How Do I Select Which Photos to Print?

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I am Neyssa Lee a mother of six, who is planning obsessed, and uses photography to help you see the beauty in your own family’s chaos. Learn more by heading to my ABOUT ME page.

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Hi, I'm Neyssa

If you’ve been following along, you know we’ve been talking all things regarding using your photos. We started with How to Begin Using My Photos, and then last week featured an interview with Miss Freddy on Backing Up Your Photos. (Did you grab her course and start the process of backing up your photos?)

This week let’s talk about how to select what photos to print.

This is going to be more general how I approach narrowing down which photos to use for which project. In future weeks I’m going to cover more specific projects, like how to use your photos for your walls, gifts, family albums, etc.


How to select which photos to print, Neyssa Lee Photography, Photo of square photo prints

Before you can select any photos to use you must first decide how you will use your images

Whether I am looking at personal photos or photos from my most recent family photo session (yup, photographers have family photos taken too!), I need to decide how I am going to use my photos. This will help me know how many photos I need to select and what type of images I want to use.

For example, is it a holiday card? Then I know I usually do 1-2 entire family photos and one photo of each child insidiously.

Or am I putting together an album? Then I want 35-40 favorites on average.

Or maybe I’m creating a wall display. I will then need 1-5 depending on the amount of wall space.

In short, decide what you want to do with your photos and that will help you know how many photos you will need to select. (Note: It is okay if you want to use your photos for multiple things. My yearly family photos are used on my walls, in my yearly personal album, and for my Christmas Cards).

Next select your overall favorites and copy them into a separate folder.

When looking at your photos you may think, how on earth can I pick my favorites?! I love them all, my kids look so cute, we look so happy, etc. This step may take you a couple of passes through your photos.

First, favorite with your heart. Which ones speak the most to you?

Once you have your favorited images, go through them again to see if you selected any that are very similar. Compare those and narrow down even more. Often you know which you like more by noticing a better smile, more connection, or even prettier light.

Note: At this point you may still have more images than you need for your project. Again, that is is okay and even a good idea. When it comes time to actually print your photos for your walls or put them into an album, having extra options in case one photo does not work as well is a good thing. (Then you will not have to go all the way back to the beginning to figure out which image to use).


Notice the story telling in my family’s Christmas card.

Notice the story telling in my family’s Christmas card.

From your favorites select photos that tell a story.

Look through those images you just favorited. Do they tell us a story of that day? If you’ve only selected classic portraits, consider going back through your photos and selecting a bigger variety of photos.

Whether it’s on your wall or in an album you want to tell a story. Why are these photos important what do they tell us about your family. Of course we love traditional portraits of our kids smiling at the camera. However, if we want to really make an impact with our photos, we want to tell a fuller story.

If it’s an album you want a variety of photos they show details, places life happened, and how the kids grew. 

If its for your walls use a mix of photos that highlight different family dynamics, the location, and your love.

Now you can move on to using your photos!

With a smaller folder of photos to use you can now move onto actually putting together an album for the year, or ordering prints for frames for your wall, or canvases, or more. The next step will seem so much less intimidating with only your top photos!

Start selecting your photos, gathering them into folders (family photos and personal photos) and then stay tuned for tips on specific ways to use those photos!


Every family and newborn photo session includes a custom album.

Every family and newborn photo session includes a custom album.

All family and newborn sessions come with a custom album without the work.

When you have your family photos taken, you should not be left with a gallery of digital files and no idea what to do next. You should walk away with something tangible helping the process feel more complete. That is why I started including a custom album with every family and newborn session.

I put together an album that tells a story and shows off your beautiful family without you having to lift a finger. Do you like to have a little more control? Don’t worry, you are able to select favorites to be included and you give final say before the album is sent off to the printer.

Stay tuned, coming up in the Using Your Photos Series will be more specific tips and tricks. We will look at creating albums, printing photos for frames, and also look at my favorite places to print photos! Dying to get started? Head on over and read about 5 Tips for Creating Stunning Wall Displays.

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