I have really lovely childhood memories of looking through old photos, and this is own kids love, frequently asking to look at their baby boxes with a handful of photos from when they were really tiny. But I have a guilty secret. Apart from a couple of photo books and the odd canvas, I haven’t printed out any photos for something like three years! I was therefore really pleased to be asked to review a fab new product from up and coming photograph printers Cheerz.
The offer of a cute storage box with 100 photos which could be printed out in batches throughout the year is a great idea. Rather than committing to sorting out all of my photos in one go it opens up the opportunity to print whenever we want to in the next twelve months. Given our backlog however, I decided to get a lot printed out at once, saving a few spaces for later as I knew we had Matt’s Graduation coming up and would want to print some pictures from that.
Memories are an elusive thing, and are produced by the brain running and rerunning a specific event. Recent research has shown that people with apparently infallible memories have the same short-term memory abilities as regular people, but they go over and over events in an obsessive way which fixes the memory in place. In a similar way, going through old photos stimulates us to think about the time they were taken and thereby forms strong memories to times which might otherwise have been forgotten. It’s a problem of mums always being the photographer in many families – when it comes to looking back on old photos it can look to kids as if mum was never there! Other senses prove a large part in making memories too – for example when I graduated with my second degree last year the boys were treated to a packet of Polo mints each. On hearing that they were going this year to Matt’s Master’s graduation the first thing they asked for was Polos. They may not remember much from the day in years to come, but I guarantee if I put a packet of mints in the box next to the graduation photos it will transport them straight back there!
I loved the nostalgia of the old fashioned square photos of the 70s and early 80s, so chose that format for my first batch.
Uploading the pictures from my computer was surprisingly fast and straightforward. The memory box and first order of photos arrived just a couple of days after I requested them and I was super impressed with the sturdiness of the box and the quality of the prints. I’ve used a couple of different in-store and online photo printing services before and, while this was in the middle for price, the prints were by far the best for quality.
I should have paid heed to the message to check the cropping of the photos before I ordered them, as I have managed to decapitate myself and the kids in a couple of photos. When they arrived I kicked myself for this mistake, but apart from my own error, the rest of the photos were small and perfectly formed.
After Matt’s Graduation, and our trip to Knowle Park to see Cressida Cowell the following day, I ordered the final batch of photos. This time I opted for the regular sized prints in order to compare them, and also because I wanted larger prints as I thought they would suit the subject matter. I played around with some of the photo editing features on the Cheerz website this time, making sure the images were positioned and cropped carefully, and trying out the filter effects. I especially liked an option to enhance the colours of the images to make them even richer, and when they arrived I was over the moon about the deep rich contrasts and the warmth of the colours.
We initially used the prints as part of a sorting activity for Toby. Sorting activities are a great way for young children to make sense of the world and focus on really looking the items they are handling. With a little help from Matt, Toby grouped the pictures by approximate date and topic and spent a very pleasant afternoon reminiscing and working out what he thought should go where, before tucking them away in between the dividers of the box. The larger format photos sat better in the box, but the smaller ones have a white space underneath to write labels, so each had it’s own benefits. Because the photos aren’t fixed in a photo book it means they lend themselves to taking a few out at a time for using in a photo display such as seasonal groups of pictures.
I have stored the box on my dressing table where the kids can access it easily, and they have frequently pulled out a handful of
photos to explore again. Ollie has a habit of knocking over the dividers, but fortunately Toby is on hand to restore order to the box. I think it would be great to give the boys a gift on their birthdays of a box or album each with photos to add each year so that when they leave home they have a ready supply of happy memories to take with them. The Cheerz memory box would make a great gift for anyone who loves to take photos but forgets to print them since you can order the box for them and when it arrives they use the code inside to log on to the Cheerz website and start ordering their own photos straight away.
If you would like to try out Cheerz for yourself they have kindly given me a discount code worth 10% off a minimum spend of £20 for the first 100 of my readers to use it, just let them know via social media if you have enjoyed their service. The code is 977S9H
Notes: I received a voucher code to order a Memory Box and 100 prints in return for a fair review and promotion, all images and opinions are my own. The box comes with the option of either 100 or 300 prints, and you can order individual prints without the box for 21p per print, as well as a wide range of other products. I uploaded images from my computer, but there is also an app available to allow you to print straight from your phone.