Send a letter from dotphoto

People often don’t respond to emails. Email addresses change, emails are ignored, or email systems shunt messages into an unmonitored box – even though you might be a good friend.

At dotphoto, when we want to remind people that they have photos in an abandoned account, we sometimes send a photo letter. A dotphoto letter often reaches people who can no longer receive emails. Also, you can send a note right from your desk that is printed on photographic paper and stands out from other mail.

How to send a photo letter through dotphoto
There are two ways to create a photo letter:

  1. Using dotphoto’s image editor, create a text and photo message, and send it by mail.
  2. Using your own desktop software, create a JPG image that fits a 4×6, 5×7 or 8×10 print. Upload it to dotphoto, print and send. You can also write a letter in your word processor, capture it on your screen, and send it as a photo.

Step-by-Step How to Make a Photo Letter

Colorizing Photos and Slideshows

Slideshow of first celebrities in history photographed and colorizedWe collected and colorized some of the first photographed celebrities in history to create this dotphoto show.  Among others, these include probably the first person born to be photographed, sixth president John Quincy Adams, a 16-year-old Emily Dickinson, a survivor of the Revolutionary War, Harriet Tubman, the Wright Brothers, and more.

Learn more below on how to colorize your older images in one click. The ideal size for a dotphoto slide? 1350 pixels wide by 900 pixels tall.

First Photographed Celebrities in History – Colorized!

Other websites we like: Photomyne Colorize App

1-step colorizationThe Photomyne web app colorizes black and white photos in one step. Could you do a better job if you were an artist and spent an hour on each image? Maybe, but this colorizes in a single step. We used it for the celebrity slideshow and for this photo taken of a nurse in the 1940s. You can upload your black-and-white photos to Photomyne directly from dotphoto.

1-Step Colorization

The Comedy Edition

Norm Macdonald on the evolution of photographyWhen beloved comedian Norm Macdonald passed away, a video circulated of Norm explaining the evolution of photography in about a minute. As always, he was right on target.

We’ve collected some other photography jokes, which we hope you’ll enjoy. Here’s to Norm, whose dry, laugh-out-loud humor we will dearly miss.

Norm Macdonald on Photography


My wife emailed me our wedding photos, but I couldn’t open any of the files. I have trouble with emotional attachments.

INTERVIEWER: What makes you think you can be an executioner?
PHOTOGRAPHER: I shoot people and sometimes cut off their heads.

“After you take that shot with your camera, can you take one with my phone?”

The woman next to me on the train pulled out a photo of her husband and said, “He’s handsome, isn’t he?”
I said, “If you think he’s handsome, you should see my husband!”
“Why?” she said. “Is he hot, too?”
“No,” I said. “He’s an optometrist!”

I just got a photo from a “speed camera” through the mail.
I sent it right back – way too expensive and really bad quality.

I have a photo of me and the lead singer of REM. That’s me in the corner and that’s him in the spotlight.

I found a ghost who wanted to pose for a photo! Unfortunately, it came out underexposed. The spirit was willing, but the flash was weak.

A woman goes into a pharmacy and asks for cyanide. The pharmacist is shocked, and asks, “Why do you need cyanide?”
“I plan to poison my husband”, she tells him.
“I’m sorry, but there’s absolutely no way I can give you cyanide for that,” the pharmacist says angrily.
The woman reaches into her purse and takes out a hidden-camera photo of her husband sleeping with the pharmacist’s wife.
“Sorry,” says the pharmacist, “I didn’t realize you had a prescription.”

Teach your kids about photography, and they will never have enough money to buy drugs.

I’ve been giving my friends T-shirts with their photos printed on them for their birthdays. Half of them think it’s hilarious. The other half want to know how I got pictures of them sleeping.

A man is on a photo safari in Africa.
He finds an elephant in distress, lying in the bushes. The elephant has a sharp rock embedded in the bottom of its foot. The man carefully pulls the rock free, and the elephant gets up and strolls away.
A decade later, the man is back in his hometown when a visiting circus puts on a parade. Watching the animals pass, the man makes eye contact with a large African elephant. The elephant immediately turns toward the man, picks him up in its trunk, slams him on the pavement, and stomps the life out of him.
Different elephant.

