Sunday, July 20, 2014

Photo Books | Preserving Our Family Memories


I'm excited to share a glimpse of what has been a time consuming (yet very fun and rewarding)  undertaking this summer, catching up on 3 years worth of family photos!  After seeing friends, Linsey (her new blog here) and Jenny, create gorgeous photo books to preserve their family memories, I was inspired to do the same.  Old high school yearbook editing skills, don't fail me now!  

In the past, I would print 4x6 photos and tuck them in leather bound photo albums, which has worked perfectly well, up to a point.  Photo albums don't tell a story the way a photo book (or blog post) does, also they are made up of all 4x6 sized photos (other than those few I would enlarge for frames each year).  The photo book both tells a story and allows for favorite images to be enlarged without the need to frame them.  Sort of the best of all worlds.  I have long been impressed with Mpix quality for reprints, so after hearing Jenny's positive experience with their photo books I decided to give them a try.  I was hoping for a dark navy linen bound book but it wasn't an option (please add it to the mix Mpix, if you are reading! :)), but the charcoal linen is really nice too.  The colors of the photos and the quality of the books are incredible.  As is their customer service and turn around time!!  I had four books made.  The 11x8 1/2 landscape size is my favorite because I take more landscape oriented pictures than portrait and I preferred the way I could layout my photos in that sized book best.
^^ A foggy morning on the beach in Cape Cod last summer.  The colors are absolutely perfect and take me right back to that very happy morning.^^

^^ I started and ended each book with a full page picture.  I especially like this one for all its imperfections.  It was an outtake from a Christmas card photo session with my Dad a couple years ago.  It captures the reality of that morning, with the boys silly antics and challenge of getting that one shot where we are all looking at the camera with our eyes open. ^^

^^ My tan, happy boys just a few years ago, from our summer trip to Michigan.  I really like the large images best in the books. ^^

^^ The double page panoramic pics are fun too.  I discovered this option when working on my second book and incorporated a few in each of the books thereafter. ^^

^^ I found myself including more scenery shots in the photo book than I ever would have in prints for a photo album.  It is a good reminder to point my camera away from just my family when I'm photographing our everyday life or adventures.  It's these shots that help add details to the memories. ^^
^^ I love this spread from last Christmas and winter.   All that snow was so magical. ^^

^^ Sometimes I used the preset templates in Mpix but most of the time I re-sized and moved images around to create my own.  With each book I got a little better and faster at figuring out what looked best together.^^

^^ Charlie's 5th Birthday, some of my favorite pictures!^^


^^ Our Chicago visit 3 years ago.  Photos taken at dusk are always the prettiest.^^

^^ Occasionally, I apply filters to my photos when editing.  Typically it is when I've messed up the manual settings on my camera and I'm trying to adjust or correct my mistakes.  I'm always a bit leery as to how they will look when printed versus on my computer screen.   In the case of the photo books they were gorgeous.  I use PicMonkey (I vow to learn Photoshop one day!) to add filters.   The above image is a favorite from apple picking last fall, I applied the "dusk" filter when editing.^^

^^Anniversary celebration at the Castle House Inn in Newport, Rhode Island.^^

^^I could just keep going and going, because I love each spread for different reasons, but I'll stop here.  Charlie's 4th birthday.^^

I just started our 2014 book.  It feels great to be all caught up!  Each book has a max of 50 pages. So far I haven't been able to narrow down the pictures enough to fit in a complete year in one book, which is ok because I typically didn't with photo albums either.  Thanks for taking a look! :)

26 comments :

  1. Gorgeous. simply gorgeous. You did a beautiful job with all your photos. What a lovely treasure for your family.

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  2. Your family photos look like they are straight out of a magazine! What a beautiful way to preserve your history.

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  3. These are incredible! You have a real knack for photography and layout and for telling a story...I suppose that is what makes your blog and IG account so delightful :)

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    1. how sweet! i appreciate that! thank you!!

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  4. I am in love with your books, and am going to start creating mine pronto. I am curious...did you use any iPhone pics, and if so, how'd those turn out? I find myself using my iPhone more often than I should!

