Friday, 23 February 2018


In 2016, I made a giant (actually, it was really quite small) album for the whole year. It can be pretty time consuming to make these albums, but breaking it up and basically updating it each month helped a lot. I also chose to only use photos from Instagram, which made the process a lot quicker too, as the sorting out the photos, organizing and editing is already done. But for my 2017 album, I decided to simplify it even further and made a photo book based. I used Blurb as a) they're my go to for photo albums, b) they were one of the few companies that could print up to 440 page books and c) they have a program that connects directly with Instagram. There's a couple of limitations as to what you can do format wise using this tool, like how you can't edit the layouts or do two-page photo spreads, but for my simple plan of having one photo per page it was pretty perfect. I updated the album monthly and it probably took me about five minutes each time. 

And whoa, I love this album. I love the fact all our favorite photos are in physical print and that you can just sit and look through them. I've probably already spent way longer than I should have flipping through it, and there's just so many pages that instantly make me smile. It contains our whole year, and everything from everday photos around the house to photos from our travels. And I absolutely love comparing the photos at the start of the year with the end of the year and seeing how much Oscar has grown. He's gone from being a baby to a kid, and it's so awesome. I mean, when I was taking photos for this post, I ended up ear-marking 48 favorite pages that I just had to include. I manage to narrow it down a bit further than that, but sorry, this is still a pretty photo-heavy post haha (which meant that Blogger crashed about a million times when I was trying to post this haha).

However, first a bit of a disclaimer: the album you see here is actually my second attempt at a 2017 album, as I just wasn't happy with the first album that got printed. The photos came out blurry and grainy and I just wasn't happy with the quality of it at all. Such a bummer. I ended up contacting Blurb customer services to complain, and I was really just hoping for a refund (as obviously an album of this size cost a few bob!). Mainly though, I was just so sad that I'd been looking forward to flipping through the album for a year, and expectations just did not meet reality. I know, this is an album based on photos from Instagram which automatically reduces the quality, but I guess I was just expecting that a program specifically made for making albums from Instagram photos would either somehow magically take that into account, or at least produce some sort of warning as you're making the book that the quality isn't good enough (as that's normally what happens with their other software). Anyway, I did not get a refund. I was told they'd give me a free reprint, but that I'd have to go through and probably use the original photos for the quality I was looking for, and I'd have to reorder within a month. AKA, sort through thousands of photos (probably not even an exaggeration haha) and organize and edit them--exactly the part of the process I was hoping to avoid. I don't even think I have all the originals anymore, nor did I have any idea how I'd find the time to do this. Eventually I decided to go through the album and just change the layout of each page, hoping that might help. Instead of full-page photos I opted for one large photo on each page. I figured that as they were covering the cost of a second album, I might as well give it a shot. And I'm so glad I did, as the second album is exactly what I had in mind the first time around. Lesson learnt.

The finish album is my biggest photo book yet, 360 pages total. It's divided into twelve chapters for each month, and at the end I did a quick written summary of the year at a glance so that the album will still make sense to me 20 years from now. The photos are not necessarily in chronological order beyond being in the right month--chronology is not a priority for me. I used photos from both mine and Graeme's Instagram account, and kept the whole book super simple and uniform. As a change from my previous photo books, I chose a printed hardcover this time, and I'll probably do that again for future albums too.

And, yes, duh, of course--I have already started the 2018 album. And I'm already very, very excited.

No comments:

Post a Comment