Photo Organization and Editing
My "go-to" for photo organization and basic photo edits is Picasa from Google. It is free and works really well. I have tried to use Photoshop Elements as my photo organizer but I truly prefer Picasa. The main reason is if you move a photo or group of photos from one file to another file outside of the program, Picasa automatically updates the folders and it only takes a few seconds. If this happens in Photoshop Elements, it does not automatically update. You can have it "search" for the new folder but this can take a lot of time and the program has frozen on me. I also use Picasa for basic edits - cropping, lighting, etc. It works well for my everyday photos.
Though I do not use Photoshop Elements for organization or my main photo editor, I do like it when I want more control over editing photos. I have used it to "swap heads" and to add "actions" over photos. I have Photoshop Elements 9 but the newest version is Photoshop Elements 12. Here is a photo where I swapped the head of my niece Micah (in pink) who did not like taking a picture without Eli, my oldest:
I used this tutorial from ClickinMoms for the head swap. Also for actions, I have bought a few from Two Peas in a Bucket - you can find them HERE. For installing actions, I used a tutorial from Texas Chicks Blogs & Pics - HERE is a link to the different ones based on your version of Elements.
Photo Printing - At Home
For me, printing at home is key to keeping up with Project Life. I know a lot of people like the Canon Selphy. I have not really ever used one but what mainly held me back from getting one of these is that the prints are not true 4x6, which is not the best for PL since the pockets are 4x6. However, this still appears to be a great option if you want something small and portable.
I personally bought and use an Epson Artisan 730. I have liked this printer because it has a photo tray with two levels - one for 4x6 or 5x7 photos (it is adjustable) and one for letter size or legal paper. Therefore, I always leave it loaded with 4x6 paper for easy printing. It also has wifi so I can print directly from my Iphone with Epson Iprint.
For everyday, I use Kirkland's Professional Glossy Photo Paper in 4x6. I typically buy it at Costco but you can also find it on Amazon. Even though it is labeled as glossy, it is more of a semi-gloss. I use this for the prints I use for Project Life.
For prints I use on scrapbook pages or frame, I like to use either Ilford Galerie Prestige Smooth Pearl paper or Epson Ultra Premium Photo Paper Luster. I have only bought the Ilford paper in 4x6 but have been really happy with it. It is pricey but the prints are great. The Epson Luster paper can be a little cheaper (depending on where you buy) and I have really liked the prints from it as well.
Here are affiliate links to these products on Amazon:
Epson Artisan 730 Wireless All-in-One Color Inkjet Printer, Copier, Scanner (iOS/Tablet/Smartphone/AirPrint Compatible) (C11CB18201)
Kirkland Signature Professional Glossy Inkjet Photo Paper 4"x6" 300 Sheets
Ilford GALERIE Prestige Smooth Pearl 4x6 Inches, 100 Sheet Pack 2001743
Ilford Galerie Prestige Smooth Pearl 8.5x11" 310gsm 100 Sheet Pack
Epson Ultra Premium Photo Paper LUSTER (8.5x11 Inches, 50 Sheets) (S041405) - Packaging May Vary
Photo Printing - Mail
My favorite site for photo printing that is mailed to you is Snapfish. I have tried a lot of them and it has always had the best pictures for me. I prefer matte photos and a lot of those can come off dark but it is never that way from Snapfish.
Photo Printing - Pick Up
Local photo printing can truly vary by location. For example, I know a lot of people love Costco but I have not had the best experience with my local Costco. The one place that I usually get pretty good prints no matter what location I print to is Walgreens. The downside for me is the prints are glossy, but besides that the prints are pretty good.
I hope this helps you as I always like to get recommendations from others. Happy Friday!