How To Organize Your Family Photos For The Best Wall Calendar EVER!


Just because it is January doesn’t mean you’ve missed the boat on creating a calendar. Now is the perfect time to gather photos from your family and make a wall calendar they will cherish every single day of the year.

Being uber busy before the holidays, sometimes it can be difficult to get family members to comply when asking them to send their favorite few photos of the year. Often they can’t find them – lost in their computers or mobile devices, wallowing away in a sea of photos that rarely get enjoyed ever again. (More about that in another blog) Your relatives will be a lot more amenable to helping out now that the flurry of festivities is over and can comfortably look for those faves without any pressure of a deadline. Another benefit of waiting until now is that you will have seasonal photos from the months of November and December for the past year which will make the calendar all the more timely and relevant.

So you’ve missed January? Many online calendar making programs let you customize your calendar to set the first page to any month you wish. For example Blacks Canada or Mixbook just to name a couple. I like to use Forever. While their calendars only start with January, their online program to make wall mounted calendars is easy to navigate and user friendly. There is an option to upload photos to single day squares, which allows for featuring your favorite (and only) nephew on his birthday with his picture. Of course all your other family members and friends too. Forever quality is beautiful, one of the best I’ve seen. Their Help Line is phenomenal with quick responses. Note: Forever is not compensating me for this endorsement, it is completely unsolicited because I love the product.

Create a custom calendar with Snap Shot Solutions

Regardless of what program you use, where do you begin?

Collect the photos from your family. It’s a calendar not a photo book so they only need to send a few, depending on how many people you are asking for photos from. Request that they send their favorite (high resolution) photos in a JPEG file format. Less than 1MB and it most likely won’t be a full page photo. Low resolution photos will either print grainy or the calendar making program will only let you use it in a size that allows for a quality reproduction – so you will need to canvas for high resolution photos for the project. From experience this is not as simple as it sounds. Here’s why.

Not everyone sets their DSLR camera to take high res photos. Megapixels determine the maximum potential resolution of a picture, so it’s best to use the most megapixels possible on your camera. Most cameras enable you to change the size in dimensions of the picture so whoever you ask for camera photos from will need to know how to set their camera properly to take a high res photo in the first place. Take it from me – give them a heads up on this now so they can be sure to give you the photo resolution you need for next year’s calendar.

Custom Wall Calendar creation made easy | Snap Shot Solutions

Another hindrance in getting high res photos is that as smartphone models improved over the years so have their camera capabilities to take a better quality photo. The more recent the model the better chance you have for a better resolution. Many makes and models give you the option of taking a higher resolution photo than the basic setting. For example, on my iPhone 5 camera I click on the HDR icon in my camera every time I take a photo. Yes, this does ultimately end up using more storage on your phone, but you should be backing up and editing as you go right? (Ok, more on that in another blog) Make sure everyone in your family understands their smartphone and takes the highest resolution photo possible in the first place.

Use Your Smartphone for Calendar Photography | Snap Shot Solutions

When sending photos from a smartphone or exporting from a software organizing program such as Photos on a Mac you may be asked what size you want – for this purpose always choose “Actual’ or “Original” then you will be getting the highest resolution possible for the photo. If inserting a photo into an email make sure you are selecting the highest resolution available. You can check the size by right clicking on the file and clicking on “Properties” or on a Mac “Get Info.” The larger the size or MB the better. When sending photos via email from a Mac always ensure that the drop down menu at the right side of the screen is set to send “Actual Size” otherwise you may get a smaller file.

Note to anyone who thinks they can take the easy way out and download photos from their social media. Facebook for example will always compress your images so that’s not a viable option to get photos.

When you have all your high quality photos you can make your calendar. I like to use one big beautiful photo per month cover page that is timely, seasonal and tells a story our family loves to remember. Everyone’s headshot is on their birthday, so no excuses to forget! Just make sure you proof your calendar before sending it to print. Once in error I mistook July for June and changed a family member’s birthday date – at least it was on the good side because he’s younger now.

Custom Calendar Making with Snap Shot Solutions

Good luck making your family calendar. I guarantee they will love it. Absolutely.

Snap Shot Solutions strives to be the very best photo organizing business in all of Ontario. The company’s goal is to deliver the very best in customer service through quality, care and convenience.

Daina Makinson has been featured in several newspapers, including The Globe and Mail and Guelph Mercury, and most recently she appeared in an episode of CBC’s DOC ZONE, CHCH Morning Live and Global TV’s The Morning Show as a subject expert.

Makinson has been recognized for delivering excellent customer service with the 2013 Guelph-Wellington Business Enterprise Centre Awards for Outstanding Customer Service and Outstanding Consulting Business as well as the 2015 Guelph Mercury Readers Choice Gold Award for Best Organizing Business.


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Daina Makinson

Daina Makinson is a local Puslinch resident, business owner, volunteer and co-founder of PuslinchToday.

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