I finally figured out why I look so bad in photos.
It’s my face.

Publishing your memoir

Most of us want to be remembered by our loved ones, and we have interesting experiences and lessons to impart to the next generation. Many people publish their memoirs in retirement, but some of the best stories that were not recorded as they happened are lost to time.

How best to pass along your experiences and wisdom? This newsletter features some powerful, easy and surprisingly inexpensive tools for publishing your memoir. These text tools are not dotphoto services, but dotphoto is a great place to preserve, edit and print your best pictures.

Printing your memoir
Countless friends have spent $5000 to $20,000 to publish their memoirs, which is a shame because you can do it for free – and many of the memoir “publishers” use the same free service.

Publish free on KDP

In 2005, Amazon bought CreateSpace, a self-publishing service that enables you to upload, distribute and print your own books. The service has been re-branded Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), and the software is greatly improved: format your word-processed document to the size of your book, save it as a PDF, and upload the PDF to KDP. 

KDP will sell your book on Amazon, make it available on the Kindle eBook, and even enable distributors and bookstores to buy your book. Stores are unlikely to stock your book, but your friends can buy your book online or special-order through stores, and you can buy single copies from KDP for dollars each – rather than paying for 1000 books upfront from the typical memoir publisher.

The most important element of a good story is drama: that is, the reader wonders how the story will turn out. Because most amateur memoirs have little drama, they often go unread. The typical memoir theme is: I overcame every difficulty to become the successful person I am today. The truth about most of our lives is that we are buffeted by winds we cannot control, we nearly drown, we struggle, we are rescued, and we are happy we survived – and sometimes thrived. Our actual drama is more satisfying than the myth we tell ourselves. If you want your family to read your memoir, capture the drama. Be self-effacing, funny, and surprising.

Kindle Direct Publishing

Fiverr Top Ghost Writers

Finding a Ghost Writer
A ghost writer can help craft a dramatic story. A site called Fiverr, so named because its original premise was to accomplish small tasks for $5, lists their top ghostwriters here:

Fiverr Top Ghost Writers

The Proper Use of Facebook
It’s been a tough week for Facebook, which had a six-hour outage last Monday and a whistleblower testifying in Congress this week. Almost no one has ever made a friend on Facebook, but the service is a good blogging site. I use Facebook to record interesting experiences that I would probably forget in the long run. Sometimes, my friends give me feedback; sometimes, they pay little attention, but these experiences are not lost to time.


Every two years, I ask MySocialBook (not a Facebook or dotphoto service) to print a 380-page, color book of my Facebook posts and many of the comments. With a coupon code, the price of the book is about $85. 

How dotphoto helps preserve your memories
Photos are essentially memory keys. We see a picture, and our minds flood with associated thoughts and feelings. It’s why they say, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

Dotphoto Club, Family and Pro members can store images up to 6000 pixels on a single side – or up to 36 megapixels (6000 x 6000). By comparison, Facebook downsizes images to 2048 pixels or up to 4.2 megapixels (2048 x 2048) — only 11.7% the resolution of dotphoto. dotphoto’s added resolution is particularly helpful for group photos, panoramas, or any photo that might be cropped to highlight some person or event – for instance, a close-up of a person in a sporting event or crossing a graduation stage.

When I post on Facebook, I first upload my photos to dotphoto where they can be preserved in high resolution. Then I edit and crop the photo, and copy and paste the photo from dotphoto to Facebook. Because Facebook is not saving a high-resolution image, I’m not concerned about pasting in a screen image for my blog.

If you edit the titles of your dotphoto pictures, you can print them on the back of your 4x6s, and those prints will act as excellent memory keys when you are ready to write your memoir.

