This really is just a plea to do something with your digital photos. Personally, I’m into photo books, but really, anything is better than nothing. 🙂
Vlog Episode 4:
I want to do more vlogs focused on photo books. We’re in a period of time where “everyone is a photographer” and there are more pictures taken now than ever before, but everyone is so focused on getting their pictures up on social media, which is cool for sharing purposes. But aside from Facebook’s “On This Day” memories, how will everyone revisit their photos 10 years from now? (Please don’t say Facebook will help you with that.) I’ve done a video touching on that. But, er, this isn’t that video. (It’s coming.) This is, however, a video talking about scanning pictures for a client to put into a photo book. I’ve been working with him for a few years putting together family albums with his digital photos. While moving, he and his wife came across boxes from their travels in the 80s and asked me to scan them and put them in a photo book to keep it consistent with the other books they have. I have to say, it’s been a fun process.
P.S. Can I still call this video “Vlog with my dog” if it’s not Giada focused? Maybe I need more of a general vlog name like Diana Takes Pictures or DTP. I’ll keep thinking about that one. 😉
We had friends over last weekend who wanted to catch up and play with the kids. (We started to accept that people would rather see the kids than us.) One of the friends is my husband’s friend of 1000000 years, so naturally my husband knows his friend’s parents pretty well. And this friend’s parents sent a gift through with a card reading “Welcome to the family.”
I’ve been terrible about sending Thank You cards since the year started, but occasionally I do sent out Thank You photos with the picture of the gift. I don’t know if they’re well received, but I figured it’s a good way to show that the gift is being put to good use. It also beats out the “you never send me updated pictures of the kids” statements. 😉 Plus, if someone gives you warm fuzzies with their gift (like in this case), then it’s only fair to try to return the same feelings.
Before I had my photo printer, I used to print a 5×7″ image on regular 8×11″ printer paper and write a note under the photo. Actually, as I’m typing this I realize that I miss doing thank you notes that way and may make an effort into doing this again more often.
I made mention of having another baby in a prior post, and although I didn’t document my pregnancy journey here, I pulled together a photo book filled with pictures and weekly notes. This was a first as I had a “template baby book” for my first pregnancy that I was pretty diligent about filling out (well, starting with the second trimester. The first trimester section is pretty much bare). The book is sitting in a memory box in my son’s closet for whenever he (or anyone else) wants to relive that period of time. This time around, however, I decided to pull together a baby book that would be more photo-centric (because well, I tend to take a lot of photos) and which I could customize. This proved to be a better process for me as I could take pictures of….
I admit that this book got better with the third trimester when I used my DSLR instead of relying on my iphone. (It takes effort to bring a DSLR with you to the doctor’s office, ha ha.) It feels weird to say that since most of the pictures I take are with my camera, but for convenience, I reached for the iPhone quite a bit at the beginning of the pregnancy. Then, one day I decided to pull out my camera and I feel like the book improved in quality from that point. I’m babbling, but what I’m trying to say is that you should use whatever tools (er, camera) work for you; however, make sure you stay on top of tending to your book project on a weekly basis so you can edit as you go and can make note of the changes you want to make.
Anyway, this was a fun personal project. I hope when my daughter is older, she’ll look through this and experience it as I did. 🙂
Photo Book Specs –
- 82 pages
- 8×10 standard portrait
- Hardcover, image wrap
- Standard paper (80# text, semi-matte) // If you’re putting together a Blurb photo book, consider ordering a paper swatch kit so that you know what your options are.
I recently realized that I said I’d share my finished photo book of Paris and never ended up doing it.
So here it is:
As you can see, the trip took place in 2012, and it was interesting going back through the pictures to see how much my photography has evolved since then. (A LOT.)
This pretty much means I need to work on going back to the City of Light to take more pictures. 🙂 I’ll make it work one of these days.
Yeah, I definitely need to think about planning another trip to Par-ree again soon. 🙂
Photo Book Specs –
- 184 pages
- 8×10 standart portrait
- Hardcover, image wrap. I could have used one image to cover the front and back covers, but I opted to use two different pictures.
- Premium Matte Paper (100# Text) // This is my favorite paper offered through Blurb. [If you’re putting together a Blurb photo book, consider ordering a paper swatch kit so that you know what your options are.]
