Friday, July 29, 2011

Lets talk about...

Photobooks. Blogging. Using these tools to keep the process of memory keeping quick and simple.
This is a topic that we have been talking amongst ourselves about for a little while. A couple of us have even made a photo book or two. Some of us are confused, have had trouble finding a place that makes the process easy.
Amy had this question: What is a quick and easy, but looks good, platform for photo books? I feel I need a simple no fuss arrangement. How to resize your own template for the books? Why are they so slow to use?
DSC_0082 copy Emma made a photo book about a holiday her family went on - instead of scrapping the photos, she dropped them into a book. Done.DSC_0084 copy
I'll share a little about the one photo book I've made, via Snapfish,   I used CZ templates which I filled in PSE, resized to 8x10, and then uploaded. One thing I did learn: this gave me a far better result than trying to upload and manipulate my photos using the template Snapfish provided. It turned out perfectly.
I love it, but then, as much as I love its simplicity, its missing the "meat"  - the little stories that made up our year - ones I won't ever get to scrap.  I've come to realise that my blog itself is a place I've been recording memories. Sharing a photo and a little story - its recorded. Sure, I've scrapped a few of them, and taken my journaling straight from the blog. But as a whole, its out there on the www - and who knows where my blog will be in a few years? Will it still be around?
How to get those stories and photos, in a quick and easy way, and in a manner pleasing to my eye ;-) into a book of some sort? I thought I would like to take my blog content (the stories about life/kids/family and leave out the fluffy bits about things I've found on the internet of course) for 2010 (and years thereafter) and make each year into a book. BUT! I don't want to have to spend hours and hours cutting and pasting!  So far though, it seems my options are limited - given I want QUICK, EASY and PRETTY.
What are your experiences with photo books and blog books?
Do you make photo books of holidays? Special occasions? Or a photo book summary of the year?
Have you made a blog book?
Please post your experiences, thoughts, and questions of your own, in the comments. Leave a link to your own photo book/blog if you have one! This topic is open for discussion and dissection! (I've just had a thought: afterwards I'll drop all of the comments into the body of this post, to make it easier re-read and take notes!)
I look forward to seeing everyone's thoughts.
OH! Just one more thing......DRUMROLL PLEASE! The winner of the Stampin' Up package of goodies (oh how I wish I was eligible!) is:

"I love the simple pages that I can lift, so the photos and stories are the focus. Love sketches and moving the challenge towards the weekend is a smashing idea. Must give one a go. Keep up the good work. Simple is great. I'm definitely not a tizzy girl"
Annette !!!

Annette, can you leave a comment or email us on sag (at) hotmail dot com and we will get your STAMPIN UP goodies out to you!


  1. Great topic today. I really would like to do a blog book but don't know where to start.

  2. I made a blog book with Blurb last Christmas - it was FANTASTIC. I had 4 years worth of travelling memoirs/blog to compile and my finished book was over 200 pages! It inputs all your blog text automatically, along with any photos you used. I actually then spent quite a bit of time changing up the photos, added more, resized etc - the software to compile the book was flecible and easy to use, but I know there options where you can let it do it all automatically for you! Would highly recommend Blurb (and I just checked, they do ship to Oz, heavens knows how much though!)

  3. I've created several photo books - both using my templates and the ones provided by the printer.

    Now that I am comfortable in PSE I found it much easier and satisfying to create pages there and then load them all as single image pages in the book. Easy to include writing that way too

    All my books have printed up well and I will definately use them again - creating pages in pse

  4. I have made a few photobooks through Apple (iPhoto) and Shutterfly, and I was satisfied with the process and quality from both companies. I have also made numerous Blurb books from my blog. If you're interested, I wrote some tips on that process a few months ago:

    It's quite time consuming to format each page, but I definitely think it's worthwhile!

  5. Sharon, I am so relieved you have posted on this subject - I seem to have such a mental block about it! Perhaps it is a case of just making one, getting it printed and then I can see for myself. I think I have very high expectations and perhaps for the fisrst one it is best to just jump in and use it as an experiment.

    Kim, your post is so helpful and informative - and at the same time, quite deflating that so much extra work is needed to get the Blurb book looking good. Helen, it looks as though you spent quite a bit of time tweaking too?

    Helena, which photo books have you used?

