Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Our Annual Photobook has Arrived - 2016

Edit: 48 hours after this published I got an e-mail from MyPublisher saying they are shutting down in May (just in time for me to get Luke's 4th year photobook ordered after his March birthday!).  So I'm going to keep up the photobooking but now looking for a new company!  And at least I'm only a few pages in our 2017 book!

I've written a few times about our annual photobooks and how it was such a great and perfect switch from scrapbooking.  I still feel like a bit of a novice at this photobook thing but then I realized, with two January orders, that I've completed 10 with Luke's year 4 not far behind.  I guess I've figured a few things out, most importantly how to stay on top of it so it never feels like a huge task.  I have a recurring reminder on my phone for Wednesday quiet times and I update then, as needed.  This time of year there I don't do nearly as many pages as the summer, where almost every weekend gets it's own page or spread of pages.

The books I do through MyPublisher are limited to 100 pages and I use all 100 for our annual (calendar year) and Luke (birthday-birthday) books.  I wait for the "all extra pages" free promo which gives me pages 21-100 free (I believe 20 is the standard).  I pay extra for a lay-flat page upgrade and the 2016 book I just ordered was $77.  I don't think it's a bad deal for a year's worth of pictures, over 500 in the book.  That's less than $6.50 a month.  If you are a Starbucks a day person, cut two coffees a month and the book is paid for.

For our travel books, I do one for each trip, I watch for a $40 voucher promo that gives you a voucher for a max 80 page book with lay-flat pages and a photo jacket.  You still have to pay tax and shipping so those books come out to be about $55.  Still, cheaper than I could scrapbook them and they take up a lot less space.  If you are doing some math...with a 2016 family book, Luke's year 3 (ordered last April), and two vacation books (New York and Boston)...we spent close to $250 in photobooks for the year but I absolutely think that's money well spent.  I enjoy looking through the books and Luke is finally old enough that he can, carefully, look through them on his own. 

I get questions about how I set these up and how I allocate pages.  With 100 pages, that's roughly 8 pages per month.  I start with a cover page for the year:

And then just add a page or spread as needed.  For January 2017 I only had two events with their own pages: my goddaughter's baptism and a wonderful 60° weekend where we got to spend a lot of time outside.  I end every month with two summary pages: one of random Luke pictures and one of just other random pictures:

I add text on almost every page to at least explain where we were (the zoo, family camping trip, the lake) and the dates.  I don't write much more than a sentence or two per page.

I always include a home tour page around the anniversary of the day we closed on our house.  I love seeing how these change every year!

Until summer most events/weekends just get a page, not a spread.

Here's a spread page for our family camping trip last summer:

A Luke summary page.  I've been including a list of things he's really been into that month.  Lemur always makes the list but other things change.

At the end of every quarter (March, June, September, December) I do a summary of projects completed.  House things, my sewing, Matt's woodworking, etc.

About the beginning of November I go through and start allocating pages for the rest of the year.  I know how many pages I've been using for Christmas celebrations, New Years, and my end of month/quarter summary pages.  Sometimes I have to go back and consolidate events.  For 2016 I was exactly on target which was very exciting!

I always end with a collage of all the Instagram pictures I posted in the year that also took place in the year.  I explained how I do that here.  I really enjoying having these and they are a part of my rotating desktop backgrounds!

I do photo jackets for our annual books and have always used one family picture for the back:

With updating regularly most of the work is done by January but I still do a final edit, make sure I didn't make any typos and there weren't any blank spots that needed pictures.  Then I wait for my sale and order!  I ordered this one on a Saturday and the next Saturday I was checking my order status to see if it had shipped yet because I hadn't gotten a notification.  It said it should be arriving the following Tuesday.  10 minutes later it showed up at the door.  I think the fastest we've ever gotten one!

I've been doing these less than 4 years and really like seeing how much our collection has grown already!

Yearbook 2016 | Boston | New York | Luke year 3 | Yearbook 2015 | Gulf Shores | Luke year 2 | Yearbook 2014 | Michigan | Luke year 1

For anyone looking to start I'd suggest beginning with 2017 and getting in a good routine.  It's so much easier to work on current things that are still fresh in your mind!  Then going back (I'd do 2016 then 2015, etc.) and catching up.  Don't let perfection be the enemy of done!  I could spend HOURS more fine tuning these but would that little improvement be worth the time and stress?  No.  I feel good about these, love looking at them, and really enjoy not having that nagging feeling that I should be doing something with all these pictures!

Anyone else photobook converts?  

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