Turning your phone photos into family photo wall art.

We all take and store thousands of cell phone photos. I could scroll my phone endlessly and see my daughters' growth right before my eyes. Their sweet newborn days, their feisty preschool years and their busy elementary school activities...it's all right here, in my phone. But how can I turn those photos that live in that tiny 3x6 screen into something that we can all enjoy for years to come? How do I go about making family photo wall art?

I use a professional printing lab for all my client work but that lab is only for professional photographers. Fortunately, they have sister company, available for anyone to use, called Mpix. Let's get those images off your phone and onto your walls! I'm going to walk you step by step through the process, using the Mpix photo app on your phone.

Sisters in a field of daisies in Redmond at sunset.

Step 1: Choose your favorite photos.

When scrolling through your phone photo album, "favorite" the images you want printed out. This way, when it's time to upload the photos, instead of re-sifting through thousands of photos to find the several you want, you just go to your "favorites" album and select those. I choose a mix of candids and posed, individual and grouped photos of my family.

Step 2: Download the Mpix app.

Find the Mpix app in the app store and download it for free. Select the type of product you'd like (prints, photo books, cards, etc). I love photo prints and it's the easiest thing to hang as family photo wall art. Here's what I do once I'm logged in to the app.

  1. Select the photo source "photos" from your phone.
  2. Select "favorites" and highlight all the ones you want uploaded to the Mpix app.
  3. Select "basic method" for auto-cropping your photos.
  4. "E-surface" is the traditional, standard, what-you-come-to-expect photo paper. "None" for finishing. "None" for mount/frame.

Step 3: Receive your quality prints.

I've included a comparison to show you why choosing the right printing lab matters! A high quality printing lab will deliver physical prints that are true to the digital images' color and crispness. The first image you see below is the one you'd receive as a digital file. My computer monitor is calibrated so the colors I see on my screen are the same colors I'll see in the photo prints. The second image is a side by side comparison of a print from my professional printing lab (top) vs. an Mpix print (bottom).

You can see that the photo print quality of the professional printing lab and the mpix lab are very similar. I'd be pleased to receive either photo print to hang on my walls! Here is another example below. The first image is the digital file. The second image is the side by side comparison of the professional printing lab (left) and mpix (right).

Step 4: Use your prints as family photo wall art.

I have lots of photo frames that I've accumulated over the years. Below, you can see a simple gallery wall in my daughters' bedroom, with photo frames from Ikea and Marshalls. It's not a perfect gallery wall but I love it! I use photo frames (in a gallery wall or just individually throughout the house, on bookshelves or tables) because it's an inexpensive way to display your children's growth over time...just swap the photos when you feel inspired. If you want something quick and easy to design, other than photo prints, Mpix also has:

  • Metal Prints: one of my favorite things to display, because the colors are so vibrant!
  • Photo Magnets: inexpensive, small and something you can stick on anything
  • Canvas Prints: sturdy, archival quality art. Select one photo and your job is done! No need to design a gallery wall, just display that one piece.

For more inspiration on why you should print your family photos, see this post here. Thanks so much for reading!

*I'm not affiliated with Mpix in anyway, I just think their products are great!