This post was sponsored by Blurb. I approached Blurb about this collaboration because this will be my 6th year creating photo books with them and I truly love our treasured yearly family photo books. All opinions are my own.
As a mom of 4, I question my own abilities to be a good fit for this mom job daily. I am unorganized, overwhelmed, I yell when I’m mad, my kids probably watch far too much tv, the list goes on.
One thing I am completely on top of though is making sure our family memories will not be forgotten! I am not doing all this for nothing! My kids need to KNOW, they need to SEE their childhood and how much we loved on them. At the end of each year, I create a large hardcover family photo book. Now that we are wrapping up 2018, I am about to create my 6th family year book! So I will forget it’s show + tell day and I will be late almost everywhere we go, but I will never, EVER miss printing out that darn family year book!
Sometimes I play this twisted game in my mind: if there were ever a fire, what would I grab as I ran out of the house? Assuming all family members are out safely, my photo books are always the first things in my hands.
To look back and see the ordinary moments of our day to day life - it’s priceless! Those “regular” moments with my children who were much smaller, the homes we have since moved out of, my husband and I in a whole different time of our marriage- those days gone by are now so beautiful to me. All of those memories are laid out in these large books. Looking at them makes me incredibly grateful.
I have been loyal to Blurb to make our photos books for so many years simply because they have been so good to me: every year I am so pleased with how our photo book turns out! These are high quality books. I usually end up using anywhere from 150-200 pages and the book bind is thick and strong. The layouts are professional looking, and making the book look beautiful is easy for a non techie person like myself.
Blurb walks you through the steps you need to take. I use their program called they call BookWright to make the book (just free, downloadable desktop software). Ya’ll I am not that computer savvy but I taught myself this quickly.
The page layouts as far as dropping your photos onto the pages are great- lots of options - but it is also easy to make your own layout. I have always done the large square books (12” x 12”). I think this is the best when you are printing so many photos! I love the full page photos so much- especially for a portrait of a kid.
I used the standard paper for a while and it was great, but as my kids grew older looking through the family photo books became a favorite activity. They even ask to look at them in place of a bedtime story! They haven’t torn pages (yet!) but I don’t want to get on their case about being gentle TOO much because the books are there for our enjoyment. I started using the upgraded paper option just to be safer though. Blurb offers all kinds of paper options (semi-matte, semi-gloss, etc.).
I use DSLR photos and iPhone photos. I even used an iPhone photo for the 12"“x12” cover once and it turned out beautifully! I organize the book month by month. Some years I added text in - but usually not. It just takes too long.
Some of my covers:
And a back cover (taken with my iPhone!):
I start the book every January to give myself momentum. The creation of the book takes about two months from start to completion- but I work SLOW and I don’t rush it. I only work on the book one or two nights a week after the kids’ bedtime. The first few pages are always the slowest, but then I get the hang of it and start dropping pictures into the pages very quickly.
Once the book is finished, I’ll export it and then I wait to find a good coupon to use! They run enough specials I never have to wait too long. And when the book arrives in the mail- it’s like Christmas at our house! Everyone wants to be the first one to see it. I was out of town this year when it was delivered and my husband called me from the house to ask if he could “be the one to open it”. I underestimated how much the family would love flipping through these books through out the year, and I am glad I went with a sturdy book.
They offer an option to save the book as a PDF file for about $5, and I do that too just in case the book gets lost or damaged.
Do you document your family’s memories in print anywhere? Does one big hardcover family book at the end of each year sound appealing, or do you prefer multiple books throughout the year?