5 grandbabies from age 6 down and have made each one a first year book from the hundreds of photos I took of them that year. I also make myself a photo book of the year of our family times then have two copies printed so that eventually each of my adult children get one. I also have every wall of my “grandkid room” filled with images of them in fun and colorful frames that make the room pop. The kids lay in bed on sleepovers with a flashlight and scope out each picture of themselves. It’s articles like this one that keep me going and encourage me on when I get tired. Thank you Beryl Ayn.
    Mary of FairlyCandid.com

  • kathy H
    October 21, 2015 at 2:07 PM

    Thanks for sharing! Indeed an overwhelming task , going through all those pictures taken over the years. I have made a couple of photo books already…but not in the past year and a half… So time to move forward, edit some more, sign up for the two week guiding and get to work :)

  • Sarah
    October 21, 2015 at 3:05 PM

    Great post! I am so behind on my photo books! One company that I have found to be awesome in helping me keep up to date on the day to day photos is Chatbooks. They take your Instagram photos and print them into a 60 page coffee book. The app is so smooth and your photos automatically transfer from Instagram to Chatbooks. It’s awesome!!!

  • Stcey
    November 22, 2015 at 3:37 AM

    Thanks for this post! Just wondering where you print a book with so many pages?

    • Courtney
      December 7, 2015 at 12:48 PM

      I believe she uses Blurb. I know I use Blurb and can print hundreds in one book.

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