How to Send Photos In the Mail

How to Send Photos In the Mail

A printed photo has a certain beauty that can’t be compared to emails, social media, and texts. Your loved one can display photos all over the house – on the fridge, in albums, in frames – bringing them joy. A beautiful way to tell someone we love them is to send printed pictures to grandparents, parents, or loved ones.

Follow these simple steps to mail pictures:

1. Print your photos

Some local retailers offer 1-hour photo printing, including Walgreens, CVS, and Walmart. Pick up your photos in store after uploading them online. Most local printers also have kiosks within their stores.

2. You’ll need an envelope.

In spite of popular belief, you don’t need to buy an expensive photo mailer to send printed photos. A standard 4×6 inch picture print may be mailed in a standard envelope (unless, of course, it’s an original–then scan it and send it to us as a copy instead!)

How to Send Photos In the Mail
How to Send Photos In the Mail

Ideal size for a document is A6, which measures 4 3/4 x 6 ½ inches.

Using an envelope larger than A6 will require additional postage, as the envelope’s thickness will not be uniform. The postage price calculator can be used to determine the surcharge.

3. Buy stamps

Additional ounce stamps are required for orders exceeding five photos. These are usually unavailable at home for most people. Make sure you pick some up from the post office. There is an online stamp ordering service as well. The second $0.55 stamp can technically be used in place of the additional $1.15 stamp, but the cost adds up!

4. Weigh your envelope with your photos inside.

3.5 ounces is the maximum weight for a first-class envelope in the United States. The first stamp covers the first ounce. Additional ounce stamps are then bought for each ounce increment.

A typical 4×6 print weighs 0.11 ounces. 0.18 ounces is the approximate weight of a standard A6 envelope. Using an average envelope weighted at 0.25 ounces, here’s a rough estimate of how much yours weighs.

Make sure your envelope is the right weight with a digital kitchen scale. Make sure to bring it into the post office just in case.

Total 4×6 printed photos Weight Stamps with Price
1 0.36 ounce 1 ($0.55)
5 0.8 ounce 1 ($0.55)
6 0.91 ounce 1 ($0.55)
7 1.02 ounces 1 + 1 additional ounce ($0.70)
9 1.24 ounces 1 + 1 additional ounce ($0.70)
11 1.46 ounces 1 + 1 additional ounce ($0.70)
13 1.68 ounces 1 + 1 additional ounce ($0.70)
15 1.9 ounces 1 + 1 additional ounce ($0.70)
17 2.12 ounces 1 + 2 additional ounce ($0.85)
19 2.34 ounces 1 + 2 additional ounce ($0.85)
21 2.56 ounces 1 + 2 additional ounce ($0.85)
23 2.78 ounces 1 + 2 additional ounce ($0.85)
25 3 ounces 1 + 3 additional ounce ($0.85)

5. Add correct postage

Your postage should be added based on the number of photos you are sending.

  • A first-class stamp costs $5.50 and can be used to send 5 photos.
  • A single stamp is needed for 7 photos in addition to an extra ounce stamp, since the combined weight is just over 1 ounce.
  • One-stamp postage is equivalent to one-half of an envelope with seven photos.
  • One stamp and two ounce stamps are needed for 21 photos, resulting in a total cost of $0.85.

6. Check thickness twice

USPS envelopes have a maximum total thickness of 0.25 inches and must comply with strict thickness rules. But don’t worry, we’ve checked: A maximum of 25 photos can safely be included in an envelope and still fall under the thickness limit.

They are a bit thicker than average. The number of photos in your envelope depends on where your images are printed.

7. Now, You can send photos by mail!

Using a street side mailbox or similar can be a safe method for sending photos. You may want to check the weight and postage at the local post office if you didn’t double-check the weight at home.

Priority Mail or First Class can be used if you’re shipping more than 25 photos.

You should consider using a special photo envelope that can protect the photos, if you plan to ship more than 25 photos, and choose Priority Mail instead. In addition to First-Class mail, you can also choose another package size at your local post office if your package weighs more than 3.5 ounces.

The flat option is also available, allowing you to send up to 16 ounces of photos. You will not receive a flat of uniform thickness when you send 46 images. Add the appropriate surcharge postage.

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