I've previously mentioned (here and here) my plan to create photo books. When I asked for recommendations on an online source for creating photo books, a friend commented that I should try My Publisher. I had never heard of My Publisher before nor do I now have any connection with them in relation to this post; I'm just sharing a very positive experience.
My first project was to take all of the professional photos from the girls' first year (newborn, Spring, Fall and cake smash) and create a photo book. I loved using My Publisher for this book (a screen shot of the cover is below)! It was really easy to download the software, and then to use that software to upload my photos and create my own book. It was almost too easy! When the book arrived, I was impressed by the quality of the paper, printing and binding. It's an incredible keepsake.
After the success of my first project, I came to the realization that photo books are the way of the future. I used to love to print photos and put them in albums but that all seems so archaic nowadays. In fact, it had been forever since I printed photos. After the girls were born, I struggled to keep on top of the hundreds of a photos a month that we were taking. Monthly, I tried to make a folder of the best digital images with the intent of later printing the photos. I think I printed photos for December 2010 and January 2011 (the month the girls were born and the month following) before giving up on that.
The other day I took the best photos of 2010, including my pregnancy and the birth of the girls, and created a photo book. It's the first of the yearly photo books that I plan to make from here on out. This time, I selected the option on My Publisher where the software takes your photos and arranges them for you (as opposed to doing everything myself like I did with the first book). I couldn't believe it but it was even easier than the first time around! The 2010 book is due to arrive any day now (a screen shot of the cover is below).
Project number three is starting out to be a little bit more difficult. The first step was to sort through the thousands of photos from 2011. The photos are organized on iPhoto by month. I spent over three hours going through and selecting the photos for the 2011 photo book. When I was done, there were over 800 photos. That's obviously not going to work. Even if I put ten photos per page, that would still be over 80 pages let alone having pages where there is only one or two photos. I'm going to have to go back over all 800 images and ruthlessly pick the best ones for the book. Even once that's accomplished, I expect that it will be more work in putting the 2011 book together. First, there will be a lot more photos than the other two books (even once I reduce it from 800 photos). Second, I want to add small bits of texts throughout the book to give it some context and to mark down important and memorable dates, events and milestones (there was no text in the first book and just a few bits of text in the 2010 book).
Once the 2011 book is completed, I plan to start to collect photos for the 2012 book so I can make this an on-going project for the year and avoid my current challenges with the 2011 book. I also want to come up with a better way for storing the digital images. Right now, we have everything on our iMac backed up on a Time Capsule and I sometimes burn photos onto discs too. We don't have an external hard drive but I'm thinking maybe we should have that in addition to the Time Capsule.