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    1. unfortunately iPhone pics have too low resolution for photo books. if you keep the images small and they are super sharp on your phone they might be ok, but not for the larger images. in fact a warning will pop up indicating if the resolution is too low. i did try with a iPhone photo that i adore and it is a bit grainy in the book. i still loved the shot so i'm glad it's in there but you can tell the difference.

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  5. You have a real talent for photography and layout! You have totally captured the feel of each of these memories and no words are necessary because your pictures tell the story. Love!!

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  6. These are amazing, Tessa! I'm so glad you posted about this. What an inspiration to me--both the photo books themselves and the beautiful way you capture your family through your photos. I have done a few photo books in the past, and I always find them so time-consuming. My husband thinks it's absurd that I'll buy some photo book deal and then be up literally till 11:59 trying to get it submitted before the deal expires! ha. I'm curious as to how much these cost? I have sooooo many pictures, (many from times I don't even know if I could remember the details about sadly!), and I fear a 1000 page book if I really took the time to make one…did you start in January and work through the year till you reached 50 pages? Thanks again for posting about this!

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    1. ha! sounds like me. so the Mpix books have a max of 50 pages and the linen bound books with the foil embossing on the front cover were $50 a piece.

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  7. These are awesome, Tessa! Your family is beautiful. These look straight out of a magazine :). You have such a great eye for photography and I love all the details. I'm curious about the iphone photos as well. Also, do you make one for each son to have one day?

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    1. thanks so much, elizabeth!! xoxo
      iPhone pics don't work as well. I tried with one image and it is grainy compared to the real camera photos. you might be able to get away with them if keeping the phone images small.

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    2. and yes, great idea, I want to print copies for the boys too!!

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  8. I love Mpix. You're right, their service and turn around time is fantastic. I have been more than impressed with the quality of their prints.

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  9. These are fantastic! You have a great eye for putting just the right photos together!

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  10. So great! Now you've inspired me to complete my book from last year... one of my summer projects! Did you see the smaller book options, too? I'm planning to make them for gifts this year - my sister had her daughter's made in pink linen and it is darling. So glad you loved them as much as I do!

    Jenny

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  11. So worth the time and effort, Tessa! I SO NEED to do this too. I'm always interested in what people use as their albums and I've always been partial to leather bound photo albums. That is just what my mom always used, but with technology these days, I think this is probably the better way to go!! Your albums are beautiful!

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  12. Beautiful, Tessa! What a wonderful idea. Your photos and page layouts are perfect. You are very talented. I think I may try making a book. Thanks for sharing yours.
    Claudia

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  13. These are beautiful! I need to to ours so bad!!! I was going to go with Blurb but now you have me rethinking my decision!! Thanks for sharing!!

    Meg

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  14. Life long treasures . . .
    Simply wonderful . . .

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  15. These are gorgeous, Tessa! I really need to get my photos organized too. I love how you included landscape shots to remember all of the details. Just perfect...what heirlooms!

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  16. Hi Tessa! I just searched for this post because I am about to start our photo books (and try to catch up on the last four years -- eek!). Did you create an album first in your photo storage location (iPhoto, etc.) and then upload the entire album to mpix at once, or did you transfer the photos one by one to mpix? Getting the photos on to the mpix site (to then be used in the book) seems like the most time-consuming part? Thanks for sharing all of your tips and advice -- your blog is always the first place I look when starting a new project.

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    1. Ugh, I'm behind in this department again too... I didn't use any photos from my phone, so I uploaded them directly from my computer to Mpix. I think you can download many at a time. Good luck!!

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  17. Your photos are beautiful! I have been procrasting on doing this very thing and just looking at your pictures has motivated me once again. I was considering Blurb (seen a popular blogger use this service--Dear Lillie Blog) but now you have me thinking Mpix. Decisions! Also, have you heard of Chatbooks photo albums? They do photos from your iphone, IG, and facebook. 6x6 albums that contain 60 images for $8 ($5 extra for a hardback version).

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