Thursday, March 28, 2013

Photobook Reviews: Intro

One of the few hobbies I have stuck with (goodbye jewelry making, so long scrapbooking, adios furniture redos) is photography.  My parents took many pictures of my brother and I, so I grew up with an appreciation for documenting our lives in picture form.  

As our family has grown from just Lee and I to the Cook Threesome and now the Cook Four, I have tried to adapt to the increase of photo-taking opportunities.  I originally printed pictures and put them in photo albums.  It was a fairly easy task; the hardest part was narrowing down the photos to a select few for each event and trying to put them in the albums in chronological order. But that didn't really satisfy my creative juices so I yearned for something else.  I tried traditional and non-traditional scrapbooking but that took up a lot of time and space.  Then, on a whim because of a Groupon, I tried digital photobooks.  Bingo!  I hit the jackpot.  

Why do I love photobooks?  First, let's talk about cost.  Photobooks are probably going to cost more than just putting pictures in a photo album.  But I believe you should never pay full price for a photobook.  There are deals galore out there that would either take a percentage off of the price or provide you with free shipping.   It pays to shop around. Secondly, I love that working on a photobook means just me and a computer.  I don't have piles of photos or scrapbooking materials sitting around getting in everyone's way.   And lastly, I think the effects (backgrounds, graphic elements, etc) are more appealing than anything I would come up with on my own.  This definitely satisfies my creative juices.

At this point, I have a "set list" of photobooks.  I create an annual book that has a double-page spread for each month and highlights our activities for each month.  I work on it through-out the year so that by December the entire book is complete and I've only had to spend limited time working on each previous month's pages (I have done the opposite and created an entire yearbook in December -- too much work at once -- don't do it!!).  I also create a separate book for Christmas because I take a jumbo amount of pics in December.  At some point, I want to create books that compile all of our photos from other holidays like Easter and Halloween.  I also have a wedding book to create -- it's about 8 years late but who's counting??

And here's another thing I like -- the projects remain on your profile so I can slowly start buying multiples (taking advantage of discounts/coupons!) so that Chelsea and Nate each have a copy of every book to take with them when they fly away from our little nest.  Imagine having to recreate old school photo albums for each child - nuts!  With one click, both of my kids can have a library of books showing off their childhood in a fun format.  

Are you convinced this is fun now??

So that's my intro.  Stay tuned for some sample pages and reviews of photobook websites. :)


Anonymous said...

I've seen the photo books - she does a great job! Very creative!! I've caught the bug now and doing my own. Mom

Jennifer said...

I love photo books. Greg and I made one to document our creative project last year--He Draws, She Shoots : A Year of Sundays--lots of fun. Anxious to hear your recommendations.