To get more into the pages, check out my video:
I mentioned in the last post that I’d share more of the pages from my Vietnam/Thailand photo book, so here it is:
This trip took place 6 years ago, and I knew I had taken a few pictures but I didn’t realize how many I had taken (hundreds). It’s possible it would have taken another 6 years to revisit the photos, but while I was cleaning my home office, I came across a beer label and bus ticket from our time in Thailand. Crap, I thought. I had every intention of creating a scrapbook post-vacation to have a place to stash these and other trip memorabilia. As you can tell, I never got around to that scrapbook. And in case you’re wondering, I’ve never done a scrapbook. Ever, so I don’t even know where that idea came from. However, because putting together a photo book was more interesting than continuing to clean out my home office, I ended up with a PDF of this trip’s photo book album by the end of the day. Because I did it relatively quickly (6 hours versus the days or weeks I usually put in), I didn’t bother with any photo editing. I was more concerned with getting the images off my hard drive and into a tangible form. Regardless, I’m happy with how the book came out and I guess I should get back into clearing out the office. 🙂
Two things from this experience:
1. Print your photos! (Now.)
2. Don’t wait 6 years after a trip to try and tackle a photo book project unless you’re looking to do some major procrastination. 😉
If I go to bed early enough, I tend to wake up at 5:30AM. That’s where I found myself one Sunday morning, and despite my efforts in trying to keep my iPhone out of the bedroom, it was sitting right there on my nightstand. So naturally, I reached for it and scrolled through Twitter.
Bad/sad news in our country.
More bad/sad news. [I admit that never seem to say the right things, so let me share this Oh Joy post post that pretty much sums up my feelings about what has been going on lately.]
Twenty minutes later, I come across a post titled The Joy of Making Photo Albums on Eric Kim’s blog. Oooooooooo………great post. Even though he’s more of a proponent for photo albums than photo books [“while arranging photos digitally on your computer is fine— once again, you don’t have as much fun as if you did it by hand” – I disagree but potato po-tah-toe], I agree with his sentiment on taking our pictures out from digital form and having a tangible form of them. Since my personal platform is PRINT YOUR PICTURES (which I don’t think I’ve been saying nearly enough) and I started this blog to share my photo book projects, I thought maybe I should get back into that, starting with my Miami/Caribbean book. This trip took place two years ago, and yes, I waited another two years before putting together the book. Here was the final product (published through Blurb):
Two years is a long time to revisit photos, and naturally, there were a lot of pictures that jogged my memory. There were also a good number of pictures that made go, “What was happening here?” I have a pretty good memory, but it’s been slowly failing me in the last two years (blame the 17-month-old). Luckily, Jessica was able to fill in the holes with this trip, but from here on out, I will take notes at the end of the travel day and hopefully I’ll be able to link them to my pictures when I look through my camera roll.
I’m also trying to do that in my every day life.
At the moment, I’m working on a 2016 family year book. Every week, I’m adding pictures and notes so that when the end of the year comes, I can close out the book with light edits and send it off to Blurb. Adding images and notes a bit at a time (instead of trying to do this in one time clump at end of the year) allows me to write things down and share the photos while they’re still fresh on my mind.
Funny enough, yesterday at work someone mentioned that she was talking to the guy in IT. “He takes his pictures and sends them through Snapfish to make photo books after his vacations. I should start doing that.” I must have given her a look because she immediately responded with, “Do you do that?” I nodded and mentioned that I’d never see the pictures again if I left my images on my hard drive. “Okay, when I come back from Paris in October I will do it!” I smiled, happy to hear her say that (or maybe because I was hoping she’d take me to Paris with her. Potato po-tah-toe).
Last month, I said I was going to scale back on photographing portraits. But that didn’t quite happen (I shot five models along with a teeny, tiny impromptu shoot also in the mix), so I think April is my official hiatus month as my weekends have been – and will be – used to catch up with friends (this seems to be the month that everyone wants to get together. This makes me happy). And there was also that one weekend where I was attending a photography conference. But this accidental hiatus has allowed me to sneak in some time for reading business and photography books (I am starting to get an itch for a good piece of fiction though….any recommendations?), doing freelance work and yes, finally finishing up my son’s photo book. I took the last picture for his photo book on his first birthday back in February, but then had to use this last month to sort through the final photographs. Quite a feat as I’m pretty sure I took about 10,000 pictures of him in his first year. (I don’t think I’m exaggerating.) In the end, I narrowed it down to 323 images. Whew.
