18 September 2012

Thanks for the memories

Sometimes I lament the fact that most of our photos are digital nowadays. I have gobs of photos on this computer, this other computer, the backup hard drive, the computer that hasn’t been able to start up since college, the old desktop computer I gave to my parents and backed up on zip disks which are nowhere to be found. Nearly half my life is now documented digitally, in photos I almost never look at and may not be able to access readily in years to come... or now. I’ve given up trying to access old photos; the best I can do is try to do better in the future. The only thing that passes for photo album anymore is the sets of photos I’d post on facebook. And because I sort of stopped doing that when I started blogging.... well...

Sometimes it’s nice to have real, tangible versions of your photos, is what I’m saying.

So when one of my longtime-reads, Casey at moosh in indy, enthused about her photo books, I thought about trying that in the future. And when she offered a coupon code for a free Instagram book from blurb over Labor Day weekend? I decided the future is now, you guys.

Only problem: I don’t use Instagram. (Remember, I don’t have a smart phone. My phone is dumber than rocks.) And as I said, I rarely upload photos to facebook anymore. Fortunately, though blurb makes it easy to import your photos from social networking sites, you can just as easily import them from your computer.

And what photos, pray tell, did I import for my free photo book? THREE GUESSES. NO WAIT JUST ONE.

Sixty pages of London memories!

As a way of saying “thank you” to blurb for offering a $20 coupon code (equivalent to a free sixty-page 7x7” paperback photo book), lemme do a little quid pro quo and plug their book-making software. I downloaded the program about five hours before the coupon code expired and prepared to DO BATTLE in the time crunch. But you guys, their software was super easy to use. At no point do you upload your photos to their site to make the book - it only uploads the finished product, once you made it locally on your OWN computer with your OWN file system. LOVED THAT. I’ve made photo books on a few sites, and blurb’s was by far the easiest. I had my book together in under an hour!

You can talk price or photo quality or whatever when it comes to making these photo books. But for me, if I’m ever going to put digital photos to paper? It must be easy. So props to blurb for their easy-to-use software. Fist bump!

(Hey. HEY! I do believe that free book marketing ploy worked on me. Whoa.)

I must admit, though, that not all the photos in the book are mine. I “borrowed” (coughshamelesslystolecough) some of the photos my more talented friends took, in particular the Swiss mister. He’s responsible for that beautiful photo on the front cover, as well as the back...

Holy moly, that photo is beautiful. I mean, you’d steal them too, right? Totally the best photographer on our trip.

On the inside, I stuck to a lot of full-bleed photo pages, partly because I like the drama and partly because they were easiest to throw together:

And the photo software even has a two-page spread template. My finger’s blocking the middle, but trust me, this was seamless:

(Also not my photo. But it was taken during our trip! [cough])

Though I love full-page, full-bleed photos, making templates with multiple photos per page was also a piece of cake. Now that I see it, it looks a little busy with the photos up against each other, so maybe I’d use a margin around the photos in the future.

Though how fun is it to see all the photos of our group together in London? Geez louise, I love those colorful photos of my favorite people. Some of which I actually took myself!

But I wasn’t interested in making this book pretty as much as I wanted it to represent the spirit of our trip. Like how I nerded out in front of UCL and confused a passing tourist, and how Mr. P loved this pendulum enough to youtube it:

Or our total glee over riding in an old-fashioned double decker bus to the reception from the wedding (of course the Americans piled in the top):

Or even this sweet moment, when we realized AT THE WEDDING that our pregnant friend who couldn’t come to London had just had their new little baby:

Those are memories worth revisiting in years to come. Yes.

And they’re now really motivating me to do something about making our photos tangible again. It’s true that I despise clutter, but that wonderful adventure can be documented in a 7x7” book that’s only this thick:

And for less than the cost of an inkjet cartridge, even without a coupon code? It just might be worth it after all. After all, what’s the point of taking all these photos if they disappear into digital oblivion?

So thank you, Casey, for the motivation. And thank you, blurb, for making it happen!


Miranda said...

Yay! I love photo books! I've made one for our last two summer vacations, and hopefully that will continue into a nice little tradition. I'm with you that digital photos are hard to just meander through and get lost in, but I can totally see my girls sitting down with their kids and going through our vacation books. :)

Rachel C said...

I love phone books. I made one on Shutterfly using my favorite, and often goofy, pictures from our wedding reception. It makes me happy to look at and I definitely look at that album (or the official one from our photographer) more often then I try and pull up old photos on a computer. I've been wanting to make albums for various events, but it always takes so long. Now I might consider using Blurb because it seems faster!

Christal said...

SO awesome! And OMG, I need to make a dropbox folder of all the london photos so you can officially steal all the ones you want!!!