(Ok, I’ll be honest. My book got here two weeks ago. But I digress…)
Now, if you followed along with our personal photo album bookmaking challenge back in the first week of pandemic stay-at-home protocols, you know what I’m talking about. Coles Notes: During that week, I walked you through an easy day-by-day process to create a personal photobook. (The post is here). If you took the challenge, you too may have received your book by now? If so, please share your experience in the comments below!
Here’s MY experience.
This is the first book I’ve made in about a year. I’m pretty up-to-date on my family’s holiday albums, but I’ve not done the annual yearbooks since my son was 1. He’s 10 now. Ooops. Oh well. Life.
For this challenge I chose to be super-current and make a book of our recent trip to Mexico while it was fresh in my mind. We were there from February 29th to March 7th. My book was ordered March 20th and I received it April 1st. Land speed record for me.
Yes, I received my book on April Fool’s Day - which is somewhat apropos because something that I was so excited to receive and something I know I will love forever, made me cry sad tears. The April Fool’s joke is on me: huge mixed emotions. I love my book, my kids love it, my husband loves it, it is the perfect memory of a super fun trip - but it was sad to think how much the world has changed in just a few short weeks. How the many people we saw and met are now stuck at home or trying to go about their days with risks and makeshift face masks. How the resort we were at currently sits closed and empty. How we have no idea when we might be able to travel and explore the world again and connect with other humans.
I felt all the feels looking through my book. THIS IS JUST ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF THE POWER OF PHOTOGRAPHS!
I logged on today to share some photos of the book, I’ll give you some info and tips too! Plus a special offer of how I can help YOU make YOUR book too. (Hint: during this special lockdown time, I’m offering a bookmaking design service!)
My book was made by Photobook Canada - a relatively inexpensive consumer-level book maker which gives me a result I’m happy with. It’s not a professional level print service that I am super picky about for my family portrait work, but it’s great for holiday memories. From my past experience, it’s comparable to Blurb and MyPhotoBook.
I made a hardcover image-wrap book that allowed me to print images on the front and back covers and write text on the spine.
TIP 1: Choose a cover image that is artful and representative of the subject of your book!
TIP 2: Using images on the back cover frees up a bit more space inside the book if you don’t want to reprint them inside!
TIP 3: If you are planning to make multiple books over the years, consider making the spine text consistent to they look nice on the shelf together. I always use black Arial font and the same word system (Location/Event, Year)
My book contained 216 images and is 92 pages, or 46 spreads.
TIP 4: Aim to place about 3-6 images on a spread.
TIP 5: Having more than about 125-150 pages of your book is getting a bit much - you could lose your audience (future you!! Consider splitting your book into volumes, or cutting back on the number of photos.
I included all the images in my book that made me remember where we were and what we did on the trip. I use captions sparsely - I like putting in descriptions that are necessary, but I don’t put captions where the subject matter is obvious, like ‘Playing on the beach’, or ‘Swimming in the pool’.
TIP 6: Don’t bother with captions that say things that are obvious in the photo!
TIP 7: Use captions to give interesting information that you want to remember, like a historical fact about a place you visited.
TIP 8: For titles, you can get fancy with your font, but for captions, I recommend using a simple easy to read basic font in 10, 12 or 14 point.
When you order your book, you will likely have a choice of paper. The heavier the paper, the more expensive and the thicker the page. I usually go with the basic, or recommended.
Just follow these tips above, and my process outlined here, and you’ll have a fantastic book of memories in no time!
Are you excited or does this SOUND LIKE TOO MUCH WORK?
I hear you, and I’m rolling out a special offer during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown - I’ll design your book for you, with pricing based on number of images. You choose your images and write any captions you want, and send them my way and then I design your book and either send you the design or load it into your Blurb, MyPhotoBook or Photobook account for you. Then you just go ahead and order through your own account! I’ll even lightly edit and optimize your images if you like. Details here.
I would LOVE to hear about the books you’ve made, are working on, or are planning to make! You can do this!