Growing up, I loved more than anything looking at our family’s photo albums, listening to stories and recalling vacations, events, and milestones.
I vowed at a very young age that I was going to do the same for my own kids.
Between school, work, activities, and events, I’ve found it’s really, really difficult to do anything in terms of chronicling my kids’ lives much beyond uploading photos to Facebook now and again.
But it’s probably more the norm than I think, right?
And poor Cora? Typical third child blank baby book. At least Owen has a few pictures and that one lock of baby hair taped to the inside cover.
So here it is. I have a way that makes keeping track of things easier for me and awesome for my family. One busy mom trick that will make you wanna dance.
Here’s the skinny. . .
- Family Photo Books–Easy, Quick, and Affordable for Super-Busy Moms:
For me, it’s all about maintaining.
So my one superstar trick is this: start NOW for next year. And use the folders in your photo program.
Here’s what I mean:
Create a folder called ‘family snapshot 2014’ and then month by month as you upload photos, drag one or two photos from each event into the folder.
And then, around holiday time, when awesome photo services start rolling out awesome deals, all you have to do is upload the entire folder to the site, let the photos auto-populate in a photo book, and order it.
Remember, even if you’re super far behind, be kind to yourself. Unless we take an entire weekend to catch up on something like this, you’ll never get totally caught up. Be good with it.
- So create a folder for this year–no matter what year you’re in–and then go back to the beginning of that year and start dragging photos over to the folder. Set a timer. Give yourself 30 minutes.
- Then choose a platform: Shutterfly Photo Books or Blurb or ThisLife, by Shutterfly or Mixbook.com or www.montagebook.com.
- And upload that folder to the site.
- Let the photos auto propagate. That means, let the photos auto-arrange into a book. It’ll be fine. Let. It. Go. Let it gooooooo.
- Make a few changes–like the covers–and then add maybe one or two captions. Repeat after me: all you need are the photos. It’s fine.
- Then order it.
- Order one for each set of grandparents. They’d appreciate it.
- And bam. You’re a star.
(Or you will be one when they open it and love you for it.)
I try to have one book for the kids to open at Christmas full of the previous year’s events. So each year kind of starts around holiday time from the last year and goes through about early fall or Thanksgiving, depending on when I get my act together.
It’s all good. They don’t have to be totally perfect and flawless. Nothing really is, anyway.
It honestly takes all of one hour–max–and I mean maximum if you keep it up.
Sure, you may want to run through the folder first and delete any photos that you don’t want included, but that’s easy. Super easy.
And do the same for all of your other events, too. Family goes to Disney? Create a folder. Drag all of the awesome photos into the folder, and then it’s ready for a photo book come holiday season.
Do the same for the beach, a house renovation, a special event, fundraiser, or school event.
I’ve created photo books for just about everything I can over the past few years, and not only do they make rockstar fabulous gifts, they help to chronicle our family’s little life. They love it, and I love it.
We keep all of the photo books under our coffee table in the living room, and we actually look at them. They’re pulled out, opened, and enjoyed more often than not. I love it. And the great thing is that if something happens to them, they’re all stored in one happy cloud on the site that I purchased them from, ready for a re-order if need be.
Here are some super awesome deals that I’m taking advantage of and you can, too:
- Limited Time Only….Free 20-page 8×8 or 12×12 photo book with any ThisLife subscription! (ends 11/20/14)
- Save up to 50% on Shutterfly Photo Books, Calendars, Prints, and more.
- 25% off for first time customers on Blurb
- 25% off Landscape and Portrait photo books on Blurb ($100 minimum spend required, runs through 11/25/14)
- Save 50% on Mixbook’s Biggest and Best Photo Books!
One super-simple way that, thanks to modern technology and some great websites and coupons, has made it easy, quick, and affordable for me to create family photo books.
And you can do it, too.
What works for you? I’d love to know how you keep track of photos for your family!
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