Initially for my project I wanted to document our lives. One day at a time. I wanted to be able to flip through the pages and see my kids grow up in the pages. I had two simple rules.
- One picture a day
- Pictures didn't need to be frame worthy or award winning - just real life images of our daily life
That's it! I posted them on my Instagram account and hashtagged them and included a date in the caption.
There were a few sub-rules that I came up with along the way...
- I tried to balance pictures between the kids. I didn't count picture for picture, but you'll notice some weeks one kid is more prominent than the other and I try to balance that. That's become more difficult now that I have one in full time public school and one at home most of the time.
- If I happened to miss a day, I usually filled in with two pictures from the following day. I did miss some! I tried to not make a big deal of it, but yeah... It happened. I fibbed a tiny bit. ha!
So yes - I took A LOT of photos! So now... the actual hard part -- making a book! I have been using Shutterfly for my compiled books. I chose the 8x8 hardcover photo book option. I debated bigger, but I'm cheap and the cheapest size actually works well enough. If you have a budget that allows for a bigger book - go for it! I also wait until Shutterfly has a wonderful deal or coupon. My book last year didn't get printed until March, I think.
I used one of their basic storytelling layouts for each year and started to fill. I chose a 4x4 grid layout for each page. It looks like a calendar and the squares look great with the Instagram size photos. I love that Shutterfly will connect with Instagram so I don't have to sit here and upload 365 photos! That would take forever! They connect with your account and "voila"!
|January 2017 is about complete!|
A few notes on this:
- If you post multiple photos on Instagram in one post, Shutterfly won't pull them over. I found this out the hard way in NOVEMBER. Yikes! There are a good 5-6 days a month this year that I have to go find and fill manually. Going forward I will make sure the photo I select each day for my book is posted separately.
- It helps if you have your phone open or a dual screen computer. I pull them over into Shutterfly one month at a time and then double check the dates as I fill them into my pages.
- I've found that if you set up your project early and just fill in a month or two at a time it's MUCH easier to manage rather than waiting until the end of the year and doing it all at once. My 2016 book was much easier than my 2017 book is going. If I had looked at it in June I would have made some adjustments and it wouldn't be such a pain.
|See all those holes? Days I posted multiple images!|
The book was born out of my love of flipping through photo albums that my mom had put together when I was a kid. As my kids were aging, I realized that since technology has changed so much, I wasn't doing that. We were relying on Timehop and Facebook's "On this Day" feature to look back. I missed having printed copies that we could flip through and have my kids enjoy. With this, it's a win win!
Happy photo taking! Let me know if you take the plunge and do it in 2018! Remember that we aren't aiming for perfection -- just a simple look at every day moments. (And it's ok if you miss a day... just fill it in with a picture from that week-ish.) Let me know what you think!