Working on my Photo Books.....

Since my son was born, one of the things I promised myself that I would do each year is create a family photo book. I've done one for 2010 (Callum was born late Oct 2009) but 2011 hasn't even been looked at. I probably should start with 2011 and work my way forward, but it's actually much, much easier to do your book as you go along so I've actually started work on my 2012 album, trying to fill it up as I go.

I thought it might be a nice idea to share how I'm doing this with you....

- I'm trying to edit my photos as I go along (each day, or week if I'm busy), then save a copy of the ones I want to use in my photo book to a separate folder. This way I can update my book at the end of each month with these photos instead of trying to search through them all at end of the year! Adding this step into my workflow should mean that I am more organized, and therefore more likely to get the book done early next year (rather than my pitiful 2011 effort!)

- I'm using Blurb (UK Site Blurb) this year - It's my first time using them, but I really wanted a "coffee table" look to the book and thought they would be perfect. I've heard good things about them, and you get a lot of options for book sizes, number of pages, paper quality, covers etc. I like a lot of control so this is good for me!

- As I pretty much knew how I wanted it to look (very clean and simple) so I was all set to design an album template for Photoshop and slot my photos in, but actually the Blurb BookSmart software allows me to do this much more easily, so I'm using their templates and tweaking the layouts to suit my needs.  It's pretty easy once you get into the swing of it.  Blurb also has an option to do this online but I like having it on my PC for more customization options. (Told you - I'm a control freak)

- I've gone for a 12" x 12" book design - I have a lot of photos, so this is the best way to stop them from looking too "squished" in. 

- Each month, I select a layout that will work with the number of landscape or portrait pictures I have for each spread, and then add them into the template, customizing it if need be.

- I'm not (at the moment anyway) including any text. I may go back and put in some info but I'll see, I think I like having just the photos tell the story.  

- The only other thing I may have to do at the end of the year is cull some of the spreads, it will really depend on the number of pages I end up with and the resulting cost! 
Here's a couple of pages out of my book - you'll probably recognize some of the photos from being used in the blog........

It's pretty new to me to do this as I go along, but I can see it's going to be a much better way of doing things!  Even if I have to go through and tweak it here and there to my liking before submitting, it's going to be a lot quicker. I am really not looking forward to going through the whole of my 2011 files, finding the pictures I want, editing them, choosing the layouts and adding them in - all at once! It's next on my to-do list but I'll just have to do a little bit at a time.

I'll share the finished books with you as soon as they are done!


Jan said...

i'm doing a blurb book for august-december family photos this year. i'm basically putting all my pictures in the blurb book. i'm 38 pages into it so far for two months :) i add narration...i've been a "scrapper" for many, many years. now my goal is to improve the pictures in my scrapbooks!

Audrey said...

38 pages for two months - you sound like me!! I can never bear to leave much out. My plan is also to order two books , one to keep safe, and the other to leave out so that anyone, including Callum can have a look whenever they want. It's going to get expensive!!!

Jan said...

i like to print photos at a cheaper place (i send mine to walgreens, costco, or snapfish) and put them in a mini book for my girls to browse through. i rotate the photographs so that there's fresh pictures to look at weekly. my girls love to look at pictures of themselves and this way i don't worry about them getting torn up. i also make puzzles out of them. callum could probably put together a two or three piece puzzle (i'm guessing his age based on sweet images). my oldest LOVES this activity. i cut straight lines for puzzle pieces right now. Some photos I cut horizontally and others vertically. This is great for fine motor and spacial awareness development. Not to mention, exciting to put together a puzzle of yourself! I've taught my fresh 3 year old to paper clip the pieces back together and put back in her baggie so that all the puzzles don't get mixed up. this activity gives me just enough time to clean up breakfast :)

Audrey said...

That is such a nice idea - Callum loves a puzzle - he's three and has just got into them. Getting pics printed and into a mini book is probably a much better idea than getting a second blurb book printed (which I'm starting to think might get expensive!) i really want him to be able to browse through his photos as hopefully he won't mind having a camera in his face all the time and might buy me some more "face time"!

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