4x6 Prints Only 8 Cents each with Free Shipping on orders of $10+

Other websites we like
MasterClass: Learn how to write your memoir

MasterClass: 6 tips for writing a memoir

One of the best ways to learn anything is to study the most successful people in the field. MasterClass is a streaming service that you can run on Roku, your phone, or any smart TV. Steve Martin teaches humor, great coaches teach team building, and you can learn how to write practically any form from Shonda Rhimes, Aaron Sorkin, Dan Brown, David Sedaris, Malcolm Gladwell, Neil Gaiman, R.L. Stine, Joyce Carol Oates, Margaret Atwood, and many others.

MasterClass: 6 Tips for Writing a Memoir

Is photography art?

Braxton Wilhelmsen has some interesting observations at Fstoppers such as “If you’d like your work to really come across as art, the concept should predate the shutter actuation.” If you imagine your goal, then every decision supports that goal.

Wilhelmsen also cites a mastery of these photography fundamentals: “Shape, line, texture, perspective, value, color, negative space, focus.” Now that digital photographs can be further monetized with NFTs, it is interesting to consider the question, “What turns a photograph into art?

How to Make a Photo Book

dotphoto photobooks make thoughtful gifts that will be cherished forever. Add multiple photos per page, wrap a single photo around the front and back cover, and add a title to the spine. Customize every aspect of your book.

Economy shipping is free, and 20-page 8×10 photo books are only $29.99  Up to 60 pages per book.

Step-by-Step Photobook Tutorial

Shop for Photobooks

How to Add Text to Any Photo in dotphoto

  1. Select your photo by tapping the photo.
  2. Tap the pencil edit icon in the upper left.
  3. Tap the T icon in the editing menu.
  4. Choose your fontsizecolor and shape.
  5. Add and position your text.
  6. Tap the check button and choose File Save. You will keep your original, and save another photo with text.

Step-by-Step Procedure for Adding Text to Photos

NFTs Explained

NFTs or “non-fungible tokens” are a popular new way of selling art or photos. NFTs are tracked on the Ethereum blockchain, and enable someone to buy and own the original copy. Oddly, you can buy the original, but the digital copies are the same quality. If you are a photographer, it is good to know that NFTs also enable you to collect a fee each time the item sells. You can also retain the copyright and reproduction rights, just like with physical artwork, but you would need to stipulate that in the sale agreement.

To try your hand at selling NFT images, two of the biggest markets are and

Businessweek Article on NFTs

How to send a fax with dotphoto

When we started dotphoto in 1999, we didn’t imagine that faxes would be around in 2021, but a surprising number of offices – medical, legal, accounting and others – still require faxes. Fortunately, you don’t need a fax machine: you can use dotphoto’s share link to share an image to a free online faxing service.

How to send a fax from dotphoto

  1. Create a secure dotphoto album by tapping Organize / Create Album, and then add a password to the album.
  2. Take a photo of the document with your camera phone, and upload it to your secure dotphoto album. 
  3. Copy the image link in dotphoto, and paste it into, an online faxing service. 

Step-by-Step Procedure for Faxing from dotphoto

What is the aspect ratio and why should I care?

The aspect ratio is the longest side of your photo divided by the shortest side. If the aspect ratio of your image matches the aspect ratio of your print, then no cropping is required: you get the entire image on the entire print because the image shape projects directly onto the print shape.

For instance, many cameras capture an aspect ratio of 4:3, which is 4/3 or 1.33. That’s the same ratio as two dotphoto poster sizes: 40×30 and 24×18. dotphoto also offers a 4xD – the “digital print” (4xD) – that is 5.33″x4″, or an aspect ratio of 1.33.

How to find the Aspect Ratio of your Camera or Phone
Upload to dotphoto. In an album, tap on Organize, then Edit Titles. You’ll see the width and height of your photos in pixels. Divide the longest side by the shortest side to find the aspect ratio. In the illustration here, the aspect ratio is 1.33, which perfectly matches the 4″xD print. If the aspect ratio were 1.5, it would match 4″x6″ prints (6/4=1.5).

