Forgotten Pictures

Posted 1 CommentPosted in photo book, photography, Travel

The main reason I started creating my own photo books was so that I would have somewhere to put my images. For example, the week-long road Pacific Coast Highway 2014 road trip yielded over 2500 pictures. While we were on the trip, I took the highlights from each day and posted them to Instagram. When I got back home, I dumped the files onto my hard drive and continued to post a few more pictures in the days that followed. Basically, I only made use of 30 pictures.

Thirty???? Yikes. That’s baaaaaad.

In the last month, I’ve been revisiting our trip through Lightroom and then subsequently, the pages from the (finally finished) PCH photo book. Sometimes, I find myself looking through the images and smiling.

a page from my PCH photo book
My husband and Giada at the USS Midway Museum in San Diego. He’s telling her to stay. (I liked this candid moment better than the resulting posed shot.)

And sometimes I chuckle.

a page from my PCH photo book
Dinner time. Because when is In-N-Out ever a bad idea?

And often times I think, I need to go on more photography adventures.

page spread of Salvation Mountain from my photo book
But what I find happening most often is stumbling upon pictures and places I had forgotten about.
Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery page spread from my photo book
Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery: seriously how does one forget seeing something like this????


And this?

Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara pictures in photo book
Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara

I thought I remembered most of my Santa Barbara stop (there was a homeless lady that followed us down the street yelling that we were going to you-know-where. If it wasn’t so frightening, it would have been funny), but how did I forget stopping by the beach? How????


What really helped was turning on the GPS feature on my phone and camera. OMG, if you have the feature, use it. Once it goes into Lightroom, you can click on Map and see where the picture was taken (and also how many pictures you took at a certain spot). It also helps to jog your memory when you go back and revisit those vacation pictures a year later. If you happen to be one of those people that looks at pictures a year later. 😉

So….how many pictures do you take on vacation? And how do you organize and use them when you come back home?


Kate Middleton Takes Pictures

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I heard a few years ago that Kate Middleton had an interest in photography and was working on a family photo project. I don’t remember where I read that but I recall being excited that we had this common interest and was like, I want to go shooting with her one day. (I may have a slight girl crush her….) Still, I don’t think there was any evidence that she was a photography enthusiast since her work – as far as I know – has never been shared with the public.

Until this morning.

Kensington Palace released pictures that Duchess Kate had taken of her daughter Princess Charlotte – and it looks like she’s a great family photographer! So Kate, if you need help on a photo book for Charlotte you know how to find me. (And yes, I’ll go shooting whenever you’d like!) ♥

Princess Charlotte photo book covedr

mockup of Princess Charlotte photo book
Being commissioned to do a photo book for Princess Charlotte? This would definitely be a dream project. [Get in touch, Kate. 😉 ]

California ♥

Posted 1 CommentPosted in photo book, photography, Travel

I woke up early this morning and decided to do some photo editing. Who knew that it would get me going faster than coffee? 🙂 (I still had coffee though. Come on now, I’m still human.)

As I was laying out the pages of the Pacific Coast Highway book I’m hoping to get done by Tuesday (did you hear that Blurb is having a sale?), I thought I was being hit with wanderlust. But no, it was something else. Man, I mumbled to myself, California has to be the most photogenic state. Maybe that’s too big of a statement, but for the moment I’m feeling this way. ♥♥♥

A few page spreads from the PCH photo book I'm currently working on

A few page spreads from the PCH photo book I'm currently working on

A few page spreads from the PCH photo book I'm currently working on

A few page spreads from the PCH photo book I'm currently working on

A few page spreads from the PCH photo book I'm currently working on
A few pages from the PCH photo book I’m currently working on


Happy and Thankful

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It took me a while to figure it out, but in the last couple of years I’ve come up with an equation to my happiness.* Here it is:

Family (with Giada at the top of the list, of course) + friends + good food + little adventures here and there + doing creative work = a honky dory life

(I am making this sound like a walk in the park, but it really did take a long time to get here. Helpful hint: surround yourself with positive and supportive people.) Near the start of the year, my husband and I welcomed a new roommate into the family. To say that my heart has been bursting with love would be an understatement. But I will say this: I’ve never felt more thankful for family (and I repeat: Giada remains at the top of the list) than I do this year.

travel and family photo book, visiting San Francisco

baby photo book page spread

A few page spreads from my son’s Year One photo book (which has been a labor of love and currently a work in progress)…and wow, I cannot believe his first year is coming to a close.

