THE BACK STORY
Anyone else guilty of this? Often times I have about 12 different version of the same photo on my phone and my “fancy camera,” and then when those make their way to my laptop…well, they just take up all the space.
Let me give you the back story. Hope makes these beautiful, coffee-table-big photo books every year. She started the first year she and Spyros got married. They’re so detailed and beautiful. She adds captions, dates, everything. They’re time consuming but so, so wonderful. She uses Shutterfly and always waits to order the book when they’re running a 50% off sale. Though they have a Make My Book Service (which several of y’all have raved about to me when I was asking for photo advice!), she does the book creation herself — especially with all of the added captions and such. They’re really special. This sounds sappy/silly, but as her big sissy, I’m proud of her for these! She does such a good job that she inspired me to get my ish together and make some for my family.
Insert internal dilemma: I am (once was…#momlife is stealing this quality from me) Type A, and can’t handle the thought of someone else making my book. I wish I could surrender that. But in my head, I’m like…but when they’re 10 every so slightly different pictures of Nancy, how will the person at Shutterfly guess my favorite one!? #momlife probs again. The Type A in me (or once in me before I became a mom and always ran late/couldn’t go anywhere without forgetting at least one thing) just can’t surrender the book to someone else.
(Whoa, this is longer of a back story than I anticipated. All the thoughts.)
So! I asked y’all for photo book advice MONTHS ago, did some research, and never pulled the trigger. Until two weeks ago! Here’s what happened…
I didn’t choose Shutterfly because I like Mixbook’s photo creation tool better. Little lines pop up to help you center things, line photos up exactly…basically it’s a pop up window of photo book creation that makes me happy knowing one of my pictures isn’t going to be 2 millimeters longer than the picture above it. (See, that Type A is still in there somewhere!)
As much as I LOVE Artifact Uprising, I didn’t choose them because I would quickly max out the 150 page limit since you can’t put more than 4 photos on a page (at least in the 8.5×11″ book option I was looking for). Unfortunately, a photo book from Artifact Uprising wouldn’t get through more than a couple of months because of #allthepictures I take of my babies. Also…$$$. Most expensive option by far. I have decided to reserve Artifact Uprising for special, smaller photo books that don’t span over 1 year of photos because it really is an amazing company with excellent quality books. (Go check out the linen covers — they’re gorgeous).
MY OVERALL DECIDING FACTORS:
best book creation tool
ability to have 16 photos per page (NECESSARY)
price (they run specials all the time — buy when it’s 40-50% off)
finish (soft matte cover is GORGEOUS)
1. Prepare on iPhoto.
Fortunately, my iPhoto is organized, making this process easier (for the way my brain works, at least). Here’s a screen capture of what I did last weekend while making our next book…2016!
- I have folders for each year.
- Each folder has 12 albums, 1 per month
- I created a new album called “2016 Mixbook.”
- I peruse through each month’s photos, choose my favorites (you can see above the many photos of almost the same photo problem) and drag + drop them into the new 2016 mix book folder.
2. Upload to Mixbook.
Since everything is in its place and my photos are selected, I just uploaded the “2016 Mixbook” album to Mixbook! I chose their “blank canvas” album because I just like the albums to be as clean & crisp as possible. No extra doodles or doodads for me.
3. Input Your Photos
My favorite layout is below. 16 photos. You can center/zoom as needed since all your photos won’t be this size. Progress…
I make some of the photos bigger but still keep all the lines straight & in aligment with each other (which is really easy because Mixbook has a feature where lines that pop up to keep that alignment in check! #IUsedtobeTypeA).This really doesn’t take as long as you’d think. It’s dragging + dropping. I did this for our 2015 book in two nights (AKA for an hour or two in bed with the TV on while the babies were sleeping).
4. Order & Enjoy!
THE FINISHED PROUCT Stole this intro page note/reflection from my 2015 Year in Review post.
Once all of my pictures are in the album and it’s ordered, I move all the photos from that year into my external hard drive. Here is the one I have. Note: it’s for Macs! Here’s the kind for a PC. This is super necessarily because it feels like my computer/phone storage is constantly full. I know there are a lot of options with online photo storage; however, I didn’t want to commit to paying $5-$10/month indefinitely. I wanted something finite. This is what works for me! 🙂
FYI, this is not a sponsored post! Just wanted to share the process after sooo many of y’all asked how I made the book as soon as I put a little boomerang on Insta Story! Y’all are the best — thanks for giving me this post idea. 🙂