    I do like the idea of using a photobook for all my 12x12 digital layouts as another option for printing here in Australia - surely it must be as simple as just dropping the completed layout into their full page templates?

    Any hints, tips and tricks are more than appreciated!

  6. Anyone with any hint or tips about manipulating content in BLURB would be appreciated - I've had a play, and have mangaged to get the content there, but the layout is woeful and I've finding their tools hard to anyone? Anyway to fix the layout other than do it page-by-page?!

    (and Kim, I read your post it was quite informatitive! thank you!)

  7. Thank You, Thank you, Thank you.
    I have just done a happy dance around the room. And sent you off an email, ASAP to claim my prize.

  8. Congrats Annette, I'll send off your Stampin' Up! goodies early next week.

    As for photobooks, I do them for holidays. I just find it a much quicker and simpler way of documenting a holiday as I always have so, so many photos (with the Fiji holiday shown in my photobook in the post, I had just over 1000 photos!!). I use Momento for my photobooks. They are definitely not the cheapest, however the quality is excellent, printing is excellent and the colours are great. I work for a professional photographer and she uses Momento which says how good they are as she only uses the highest quality stuff for her products. One of the other bonuses with Momento is that you download the software to your computerm for free and then create the book on your computer - you don't need to upload heaps of files to the internet. I also find that there is a lot of versatility with their templates etc and you can modify as much as you like. I have done a book where I created all the pages in photoshop and used them as full pages in a book, but in the end I think for what I want with the holiday photos, I'm happy to just play around in the Momento software and it is much quicker and easy. Because you are using the software on your computer, you can use any Font you already have which I love as I am a bit of a font junkie! Just my opinion of course, but definitely loving reading what everyone has to say.

  9. Loving this discussion about photobooks! Was jut wondering for those that have had photbooks made how are the going after being handled by your kids lol!!!!??? I'm sure my kids will want to look over a holiday photobook time and time again and worried it will fall apart!! Nat

  10. Sharon - great post!! Blurb has nice arty layouts, but I think you have to choose a certain style at the beginning ie studio, professional etc. I have used snapfish in the past, but am in the middle of my first blurb. The postage is surprisingly minimal to Australia - only about $10.
    Nat, I too have been worried about the kids trashing the book, but at the same time I want them to enjoy it and look at it, so although this sounds a bit overkill, I actually order two. One softcover, to look at and enjoy and trash, and one hardcover that I put away in a high security vault (just kidding) til they are all grown up.
    I have made a yearly 'year book' of our family including cousins etc. It's a summary of our lives for the year. I give the book to the grandparents (my parents and inlaws) as a Christmas present, and I also make a copy for us. I figure the kids can look at ours now and wreck it a bit as they go, and one day, we'll inherit the ones in good condition.
    I have the book already to go, and wait for a 2 for 1 offer, or a 40% off sale and then I make my move, so I can afford an extra copy. You only pay one postage. I get emails sent from snapfish with special offers. Don't know if Blurb has special offers, but I'm going to try them with this years book.
    I hear that 'Creative Memories' produces good photobooks but I haven't looked into it.
    Like Momento, Blurb has free software that you can download to design your book on.

  11. Ooops, sorry, here is a link to a post I did on my personal blof=g about photobooks (snapfish) and some pictures of the finished result.

  12. I would love to make a blurb book of my blog - I'll be back to see what everyone has to say!

  13. Am off to do a bit of research on Blurb!
    alison xx

  14. Such an interesting post - one of those where the replies are equally interesting! :).

  15. mmm...seems Blurb is the go. Will be interested to see what you think Sharon. Will have a look myself too.

    So I have a short list of places to try that I think I will like...iPhoto and Momento. I want something good quality for my upcoming trip. But what size??? Was chatting to Leanne S and she did a 12 x 12. Any suggestions here?

  16. Amy

    I used Photobox for the ones where I loaded a page I'd created in PSE. I use photobox for all my normal prints too

    I've also used Pixum for books using their templates

    The first one I had printed was part of a reduced price offer and I used it as an experiment and tried several things - using photos from a series of holidays so it still works as a photobook too

  17. My friend got a voucher for her 40th for a Memento photo book and put together a book of her first 40 years.
    She only has basic computer skills and no experience with photoshop, PSE etc (neither do I so I don't even know if they are the same thing. lol!) and she put together a beautiful book.
    The quality of the finished book was great and she said the service was great.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...