Worth My Money: Wal-Mart Mounted Photos
All of us have hundreds, thousands, (and some of us) tens of thousands of photos that we’ve taken over the years. For the most part, they live only on our smartphones, tablets, and social media feeds. Yet these pictures contain within them the wonders of our lives:
Our beautiful children for which we hope and sacrifice so much for.
Our loves, whether it be drenched in golden hour sun, or smiling at a book they were lost in.
The beauty around us we’ve captured in a park, at the beach, or at day’s end.
In previous generations, you’d need to have an expensive and clunky camera with you that required finicky film and days/weeks of processing to see the results. Now, our smartphones with their software combined with ever sharp and accurate lenses, managed to rival the costly cameras that were considered impressive just a few short years ago. As the saying goes, the best camera is the one that you have with you, and few of us go anywhere without our smartphone and it’s camera.
Yet for all it’s ease of use, and impressive results, these photos end up trapped. Imprisoned behind small lit sheets of glass in our pockets. We share them on our social media feeds, along with our hundreds of friends and millions of strangers — as though we are pouring a cup of water into a river. Photos are special to us for a moment, then lost to time until the yearly reminders of “On This Day.”
I became increasing aware of this, and wanted a way out. I wanted the empty walls of home to remind me of momentous experiences, days of long ago, and the loves of my life. Yet at the same time, I didn’t think that would be attainable without a lot of money being spent. Not only paying for prints, but finding good quality frames and mounting equipment. This all changed this summer when a friend shared with me an Instagram Story from a photographer who was showing off photos she had on her wall. She was raving about the sharpness and color accuracy of the print, and based upon her experience and work, I knew that she could be trusted. These photos even had a built in frame and mounting spots on the back. They looked amazing. At one point she said, “Look, I know this sounds crazy, but I got all of these done at Wal-Mart.”
I was stunned, and even though I could see the results on her Story, I was a bit unbelieving still.
Having recently gotten back from a trip to Grand Tetons National Park, I had a panoramic pic I snapped at sunrise, that I adore. Because it was a panoramic (not very tall, but very wide), I just always assumed that if I ever wanted a print of it, I would either need to spend a lot of money, or be disappointed with whatever came out. I went on the Wal-Mart Photo site, and found that an 8x20 panoramic print on a mounted frame was just $19.96 and would be available to pick up in store in less than 24 hours. While I don’t like the idea of throwing away $20, I figured it was worth the risk to see if this looked even halfway good at that price.
Blown away was an understatement.
I remember pulling it out of the protective sleeve, and not believing what I was looking at. Here was a picture that I took, looking like a piece of art. The blues were brilliant, and the edges and detail crisp. It was lightweight, yet sturdy. I walked out of the store feeling like I either stole something or won a jackpot.
Since that moment, I’ve printed dozens of photos from my travels, and of my family. Wal-Mart’s website for photos is extremely fluid and easy to use, and with their fast turn around time, it’s kinda difficult not to order photos as soon as I take them. Recently, I had to stop when the local store ran out of the mounted frames haha, but they will have more shortly.
Everything below 8x20 can be picked up in the store within 24 hours, and everything above that in size is shipped to you for free about a week later — I’ve had several larger prints done that truly look like they should cost hundreds of dollars.
Sizes range from 5x5, all the way up to a massive 20x30, and everywhere in between. While the prices are already very affordable, they often do sales, though I haven’t seen a rhyme or reason for when or why things are “Rolled Back.” Currently 8x10s are $8 instead of $12, while other sizes haven’t changed — who knows why, but it’s the reason I have that new wall of photos haha.
We take photos for a reason: They capture an important moment in time in the present, to spark and delight us in the future. Gazing at them allows us to experience feelings that we hadn’t in years. They cause us to rekindle lost loves, delight in a baby’s smile, relive the marvel of a moment, and so very much more. We all deserve to not just see these photos trapped behind tiny pieces of glass, but on display in brilliant vivid colors before our eyes. Not only do we reencounter these memories whenever we see them, but they can spark the imaginations of those guests and friends we invite into our spaces.
This isn’t an ad for Wal-Mart, trust me, they don’t need my help for sales, but it is an opportunity for you. I feel truly blessed that a friend who knew my frustrations with photos, shared this with me, and now I want everyone to know of what is possible for them too.
For some reason, Wal-Mart rejected me for their Affiliate program (in fact the reason they gave in the rejection letter was “Reason not given,” lol), so this is just a straight link to their Mounted Photo page: https://photos3.walmart.com/category/47-mounted-wall-art
Let me know what you end up getting made!