On that note, I’m very much looking forward to the dinner spread tomorrow. Yum.

Before I sign off, I want to wish you a Happy Almost Turkey Day! I hope you have a wonderful, fantastic and awesome Thanksgiving. 🙂

*Doesn’t work for everyone since we all have different formulas for our own happiness. What’s yours?

A Chicago Wedding [Photo Book]

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A Chicago wedding photo book, anniversary present
Starting their story together

Don and Jacky are such wonderful friends to my family. I am especially amazed with how thoughtful and selfless Jacky is. She consistently remembers birthdays and anniversaries and makes it a point to come over on those days (“I’ll only stop by for a few minutes”) to drop off a gift. We live about 45 minutes from each other, so this is especially touching. Back in May, I texted Don asking if he could send me a few photos from their wedding back in 2009 so that I could put something together for her birthday. “Sure, she’ll love it,” he replied. “Great! By the way, when’s her birthday?” I texted back (of course, I’m not as good as a friend as Jacky so I didn’t know the answer to this question). “Next week.”

Well, that was a bummer.

Fortunately, with their anniversary in November it would give me more time to work on the photo book (and be able to gift it on a more appropriate occasion!). I swore Don to secrecy and waited for him to send me pictures.

I didn’t expect a package with a stack of CDs to arrive.

CDs with wedding photos on them

OMG. I had a hunch these were all their wedding pictures…with no other copies in their possession. Their photographer probably had a backups, but I was pretty nervous about holding these files. (Too much pressure, Don!!!) I might have imagined them perishing in a house fire – aka thinking of the worst case scenario. [Note: when you have the original – and only – copies of your wedding pictures, make sure you create a back up before sending them off to anyone. I uploaded all the photos to Amazon Cloud Drive just in case that fire happened. So Don and Jacky – if you’re reading this – I got you guys covered with any potential future fires! LOL.]

I had a ball going through their pictures because there’s nothing better than a Chicago* wedding images of two beautiful, happy people in love. Especially when they’re your friends.

Bride and groom wedding photo book

Chicago wedding photo book pages

Chicago wedding photo book


I gave the finished product to Jacky this past weekend. She loved it and was amused that I had the CDs. (“I didn’t even realize they were gone!”)

Don, on the other hand, had forgotten about the project. (“It was six months ago!”) Ha ha.

This is one of two wedding books I’ve done, and I’m hoping the next ones will be just as much fun to put together!

*This local acknowledges that she is biased.

Lately: Photo Books I’m Checking Out

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photo books
Books that have been inspiring me lately. (That’s Giada in the background. She has been designated the Site Mascot.)

Lately, I’ve been pouring over photo books to find design layout inspiration (and let’s face it, I’m gawking over the photography as well). What I learned early on is to let the photos do most of the talking. These pages seem to support that:

photo books
Let the photos do the talking

When you do need to add text, consider the font style and try to limit the book to 2 to 3 types. (Typography is its own beast, and rightfully so.) I’m keeping all this in mind as I’m working on sorting through the images from my family’s road trip last summer along the Pacific Coast Highway.

PCH photo book (a work in progress)
PCH photo book (a work in progress)

If you want to check out any of the books that have inspired me lately, my guess is that your library would have some or most of these on hand. (You can forgo your gym membership as photo books tend to be large, and it’ll be a nice workout going from the shelves to circulation to your car. But if your infant son is accompanying you to the library, don’t try to balance the books on the handle bar of his stroller. I mean, I’ve never seen this happen or anything….er, I’m just saying that you shouldn’t do it…) Another one worth mentioning but isn’t pictured here: See San Francisco. That book is seriously eye candy galore, especially if you’re already in love with the city. Sigh….