Taking family photos in the age of the smartphone is easy—but displaying them proves to be a little more difficult. Most families will take thousands of photos over the course of the year, but never get the chance to enjoy them in the home. A great printer makes your family photos easily accessible and lets you decorate your home and hearts with snaps of your loved ones in a pinch.
While professional photo printing has gotten easier than ever (you can even do it using apps nowadays!), I really appreciate having the flexibility to do it from your own home. It’s one errand that you have to run, and it lets you finish the project now.
Family-friendly desktop printers
For big print jobs, I always recommend using a desktop printer for your family photos. They’ll do a better job than an instant or portable printer, and your photos will queue up more easily, printing sequentially with fewer pauses.
Inkjet printers are your “typical” printer. They’re pretty standard: most are priced affordably, and they don’t take up too much space. Often, they’re available as an “all-in-one,” with functions to print, scan, and photocopy. I’ve reviewed a few inkjet photo printers on the Best Buy blog, like the Canon TS3129, that I’ve been quite happy with. For printing family photos, just make sure to buy high-quality photo paper and go on your way!
That being said, if you want high-quality prints and/or a lot of prints, a laser printer can be a great investment. These printers tend to be significantly larger and more expensive, but they make up for it in quality. Laser printers use a different printing process that requires less ink and time, and I consistently find that they can complete my print jobs in a fifth of the time (if not less). My family has had an HP LaserJet for years, and it has more than made up for its initial cost with how infrequently we have to replace the ink. It’s outlasted the rest of our printers by years, and is still completely functional and in great shape.
Instant printers for family photos on the go
Printing at home definitely makes things easier than going to a photo shop to do it, but wait: there’s an even easier option out there!
Instant printers are a great way to print your snaps on the go. They’re ideal for trips to the zoo, birthday parties, and even road trips. You know that feeling that you got as a kid when someone whipped out their Polaroid and everyone ooh‘d and ahh‘d over it before having their picture taken? Well, that feeling is back, and it’s been adapted to let you print out snaps from your smartphone, too.
ZINK technology in products like the Canon Ivy and HP Sprocket makes instant printing quick and cheap. I personally think these are the best option for families with kids, because each photo sheet is small and has a sticker backing. On the other hand, analog printers like the Fujifilm Instax Share SP-2 and Square SP-3 offer a smoother quality. They’re a little pricier per sheet, but are well-loved for their nostalgic feel. Instax Share film is the same stuff that you’d put into your instant camera, and it looks great up on a photo wall.
Portable printers: The in-between option
To bridge the gap between instant printers and desktop options, look to products like the Canon Selphy. Full-sized portable photo printers avail you to the possibilities of 4×6 photo paper while still saving on space. The Selphy’s quality is stellar (I’d say it’s comparable to that of a 1-hour photo studio), and while it’s pricier per photo, it fills a unique niche.
Family homes are getting smaller as cities become more dense. Even when they’re not, our homes always seem to have too much cluttering them up. There’s no “best way” to print your family photos, but portable printers give you a space-conscious option for printing at home. For those who can’t choose what type of printer they want to use to print their family photos, a portable printer is an easy way to get the best of both worlds.
Shop photo printers online at Best Buy.