4 Fun Ways to Use the Many Photos Stored on Your Smartphone

To put it mildly, the number of photos people take in a year is staggering.

In fact, an astounding 1 trillion pictures were taken by people of all different stripes in 2020, and many of these were on their smartphones.

This means most of us are walking around with literally hundreds of photos — everything from selfies with friends and shots of kids and pets to scenic shots and more — on our smartphones at any given time.

While it’s enjoyable to scroll through these photos on your smartphone, it can also be fun and meaningful to use some of these photos in creative ways. As for how to do this, consider the following ideas:

1. Turn Them into Puzzles

Sure, you can buy jigsaw puzzles at the store that feature generic pictures of nature scenes and cute kitties. But to up the personalized puzzle ante a bit, you can also choose one of your favorite photos from your smartphone and then order a custom puzzle made from the shot. If you have a “cuber” in the house, you can also order a Rubik’s Cube that features six total photos, one for each side. These custom puzzles are ideal for birthdays, holidays, or “just because” and are a wonderful way to keep the memories in your photos alive.

2. Order Photo Mugs

Photo mugs are also a terrific way to take some of the photos stored on your smartphone and transform them into something useful. The choice is yours: You could surprise your kids with personalized photo mugs that feature pictures of your latest family vacation and then tuck a packet of hot cocoa or a gift card to Starbucks inside each one. Or, you could certainly treat yourself to a new coffee mug with one of your favorite shots of your pooch on the side.

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3. Sock it to You

Speaking of your fur baby, Pooch Prints will create socks that feature up to six photos of your favorite pets. Even though the company name refers to dogs, you can also make fun socks with photos of your cat, bird, lizard, or fish — or a combo of pics and pets. Choose a fruit design, dog bones, and other patterns that will be featured on the custom socks next to the photos of your pets. Each photo will be cropped to include just your pet’s head, so be sure to send photos that feature a nice, clear shot of their noggin.

4. Create a Calendar of Memories

A terrific way to remind someone you love of some of your cherished shared memories is by creating a photo calendar. You can select one that hangs on the wall or a standing desk variety. For kids who are in college, surprise them at Christmas with a calendar that features 12 funny pictures taken of them over the years, or give your mom or dad a calendar with photos of them with you and the kids. Then, each month, your loved ones will enjoy turning over a new calendar page that features yet another special photo and memory.

Free the Photos from Your Smartphone

While there’s nothing inherently wrong with having a smartphone filled with photos, it’s also nice to free some of them from its memory and make these snaps into thoughtful and useful gifts. From puzzles and mugs to socks, calendars, and more, there are a variety of fun ways to use your many photos to create memorable gifts that everyone will be sure to love.

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About the author: Cory Weinberg

Cory Weinberg covers the intersection of tech and cities. That means digging into how startups and big tech companies are trying to reshape real estate, transportation, urban planning, and travel. Previously, he reported on Bay Area housing and commercial real estate for the San Francisco Business Times. He received a "best young journalist" award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

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