Digital photos are convenient. After all, you can’t add fun filters with old-fashioned cameras! But with digital photos, you can take multiple photos, edit them on your phone, and keep them saved in the cloud. That way, even if something happens to your phone or computer, you won’t lose your precious memories.
Your photos can also help you continue a loved one's digital legacy — you can use them for a virtual memorial with a service like GatheringUs. They even have specialists who can guide and support you through the planning process.
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But it can be nice to have hard copies, too. Nothing can replace the nostalgia that accompanies browsing through your family photo album. But where can you print photos these days? Photography shops are almost nonexistent. You can’t just drop off a roll of film and come back later.
But you can download photos to your computer and order prints. With popular services like Shutterfly gaining ground, this is a great choice. You can get photos delivered to your door — no need to leave your home.
After the death of a loved one, you may want to save and print some of their photos. And if you’re responsible for a memorial collage, the more options you have the better. Below are the easy steps to getting photos printed.
1. Access Your Google Photos
If you’re trying to print photos, accessing them on a computer may be easier. Google links everything together including your photos.
Here’s how to start:
Log into your Gmail account
Most people have their email and password saved. After you log into your account, you’ll be presented with the ‘main page’. This is your inbox.
Look at your Google apps
In the top right corner of your screen, there is an icon of your email avatar.
To the left of this icon is a square grid of dots. Click on this grid. You’ll be presented with a variety of apps. Usually, this includes Google Maps, Google Calendar, and other familiar names.
You can select the Photos app from this menu. You’ll see all your photos. If you want to search for them, you can. But you can also see a display of all your photos, categorized by date.
An important note: Your photos will only be saved to Google if your phone was setup to automatically upload them. This is an easy process — you need to sync your photos with your Google account. You can do that under the settings menu of your Google App.
2. Choose Your Printer or Printing Service
Google Photos has partnered with CVS and Walmart to produce photos. They provide quick print options for photos.
Choose to order prints
When you click on a photo, it will come up in an overlay window. In the upper right-hand corner, there are lots of options. Click on the vertical row of three dots.
From that menu, click Order Photo Prints.
Decide on the cost
Prices range from store to store. This is due to store policies and the cost of a glossy versus a matte finish. Walmart charges $0.25 per print, for a 4x6 photo.
That same print, in the same size, costs $0.33 at CVS. Both stores offer different finishes, but both offer same day pickup. Remember that order size is limited, too. The maximum number of 4”x6” prints you can order is 200.
Choose your photos
You don’t have to go through the entire process for each photo you want to print. When you start your order, you can select Add More Photos or Next.
Add as many photos as you want. By clicking on each one first, you can preview it before adding it to your order. That helps you make sure you get the version you want. Once you’ve added all your photos, click Next.
Select your location
Most people have a Walmart or CVS location close to them. Input your location, so Google knows where you want to pick them up.
Since both locations offer same-day pickup, you don’t have long to wait.
Confirm the details of your order
You’ll be presented with all the nitty-gritty details. To proceed, you have to confirm this information. Confirm the photos you want to print, and the number selected.
An estimate of the cost will be included on this page. You’ll then need to confirm the store’s location, the contact information, and your payment type.
The contact is your name, or whoever is going to pick them up. And the payment is usually done in-store after you’ve picked them up. That way, you don’t have to fuss with online payment options.
3. Think About Using Other Options
You aren’t limited to CVS or Walmart. They’re convenient options for most people, but they might not be for you. This is especially true if you live in a rural area, or don’t have reliable transportation. If that’s the case, try getting them delivered to your door. If you’re trying to put together a memory board, you might be busy gathering other crafting supplies. Getting photos mailed could be a big time-saver.
Many services provide photo printing. The order process is pretty standard, which means each service has similar steps. You will need to create an account to order prints from any of these services.
Decide what works best for you
You can be selective with your photos. But it might be more convenient for you to download them to your computer all at once.
To do this, go to the main page of Google Photos. You can do this by going to your email, clicking the square grid of dots, and selecting Photos. Then, hit the Shift key. Hold it down and click on all the photos you want. This will mass-select photos. You can download them all once they’re selected.
Upload your photos to your account
There are two ways of doing this, but it depends on whether or not you downloaded the photos to your computer. If you downloaded them, log in to the account of the photo service you’ve selected. Then, go to the photo-specific part of the account. This is the My Photos section of your account.
After that, it’s easy! Click the Upload button. This is located in the top right corner of the screen. You’ll get the opportunity to decide if you want to upload all your photos or just a select few. You can upload photos whenever you want, so if you decide you want a few more it’s easy to add them to your account.
Connect with Google Photos
If you didn’t download your photos, that’s okay. There is a second method of uploading them. Start by logging into your account. If you’re looking for traditional photos, select prints. Then, click Get More Photos. The service will give you quite a few options, and you can choose Google.
Then, you’ll need to log in to your Google account. Once you’ve done that, you can access Google Photos. Pick the photos you want to add to your account and print, then click the Add button. After that, you can print photos from your account easily.
This option doesn’t come up in Google Photos, though. You have to connect your photo service account to your Google account in order to make it work.
Saving Your Digital Memories
Scrambling to save memories is no fun for anyone. You might be trying to create a craft for a memorial service, or trying to figure out what photos were on your loved one’s digital devices. Either way, you don’t want to overlook anything. It’s hard to know what someone has saved.
Ordering photos in large quantities might be the perfect solution. You don’t need to feel rushed to make decisions about storage. What photos should you frame? Which ones go in the family photo album? You don’t need to decide now. You can save the physical photos and go through them later. And that way, you get the opportunity to revisit some special memories of your loved one.
If you're curious about your digital accounts and memories, read our articles on the digital afterlife and your digital legacy. You can ensure that your digital assets are taken care of according to your wishes by making a will. It's easy to create one from home with an online will maker like Trust & Will.