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How to Order Photographic Prints From iPhoto

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Digital technology allows the taking of countless photographs for little or no cost; a stark contrast to the expensive, film-based photography of just a couple of decades ago. Yet photos are printed less often than in the past. It's still possible and, in this tutorial, I'll show you how to have chosen photos printed professionally and delivered to your door.

Photography, for me, began with a secondhand Zenit camera and a roll of stuff called film that had to be developed before I could see the image I’d just framed. Fast-forward to recent history and now photographs are captured digitally and viewed instantaneously.

Perhaps it’s the ease with which I can rattle off hundreds, if not thousands, of photos that means I rarely look at them after I’ve taken them. In this tutorial I will show you how to produce a custom book highlighting the best of your photography.

Getting Started

For this tutorial you will need:

  • Your best photographs
  • A Mac running OS X
  • iPhoto

For the purposes of this tutorial, I will be using the latest version of iPhoto running on OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.

If you are running an earlier version of OS X, the outline and principles of the tutorial will be the same with the exception of some of the detail in the iPhoto app itself.

Note, this tutorial assumes that you already use iPhoto to manage your photographs. If you do not, you should import your chosen photographs to iPhoto first.

Select Some Excellent Photographs

Creating photo Events
Creating photo Events

For the purposes of selecting the best photos from which to order prints, I find it useful to create a new Album.  An album is a collection of photos that can come from different Events in the iPhoto library.

To select the photographs:

  • Open iPhoto and go to Events to select an Event from which you wish to select photographs.
  • Select an image by clicking once on it.  If you wish to select more than one image, hold down the Command key and click once on each image required.

Create an Album

Creating a new Album in iPhoto
Creating a new Album in iPhoto
  • Click the Add To icon at the bottom-right of the iPhoto application window
  • Alternatively, navigate to iPhoto > File > New Album
  • Select Album then New Album
  • Enter a name to replace the default untitled album.  I have called mine Prints
  • Return to Events and select photos from other Events in the same way as described above
  • To add photos from other Events, select the photos required
  • Click the Add To icon at the bottom-right of the iPhoto application window
  • Select Album then Prints or whatever you named your Album
  • When you have finished adding photos to the Album, click on the Album, that you created, listed in the sidebar of iPhoto

Review the Photographs

Reviewing the chosen photos
Reviewing the chosen photos

Review the photos that you have selected.  If you have changed your mind and wish to remove a photo, select it by clicking once on it then press the Backspace key.

A pop-up dialogue box will ask Are you sure you want to remove the selected photo form the album? Click Remove Photo to confirm.  

The photos are only removed from the Album that you created; the photos are not deleted from the Events

Select the Photos to Print

In the sidebar of iPhoto, navigate to the Album that you have just created. In my example, I have navigated to the album called Prints.

Selecting All Photos

Selecting all of the photos in the Album
Selecting all of the photos in the Album

You may wish to select all of the photos, in the album, to have printed. If this is the case, you can press Command-A or use the mouse to click and drag a box around all of the photos to select them. 

Personally, I find the keyboard shortcut to be more efficient. Selected photos will be shown each with a yellow border.

Selecting Some Photos

Selecting only some of the photos in the Album
Selecting only some of the photos in the Album

It may be that you do not wish to print all of the photos, in the album, at the present time. That's fine. To select particular photos hold down the Command key whilst clicking on each desired photo with the mouse. 

Chosen photos will be shown with a yellow border.

Selecting a Single Photo

Selecting a single photo to print
Selecting a single photo to print

This is easy. If you require just one photo from the album, select it by clicking on it. Once selected, the photo will have a yellow border around the edge.

Ordering the Photographic Prints

Ordering the Photographic Prints
Ordering the Photographic Prints

When you are happy that you have selected the photos that you require, click the Share button to reveal a menu. In the menu select Order Prints.

Ordering a Number of Each Photo at a Specific Size

Quick Ordering photo prints
Quick Ordering photo prints

A new screen to order prints will be displayed. The options allow you to swiftly order a quantity of each photo at a chosen size. Alternatively, you can work through each photo in turn selecting the size and the quantity required of each; they don't all have to be the same size and number ordered if you want to mix it up a bit.

The Quick Order menu allows you to select the size of the photo required. The Up and Down arrows next to the drop down menu enable you to choose the number required.

It is important to note that this will be the same selection across all photos. For example, if you select a 20 x 30 cm photo size with a quantity of 3, you are selecting three of each photo at that size only. 

No variations. 

Ordering Different Numbers and Sizes of Photo

Selecting different sizes and quantities of each photo
Selecting different sizes and quantities of each photo

If you'd like three of the first photo at 20 x 30 cm and only one of the second photo at a different size, the order form allows you to do this.

An added feature is that the price for each size is displayed along with a total that is dependent upon the number that you select. 

The Order Subtotal, at the bottom of the order form, is updated dynamically. This means that you can keep an eye on how much the order for prints will cost.

When you have finished choosing the photo size and the number you require of each, click the blue Buy now button.

Placing the Order

The summary of the order
The summary of the order

A summary of Your Order is displayed along with a thumbnail of each photo that you want printed, the size selected and the number of prints that you want.

Enter the delivery post code in the Ship to: box and click Get Delivery Rates for confirmation of delivery rates.

If you wish to proceed with the order, click the blue Check Out button. You'll then need to enter your Apple ID, or create one, in order to complete the order.

In my example, the order will ship in 1-3 business days with an estimated delivery of a week to ten days.

Post Card

In this tutorial I have shown you how to create, from scratch, an album of photos using Apple’s iPhoto application. I have shown you how to customise the physical size of the photos to be printed before placing an order for the delivery of the finished, printed photographs.

Photos created with iPhoto look great in frames around your house and make excellent presents for friends and family, alike.

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