Family Photo Album

I’ve always loved taking pictures.  My camera started small and inexpensive – those little disposable cameras that you sent it once you’d taken all the pictures and got your developed prints in a week or two.  I would stock up on 2 or 3 during summer camps, family vacations, and holidays.  And then I’d have one for the last day of school or for a birthday party.  I have a box of pictures on the top of our bookcase filled to the max with all of those printed memories.  I actually removed all of those pictures from the 1-tiny-photo-album-per-event/occasion just before I moved to New Jersey.

I think I got my first digital camera at the end of high school.  I loved being able to take as many pictures as I wanted before uploading them to get printed.  A couple times a year I would print off several months worth of pictures and add them to my photo albums.  I was pretty good about getting the pictures printed until, I think, the end of my sophomore year in college.  I was constantly taking pictures of everything we did – it probably got annoying but I still do it, that’s who I am – but I was majorly slacking in the printing department and I thought it would take too much time to catch up.  I still take [admittedly] too many pictures but I love doing it, why stop?  Now I have a Cannon DSLR that I l.o.v.e. using.  I’ve been taking a picture a day so I can learn to use it, at least, in semi-manual modes.  So I’m amassing TONS of pictures.  Which I’ll be sharing soon – we’ll see if I’m learning anything!

Well, then we got married.  And I fell in love with Pinterest (how scandalous of me) who gave me the kick-in-the-pants I needed to get my pictures developed.  I take pictures because I don’t want to forget the little things, the seemingly mundane happenings, OR the family vacations and holidays.  So, Pinterest presented the idea of ordering a family yearbook/photo album using an online website that allows you to create a photo album, prints it for you, and sends it to you in the mail.  I’m using the website Mixbook, which allows you to select pre-set layouts and designs which you can customize (add more pictures to a page, change the background, add a fun sticker or two) or you can start with a blank book and do all of the customizing yourself.  There are several other websites that offer similar services (Shutterfly, Blurb, etc.) so you can play around with a couple if you’d like.  I played with Blurb first and then Mixbook and overall I liked the style and customization of Mixbook more.  But I’ve seen books from Shutterfly that are gorgeous so it’s really just a personal preference.  And another plus is the size of our Mixbook.  There are so many pages but it is, at most, 1/2″ thick.  It takes up no space at all which means we can pack many, many, many more on our shelves!

I started our first book with 2012 since that was our first full year of our marriage (we were married in November 2011).  I tried to keep everything in chronological order.  I organize my pictures on my external hard-drive by year then by month then by activity/event/occasion so things are easier to find, especially when I’m looking for that one picture to print for a frame at home.  But enough chit-chat, here’s a quick look at some of our favorite 2012 pages:





Obviously these pretty little books can get expensive.  They start at a base-price, depending on the size of book you’re making, and then adds an additional amount for any extra pages.  I always wait until the website is running a special.  They usually post it really big at the top of the page for you to see.  For example,  I rushed to get our 2013 book done last weekend because the 40% off code expired Monday at midnight (of course they are running another sale, 30% off + free shipping) but there are certain times you won’t find a savings code.  It’s hit or miss so I always try to stay up-to-date on our book, just in case.

Now we’re just waiting for our beautiful 2013 ‘album’ to arrive!  I can hardly wait.  I know what the whole book looks like, I made the darn thing, but it’s always so exciting to actually hold it in my hands and relive those memories.  I find myself occasionally flipping through our 2012 book a couple times a year because 1. it looks so pretty and 2. I like looking back at the adventures we had.

So what does everyone else do?  Do you still get pictures developed regularly and stick them in photo albums?  Do you print your pictures and rotate them in and out of the frames on your walls?  Are you a scrapbook-er?  Are you like I used to be and just stopped getting developments but keep using that camera everyday anyway?

Until next time — Cindy


4 thoughts on “Family Photo Album

  1. I didn’t know you like pictures as much as me! What a great idea! I would love to start doing an album a year but would probably end up doing an album a month with as many pictures I take! What kind of camera did you get? I am saving up for one and am looking to get it around my birthday (may). I use btw. Their prices are very reasonable. I made albums of our wedding for our parents and they came out great (they have flat albums so you dont have to worry about the crease in the middle ruining the picture and you can customize the layouts). They have groupons here and there. Prints are as low as 9Cents a piece.

    I print my own pictures and have started making albums based on events. Like our Honeymoon and Our House. I have an hobby/addiction with picture framing- but I have a rule- Once a picture goes in and is set, it never comes out. I think of it this way- that was a moment in time that mattered. That ment something to me and that moment should never be looked over or taken away…… So then I just buy more frames. I am running out of space to frame so that’s why I I have been Albuming……. I got this great album from that i was able to customize the front with our names and honey moon dates… Its a wooden front that the letters were carved into. Its really cool. I always thought about scrapbooking but I like taking the photograph more and printing it best. Some editing here and there but nothing major. I like it when the picture can speak for it self (with a small caption) other than the stuff around it. Which is why i like to Album more than scrap book I think. I take my camera every where though- Events, picnics, parties, underwater, even my own wedding I had my video camera… my other cameras I gave to other people to take pictures with.

    I love your blog by the way. So much fun.
    -Kristine K

    • I actually just heard of another site, MyPublisher, and they have the flat albums too. Such a neat idea! And I love your rule for never changing out your pictures. I guess I subconsciously do that too because I never want to replace the memories we see everyday.
      What editing program do you use? I just heard about Picasa the other day – it’s free to download. I didn’t really want to spend a lot of, if any, $$ to buy anything yet but I want to be able to crop and correct some minor things.

      • I try and keep things simple too. I use good old iPhoto that comes with my mac. There is also and iPad version. I sometimes try to use photo shop, only because I have it, but I never find the need to edit pictures to that extreme.

  2. I LOVE MIXBOOK! I used this site to make the guestbook for our wedding with all of Brandon and I’s engagement pictures, and I’ve used it for about 4 books since. I even made our wedding album using Mixbook and I LOVE IT!! :D I look at it all the time, just like you said ;) There’s something about making a single picture take up a whole page that’s just fun! :D Glad you found this wonderful little site, too!

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