'Do-It-Yourself' Photo Books!

Every year I tell myself I'm going to make a great effort and put together a file of all the photos we took of our family from the previous year. It's funny to think that our children will be one of the first generation to possibly have everything photographed in their early life! My own parents had a collection of photos of us as kids, but I now take more photos in a week than they might have taken in a year. And, I imagine it is only going to get worse when you think about the ease of camera usage and processing. Just think how fast the local photo shop succumbed. Anyway, I suspect that in the future my grandchildren, and great grandchildren will have their lives documented so much that it will be something like a concurrent dialogue running alongside their real life - something out of a sci-fi movie! Things change so fast now. Not a hundred years ago, it was conceivable that someone would go through their entire life only seeing one significant change - like the introduction of the automobile, or electricity. In our parents generation the average westerner could expect to see change over the course of a decade perhaps. But, nowadays, it seems like significant change is coming every other year! I'm thinking how much more technology has advanced, or seemed to advance, in the last 5 years alone! EEEK!

Anyway, last year I came across this new feature with my iPhoto. It allows you to compile images and create your own book of images, complete with some script. There are a choice of styles, presentations, and even textures.... I just went with the simplest. Of course, you pay for the service, but it isn't necessarily expensive. I have found that it is a great and unique way (at least for the next year or so) to capture something special. And, from easily organizing the book yourself, to putting in your order, it seems like the whole process takes almost as long as the photo shop used to take to get your roll of film processed.

This year I used the service to produce some fun books for our family - but also some books for friends as a small gift for an occasion, for example, or just to share some special moments. I still save the bulk of stuff on discs that I store away (that's one thing that is a certain benefit - the amount of space it takes to file a disc as compared to a heavy box of photos).... but, if you are like me and like an object that you can pick up and feel nostalgic for, well then, this seems like a decent compromise between the future and the past.

My only real complaint is that when the little books I ordered arrived - they were way over packaged in very secure cardboard boxes. Though it was cool-looking the way each book was carefully configured inside the box - and certainly created to offer the highest level of comfort for a simple soft cover photo book.... I couldn't help but think that it was overkill. And, anyway, you'd think that for such an advanced company, they would be well ahead of the curve when it came to recycled goods and environmental friendly packaging!!! In short, the content is cool and advanced - the packaging could be made simpler!!! Just my opinion.


SARAH said...

I've been doing this project for three years now...and the family loves it. I've added two more books to the order, so that each child will have a collection when they are grown. AND I totally agree on the packaging. It was SO overkill. This year they packaged three books to a box, 4 boxes inside the shipment. I was really disappointed. To counteract this, I mailed them in their plastic sleeve so I wouldn't encounter more paper in the form of an envelope.

lesley said...

I upload images to sites like snapfish and shutterfly who also have options to make books. It has been a great way to share photos with grandparents living in another state and another country. My grandma does not use the internet so I started sending her these little books. She told me it was a great format to get pictures in. The packaging from both sites is less than iphoto but I do like the aesthetics of the iphoto books better.

Emily said...

We used iLife to make calendar's for the grandparents for Christmas. They turned out beautifully and what I really loved was that you could not only have a large picture for each month but insert pictures onto days on the calendar as well and write in your own text. We put pictures of each family member on their birthday and made up fake fun holidays such as "Reading in bed day" and "No shopping day" (the day after Thanksgiving.) My parents carried the calendar from house to house on Christmas showing it off to relatives and friends.

Anonymous said...

...please where can I buy a unicorn?