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3 Tips To Keep You On That Photo Book Project

Hawaii trip travel photo book printed by Blurb

Over the weekend, I pulled my Hawaii photo book off the bookshelf and flipped through it. Being homebound all of last week (because of a sick kid) will make you a little stir crazy and start thinking of places you’d rather be. With cloudy days and cold temps here in Chicago (and no snow! Where are you, snow*???), it was nice to look through the bright and lively images from our time Maui and Honolulu.

Aloha picture


photo book page spread of flip flops


Blurb photo book page spread of Maui


malasadas Honolulu


Blurb photo book page spread of Hawaii

Not that I had a conversation with my camera (that’d be weird, right?), but I’m pretty sure Walter misses traveling too. We’re brainstorming where to go next. (So maybe I do talk to my camera….)


In addition to babbling about this Hawaii book, I finished two personal photo books last year and have learned a handful of things during the process. So I thought it’d be a good time as any to share what has helped me get my photos off my camera and into book form.

Three things:

1. Culling photos from my camera. I used to be one of those people that would take 10,000 pictures of the same thing…and then keep all the images on my memory cards. I didn’t seem to understand the concept of deleting images, so when it came time to sift through images in Lightroom I would have a hard time going through all the images of the same palm tree (just an example) and deciding which one(s) to keep. These days, I still shoot the same way, but afterwards, I’ll preview the shots from my camera and immediately delete the ones that don’t immediately do it for me. If you’ve read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, you about know the principle of getting rid of things that don’t spark joy. I’ve started applying that to the images on my memory cards.

2. Placing related images into one folder. This is just obvious, isn’t? Yeah, I know. :-\ A little back story: I come from a family of organizers and somehow the gene missed me. Heck, it missed my husband too, so there wasn’t a check and balance system in existence around here. But then we had kids. (You know how that goes.) These days, I’m learning and embracing the idea of being more organized, and it has made life a lot easier, especially when it comes to vacation photos. If I’m on a hunt for my Hawaii pictures, I just look for the “Hawaii 2015” folder on my computer and voilà – there it is! This was especially helpful when I got around to the London and Paris photo books (created a couple of years after the trips). Keep the images on your memory card if you want. Just make sure they are also somewhere on your computer or storage drive – and labelled appropriately.

3. Staying on top of the photo book regularly. It helps when I don’t let too much time pass between editing the pages to prevent losing momentum/interest in the project. Last year, I did a family year book as well as documented my pregnancy and I think the only reason I have hard copies of them now is because I tended to them weekly while the pictures and notes were fresh on my mind. If I didn’t stay on top of them regularly, I’d probably be sitting here thinking I should do something with all those pictures I took in 2016….

Since I mentioned the Hawaii photo book, here’s a video I pulled together over the weekend:

For the record, I’m not saying that you should do a photo book for every vacation. But if you come back from a trip with a good number of images, you should at least print out your best memories so that you can look back on them and reflect. I will say that going back and seeing pictures of my son as a 7 month old on our family vacation gives me warm fuzzies.

Hawaii photo book page spread
That little guy is going to be two years old in a few weeks. (!!!!)

Seeing the food pictures may or may not have the same effect. 🙂

*I love snow.

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