16 February 2015

Photo books, finally!

Happy Presidents’ Day, everyone! Or as I always think of it: the three-day weekend around my birthday. Yup, tomorrow I turn a whole 32 years old. Which means it’s almost time to revisit...

And we will! Later this week, that is. But today I want to tell you about something I’m tackling from that list:

#5. Make annual photo books

I’ll be honest: I dropped the ball on 2013. I still haven’t made a book of our year, or at minimum, our trips to Canada and Mexico. But I did start to get a little caught up recently, by making this book for 2014:

Our great return to Italy! Like our London book from 2012, I used Blurb to make this photo log of our travels. I really like that you can use their software to make the book offline (so I can work on it a little at a time):

They’re cheaper than most, but I think the photo quality is pretty great. You can easily read the menu from the big gala that I took with an iPhone, at least in real life:

And the page layouts are faithful enough that you can break a photo across the seam and not worry about losing too much in the depths of the binding.

So I can sorta-kinda check this item off the list, yeah! If anything, it was really motivating me to make books for 2013 and another book for 2014 to document pregnancy. For under twenty bucks, I have a tangible copy of my photos, and the book form tells a little story just by virtue of the photos I include. So worth it, people!

And of course... this was also a warmup that helped me look ahead to documenting 2015. I’m already getting a little overwhelmed with all the Baby P photos, and the year’s only started! Still, I’m doing what I can to preserve and share them – on his photo website:

With brag books for the grandparents (made on Shutterfly instead of Blurb, just because I had coupons):

And baby announcements:

(Oh, you want to see more of those? Happy to oblige.)

(Like how I slipped that in there? So smooth.)

But since this post is about my efforts to make photo books, I’ll focus on how I’m trying to get my act together on that in advance. I did a lot of poking around to figure out what I wanted to do, but ultimately figured that I liked Mrs. Limestone’s combo of photos with monthly recaps best. Go see her daughter’s book – seriously, gorgeous.

Her post also tipped me off to the idea of making my own graphics and pasting in as photos, so then I fell down the rabbit hole of testing fonts and colors and layouts to figure out what I liked best for Baby P’s baby book.

I took a lot of trial and error, but I finally I hit on colors and fonts that I liked – that I think I’ll like as I work on this all year long.

To make it easy on myself throughout the year, I designed all the pages that I can add the monthly update, in the form of a letter from us to Baby P.

Of course the real thing has his name instead of “Baby P”, and there’s also a custom background I designed based on his name too (similar again to Mrs. Limestone’s, because she’s just full of good ideas). I’d love to show you but privacy!

The beauty of mixing in these graphics and text “photos” is that I can intersperse little stats and other memories, like so (again edited for privacy, we actually call him by name in real life):

So there you have it – one completed photo book, one in progress, and the motivation to do so many more! Hopefully by putting this progress out there, I’ll stick with it and be able to show you the completed books in a year or so! Because hey, by then I’ll only be 33 – long before my 35th birthday!


Tina said...

This is the best idea ever! So much better than a half-filled in Baby Book...
I look forward to being able to look through them to get caught up and especially to see the ones to come!