See the Best Resolution and the Aspect Ratios for all popular dotphoto prints

How do you preserve your digital photos?

How do we preserve our stuff in the digital world? 

Stefan Thomas forgot the password to his $220 million of Bitcoin. James Howells is offering his city $70 million to allow him to find his old Bitcoin hard drive in the dump. Experts estimates that 3.8 million Bitcoins are lost forever – about $122 billion at today’s price.

Even with fortunes at stake, we lose digital assets. One of the open secrets of digital photography is that – despite our commitment to our “precious memories” – most of us have flimsy strategies for protecting them. I own two broken terabyte drives, and I have tapes, discs, diskettes and cartridges that are questionable. Like 35mm films, players are rare even now.

In this new year, it’s worth considering a strategy for preserving a family’s collective memories. At dotphoto, we advocate a three-pronged approach that ensures convenient access and security in even extreme situations: Cloud, Personal Off-Site Storage and Print.

1. Cloud Backup

Cloud Backup

Cloud backup is historically the most reliable storage. dotphoto enables our Club, Family and other paid members to upload file sizes up to 30MB each. Unlike other sites, dotphoto does not downsize photos, so you’re preserving your original files – not 100K downsized versions with little image detail. 

What about a “free” service? Besides the problem of routine downsizing and distracting advertising, formerly free services are changing. Google has announced photo storage plans of $1.99, $2.99 and $9.99 a month. The dotphoto Club Plan is only $1.67 a month for unlimited storage – and dotphoto does not monitor your habits and sell them to advertisers.

2. Personal Off-Site Storage
At dotphoto, you control your photos. Club and paid plan members can download and backup photos at any time. Simply enter an album, click on Organize and choose Download. We encourage you to keep a copy of your favorite photos in a bank deposit box, fire-proof safe or other secure place. You can create backups yourself, or use dotphoto’s SD Card Service to create an account backup. We recommend SD cards because they are used in most phones and cameras.

3. Print
Print remains one of the easiest ways to backup photos and convey meaning to the next generation. 4×6 prints and photo books are the most popular and inexpensive print backup tools. In addition to the pictures themselves, you may want to annotate the photo titles so that family members can understand the photos in the future. To edit photo titles in dotphoto, enter an album, choose Organize, choose Edit Titles, and tap Save Changes. You can also print titles directly on the back of 4×6 photos by choosing Print Options in MyAccount

You can design dotphoto books in any configuration, but a 12″x12″ book with 60 pages and six 4″x6″ landscape photos per page holds 360 photos. 4″x3″ photos in the same book expands the number to 720 photos per book.  How to make a dotphoto book

Sharing (and Printing) Full-Size Pictures on Facebook Made Easy

Social networks connect us with friends and family in ways that weren’t imaginable in years past. We maintain that sense of community in our online world by sharing personal updates, events with our friends, and photos from our daily lives. Facebook acts as one of the central hubs where we share our pictures. However, there is a downside to photo quality when we upload photos directly to Facebook. 

Continue reading “Sharing (and Printing) Full-Size Pictures on Facebook Made Easy”

How to Make Your Home Dazzle in Quarantine

Life is different now than it was a few short months ago. We live in a time of great upheaval where we want a semblance of control and normalcy to return to our lives. While the outside world swirls in uncertainty that we cannot control, having the ability to alter the way our homes look and feel is something that we can embrace. With dotphoto’s printing features as part of your subscription, we can take your most treasured memories and transform them into conversation pieces for the home.  Continue reading “How to Make Your Home Dazzle in Quarantine”

Preserving Memories During COVID-19

The COVID-19 crisis has us separated from family members for extended periods, and shelter-in-place orders have made life hard on families that do not see each other as often. The Internet gave us the ability to share pictures with the people we love with a few simple mouse clicks. However, there is something about the tactile feel of having a physical copy in your hands that elicits a different feeling. With dotphoto’s subscription service, you can have custom picture framing of your cherished memories delivered to your door.  Continue reading “Preserving Memories During COVID-19”