Monday, May 26, 2008

My New Favorite Toy

When I was invited to try out the HP Photo Center at Meijer, I jumped at the chance. I have about 1000 pictures on my computer that I need to make into prints. I have several times that many that have been made into prints and are just sitting in boxes waiting for that magical day when all my kids are in school and I have time to tackle projects like getting pictures into albums. What? It could happen!

See what I mean?

giant bucket full of prints

another bucket of prints

and yet another big ole tub of even more prints
I take a lot of pictures. It's a sickness. It's fun!

Anyway, thinking that I could organize some of the photos on my computer, I jumped at the chance to try out the HP Photo Center. I love this thing! Here's the deal: you take your digital images to your nearest HP Photo Center. (Click HERE to find the closest one.) You can bring your images on a USB drive, most memory cards, or a CD. All you do is pop it in the computer and follow the directions on the touch screen. You can make posters (think of those large frames that have mats with multiple openings for a collage of pictures), hard cover photo albums, DVDs, calendars, cards, and more! Father's Day gifts!!!!!!!

When I went to try it out, I made an album with over 70 pictures. I got to choose the size of the album, the color of the cover, the theme, color and design of the pages, and how many pictures I wanted on each page. I was able to crop, fix red eyes, and adjust my pictures too. I chose what order I wanted the pictures to appear in and then this magic machine did all the work for me! It arranged all the photos in the order I had selected! I previewed each page to make sure I liked the layout and then clicked ok. Voila! My photo album was printed while I shopped and I picked it up about an hour later.

(Sorry, this is a picture of my album so it didn't turn out that great - the picture, not the album, that is.)

I asked the guys who worked there if more pages could be added to the book in the future because I'm not all that organized and will undoubtedly find more photos that I'll want to add. They said it was no problem to add more pages. How cool! You could print up a month's worth of pictures at a time and each month, add a few more pages to the album. At the end of the year, you'd have a great album with that year's highlights captured in photo memories! Each month could have a theme: Easter, Halloween, vacation, Christmas, etc.

Then, because the album cost less than I thought it would, I made a DVD with those same pictures. Let me tell ya - it took a mere fraction of the time to make that DVD than any slide show or video I've made on my computer at home! This is SO easy! Now, when I was at the store playing with working on my pictures, a woman sat down at the computer next to me and was having a hard time figuring everything out. But the guys in the photo center at Meijer were nice and knowlegeable and quickly helped her out. I'm going back to make a DVD of our Discovery Cove trip so the kids can watch it again and again.

If you don't have an HP Photo Center at a store near you, you may be able to use Snapfish to order your prints or some creations online and then pick them up at a store.

I am SO going back to make albums from the rest of the photos on my computer. It's much easier to throw my pictures on a flash drive, take them to the store, and leave with a completed album in an hour than to have them made into prints so they can take up space and gather dust in my home for weeks months decades.

Check out THIS LINK for answers to your FAQs, THIS LINK for a demonstration video, and THIS LINK for a coupon for a FREE poster when you buy one.

Coming up soon: another review of an HP product that makes an awesome gift for parents and grandparents!


Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn,

I have been using Snapfish for years (before HP purchased it). Since I live many states away from family and old friends, Snapfish has become a great place to store digital photos and share them with my family members. All I have to do is say share and put in their email addresses and they are sent an email and have permission to view and print the photos. If they want to make photos they can order them there too... Or... I can order prints from Snapfish and have them directly sent to my house or someone else's home. The quality is great. I have had many gifts made for my daughter and family such as pillowcases, mugs, notebooks, flip books and posters. All are of great quality. I'm looking forward to your future review.. Jenny F.

MEG said...

I used Snapfish to make a 'grandkids' calendar for my mom for Christmas. It was SO simple and FUN!
My train buddy's kids made her a photo/recipe book for her birthday using Snapfish and she was tickled pink!
Now if we could only get a Meijer up by me... (I know there are other HP locations, but I really want a Meijer!)

Lisa said...

What a TEASE! There are none of those centers nearby and I'm SOOOO jealous. Sounds like lots of fun and I would love to print off a book, what an awesome idea. They can be done online but in person is so much more fun for sick people like me who want it NOW! Thanks...

BoufMom9 said...

That sounds AWESOME!
I don't think there are any near me either. :(