By Brenna Malmberg, Houzz
Instead of printing and framing your photographs, digitally display them throughout your home. These digital displays can be technology you already own, such as a computer or TV, or you can invest in additional display options, such as a digital photo frame. With a little setup and a few clicks, you’ll be able to display your new and old digital images for all to see. Let’s take a look at how to display your digital photos and the options available.
Project: Display your digital photos
It’s a good project for you if: You take a lot of digital photos but do not showcase them in your home. Instead, they stay on your camera, computer or phone where no one else can see them.
“Our memories get trapped in our technology,” says Linda Deppa, a certified professional organizer with Uncluttered Professional Organizing.
Whom to hire: Depending on your level of comfort with technology, you can do this project yourself or hire a professional.
If you do it yourself, you’ll be following the instructions that come with your purchased devices. Deppa, an Association of Personal Photo Organizers member, says that if you do have any trouble, the company’s technical support department can usually walk you through the setup process. After the device is ready, you’ll create folders of images to display on your digital device.
A professional can also set up any of your devices and transfer images from your computer to the devices. This could be a local organizer or a tech support person, or you can also ask friends and family to see if they could assist, Deppa says.
Cost range: A digital device can cost anywhere from $50 to $300. This range includes technology such as digital frames and TV add-ons like Apple TV.
Installation costs can range from $50 to $150 per hour.
Typical project length: Device setup can range from 15 minutes to an hour. Once the device is set up, you can change the photos on the digital display in a matter of minutes, Deppa says.
Best time to start: You can start this project anytime. It’s best to start once your digital photos are organized. That sorting process is a separate project and can take a lot of time, Deppa says, so people need to know organizing a digital photo library is not instantaneous.
Number of photos to display: The number of images you display can vary. Julie Kessler, a certified personal photo organizer at Picture This Organized, recommends picking a small collection that serves a purpose or has a theme. “You’ll have a much richer viewing experience if you do this than if you just plug in your whole photo collection,” she says.
One of her clients chose to use a digital photo frame to display only images of her grandchildren. When the client has new photos of the kids, the client has Kessler update the photo frame’s images.
Types of images to display: You can display portrait or landscape photos on devices. If the photo orientation gets messed up or the device crops the images to fit the screen, Kessler says you’ll need to go into the device’s settings to fix the issue. Your device’s tech support can be a great resource if you need help.
Kessler, who is also an Association of Personal Photo Organizers member, reminds people that if photos are blurry or low-quality on a camera or computer, a digital display will probably exaggerate the issue, making the photos look even worse. She recommends not adding those to the digital display’s slideshow.
Maintenance: Once your images are displaying on your device, you can go in and update the folder of photos anytime. Kessler says to revisit the images about once a month to keep them updated. “Don’t let your images get old and just sit there,” she says. “Remember that you have them up for a purpose and enjoy them.”
Digital Photo Display Options
Computer or phone: If you have a computer, you most likely are already using it to store and organize your digital photos. Take this electronic device one step further and turn it into a digital display. You can do this by setting your desktop image to one of your personal photos. Some computers even allow users to set the desktop picture to change after a set time. You can also use your images as the screen saver. Again, different computers will offer different options. This desktop computer displays images as snapshots and creates a never-ending rotation on the screen.
A phone can also display your personal images. In the display settings, you can add a personal photo to the background of your smartphone or the lock screen. Now, not only are you taking photos with your phone, you are also enjoying them every time you pick it up.
Digital frames: Many digital displays — in various shapes, colors and sizes — are on the market. These frames look much like their non-tech counterparts. You can place them on desks and shelves or hang them on the wall. The benefit of a digital frame is that you can change out the photos anytime using Wi-Fi, a USB drive or a memory card.
For their businesses, Deppa and Kessler like frames by Nixplay. Nixplay frames range in price from $80 to $250. They have both Wi-Fi and non-Wi-Fi frames in a variety of colors and sizes. Deppa likes these frames because they are easy to set up, work via Wi-Fi and allow multiple people to upload photos to one frame through the company’s online system.
Kessler has a client whose children upload photos to the frames. It’s great for her client because she’s not as tech-savvy so her children or Kessler can manage the frame’s images.
If you use a memory card or USB drive for a digital frame, Kessler recommends labeling that storage device so that you know exactly what photos belong on it. She does this for all of her clients who use this type of digital frame.
Kessler also encourages people to adjust the frame’s settings to suit their needs. These settings might include the transition time between photos. She likes to see photos for five to 10 seconds; other people may like a longer transition time.
TV: Most people already have a large digital display, which they use for watching movies and TV programs. But the screen also can be used to display digital images. You can connect your images to your TV via technology such as Apple TV or an Xbox, Deppa says.
In her own home, Deppa uses her Apple TV to display images on her 55-inch TV. This option ranges from $149 to $199 and took Deppa about 30 minutes to set up. Once her Apple TV was connected, Deppa used her television to navigate to her photos and signed in to access her images. From there, she picked which images she would like to display on her TV.
She likes to refresh the display daily with family photos or images from a trip. If she’s having a party at her home, she will pick images that reflect the people who are coming over to visit.
The future of displaying photos: Upcoming technology from Halē Orb also puts the TV to use. It’s a softball-size remote that pulls up photos on your television with a tap. Maureen McMeekin, senior partner at Right Launch Technology Solutions and Association of Personal Photo Organizers member, has been working with Halē Orb to test this new technology.
“People are looking for new ways to get their photos organized and simplified,” she says. “They want to have them at the touch of their fingertips, so clients have been excited about this project.”
A small stick plugged into the TV installs Halē Orb, and then it uses a Wi-Fi connection to stream images onto the TV, says Ken Miura, founder and CEO of DouZen, the company that created Halē Orb. The company plans to release its product in summer 2017 with a plastic option for about $149 and a wood option for about $250. With the device, family and friends can share and view all of their images together in a large format, whether the photos are uploaded or shared on other social media platforms.