Allow me to curtsy here [….as my head drops on the desk from exhaustion].
Anyway, I love Blurb. (If they ever have a job opening that fits my marketing background and photography/design interests, I’m all over it. Not a joke.) So yes, I’m a (non-paid!) Blurb advocate and have printed about 15 books – 5 personal and the rest for others – with them in the last year. I love that I can upload the pages that I created from InDesign, which is something that is hard to find with the other Print On Demand book publishers. (Blurb also offers a free book creation software called BookWright that I hear is a great tool. I believe I once heard the word “fun” used to describe it.) And of course, I am always happy and thrilled when the book arrives at my door.
I really couldn’t be happier with the book. So much so that I’ve already started working on putting together the book from our family Miami & Caribbean trip back in 2014 finally. At the end of that vacation, I found out I was pregnant, so this just brings everything back full circle. 🙂
Photo Book Specs –
- 172 pages
- 10×8 standard landscape
- Hardcover, image wrap [aka I could have taken a single image and stretched it out to cover both the front and back of the book. I opted to use two different images for the two sides though]
- Premium Matte Paper (100# Text) // If you’re putting together a Blurb photo book, consider ordering a paper swatch kit so that you know what your options are.
I will end this post by saying, you don’t need to do a photo book….but I still think you should print your pictures. 🙂
Last night, Acme Hotel hosted an #InstaGallery event displaying the work of 12 local Instagrammers.
Yes, that included yours truly. I had known about this event for awhile now, but didn’t really tell anyone about it because 1) I was nervous about having my work was on display for public viewing for the FIRST TIME EVER and 2) I kinda felt like a farce being there (do you know how many talented photographers there are in Chicago?). My husband knew about it because he went with me to Acme back in January to drop off the pictures, but I didn’t tell him there was a showing event until after I told Leyla (my IG wifey) sometime last week. For the record, I wanted to throw up after I told her. After that, I slowly started telling a handful of other IG friends before adding a post about it on my feed. (I wasn’t quite ready to tell my IRL friends. Maybe that’s something I’ll do if I ever have my work on display again.) But really, it was a great time and I really loved catching up with the people that have helped me navigate this whole photography thing the last two (or has it been three?) years. In hindsight, there was nothing to freak out about (but I am a freak, so that might explain my pre-show anxiety).
I have to say that Chicago is a great city to be an Instagrammer. There are a lot of supportive people in the IG community, and if you look around, there is a great deal of opportunity to have your work seen by others. Off the top of my head, Choose Chicago and IgersChicago are great places to start and grow. I’ve also seen the photography of some people I know at Cafe Selmarie in Lincoln Square. And now you know about Acme Hotel. 🙂
P.S. While the best part of the night was seeing and meeting new friends, I have to say it was nice to have my husband come out with me. And tied with that? Shake Shack with Leyla and her coworker afterwards. 🙂
There are a handful of people who I shove my pictures onto (“You’re going to like my pictures….or play a good job at pretending you do!“). I’m related to most of them. (Funny how that works out.) And Jessica is also one of these victims.* Sometime after we visited my brother and her in San Francisco (and subsequently, traveled together to Hawaii), I pulled together pictures that I thought she’d like and created a notebook journal for her (basically, a Blurb 5×8″ trade book printed on white uncoated 70# paper). I figured she could pull it out whenever she wants to jot down random things while looking at pictures of…my brother.
I apologize for sharing this post-Christmas, but she is one of two people who reads this blog and I wanted to try to keep the element of surprise with both the notebook and Justin Bieber wrapping paper. (I’ve found that JB wrapping paper is a crowd pleaser. Ha.)
I have to say that I really liked the quality and will consider using the trade book option to print a future portfolio or photography book. If I had to compare the texture and feel of it, it’s a cross between a paperback book and one of those thick artsy magazines (think Kinfolk). Hmmm…..yeah, I think there is a trade book print job in the my future.
I’ll reconsider my wrapping paper choice though.
*I’m sorry, Jessica. LOL.