Halloween/October has so many opportunities for photos:
pumpkin lattes/pies/roasting pumpkin seeds.etc.
jack o’ lanterns
trick or treating
spooky flashlight photos
October skies/ moon
and so much more….
This photo book was made through Paper Coterie, which sadly doesn’t exist anymore. I still wanted to share because it is a great example of using basic blocks of color, Halloween quotes and simple layouts to create a fun book representing October/ Halloween adventures.
How do you capture the essence of a school year? Every year varies. Some years there are lots of projects, sometimes I can take a ton of photos or the teachers take photos, some times there is a plethora of field trips, shows, stuff, etc… Whatever your experience, there is always a story to tell about your child’s school year.
Here are some ideas on what to capture both in photos and/or words to characterize your child’s school year:
the obligatory first day of school photo
the school’s sign
what your child likes in their lunch or what they eat from the cafeteria
new clothes or school styles
new back pack – why did they choose it?
a picture with their teacher
what the inside of the classroom looks like, posters, bins, class library, the backpacks lined up, markers, areas (reading area, make believe area, science area, etc.)
Questions for your child – How old are you?, How tall are you?, Do you like your teacher? What are you excited about the school year? Goals for the year?
the class photo
your child’s professional individual photo
writing samples, stories, answers to questions
what is classroom life like? do they sit groups, facing the board, at a big table, rug time?
are there specialty classes? language? music? technology? library? science?, P.E.?
what is popular at recess? what does your child like to do?
photos of your child working on homework
songs they sing, poems to memorize, etc.
projects, making the project, presenting the project
special days – like pajama day, spirit days, crazy hair days, etc.
sleep away camp
after school classes
self – portrait
rehearsing for a project
examples of tests
performances – a choir concert or a play ( include getting ready -nerves?excitement?)
moments with friends – who are there friends? what do they like to do together?
sports at school
special events, – parent parties, picnics, end of the year party
homework folder, binder, books, pencils, pens, etc.
are they organized? or disorganized?
books read during the school year – reading logs, etc.
What do I do with all those photos of our lives? I make a photo book, of course. “Capture Life” is what I named my Project Life Book for 2012. After years of capturing our daily lives in a scrapbook form, I wanted to switch to a digital version.
I created a digital template and input photos, project life cards, embellishments and journalling in Photoshop. Then I organized my pages to create a book with Blurb in a 12×12 format.
You can find various templates, project life cards and embellishments all over, but my favorites include:
Losing a pet can be overwhelming. After our cat died recently, I felt so lost and alone yet the memories were so vibrant in my mind. I knew I had to find a way to channel the energy into something that would help me overcome the sadness. A photo book allowed me to tell her story in photos and words and start my healing.
I searched my photos on Lightroom using keywords pertaining to my cat and put them all in a “Collection”. I used the Lightroom “Book” mode and created a quick and easy book linked directly to Blurb. The simplicity was just right for this project where I wanted to quickly get my words down. I made a 7″x 7″ soft cover book.
The following are some excerpts of the book:
How she came to be with us.
What she was like as a kitten.
Her relationship with the other animals.
Her relationship with people.
How she played and her favorite toys.
Fun photos and a story about a specific day.
Favorite details – her sounds.
Her physical characteristics.
Her favorite treats.
Her favorite places.
Her impact and what she taught us.
And a good-bye.
We all miss you soo much. We now have this wonderful book to look through and remember all the things we love about you.
For years, I have been taking one week of a year and going in depth with what a week looks like for our family, inspired by Ali Edwards. I usually take a week where I know it will be a fairly ordinary, average week (if that actually exists).
The following are examples of what I photograph and document:
what we are eating for breakfast
what morning hair looks like
the drive to school
what the pets are doing
what each of us is working on
what lunch looks like
what books we are reading
what school looks like
what projects my child is working on at school
what dinner looks like
what the nighttime routine looks like
what tv we are each watching
what shoes we are wearing
what hobbies/projects we are working on
what grocery shopping looks like
what receipts look like
what we are buying
what games we are playing
funny/ interesting facebook posts
what is on our computers
things we like
things we are struggling with
things that are motivating us
outside the window
asking questions of my family – what made you happy today? this week? what made you sad? what was your favorite part of the week? favorite moments?etc…
The list goes on and on. You will be amazed with all the parts that make up your story.
I used Ali Edward 8.5 x 11 templates for my pages. Once I created my digital pages I put them together at Adoramapix. The quality of the book is just incredible – the vibrance of colors and clarity with thick lay flat pages. This is one of my favorite photo book printers! My one and only complaint with the company having very specific page count restriction is now gone, you can choose exactly how many pages work for you (up to 76 pages). This project is so worth it!
With a trip to Hawaii, I wanted to capture, the bright colored flowers, the vibrance of the blue sky and the festive feel so this book was about color. This book measures 8.75 x 11.25 landscape, lay flat pages by My Publisher. The quality of the book and photos is outstanding. I created my pages in Adobe Photoshop using digital patterned paper with color overlays. Each page included a simple tropical border and Ali’s Hand font. Since the pages were bright, if the photos were not full page or very large, I used a black border around the smaller photos to help them stand out on the page.
A little tip: I often pick up artistic postcards on trips and use them for covers or page decoration.
Here are some of the pages from our Hawaii 2011 book:
Title page – Location and dates. The rent-a-car and arriving at the hotel. The view from the room and an activity at the hotel. Details. Water slides and snorkeling. Jacuzzi and antics in the hotel room. A new outfit. A selfie. A loose tooth and stopping at Starbucks. Details at the USS Bowfin museum. The USS Arizona Memorial. A scenic shot and thoughts about witnessing this piece of history. A Luau. More details. Dancing at the luau. Learning the hula and fire dancing. Breakfast. Paddleboarding. Enjoying the beach. Playing. More playing. He lost his first tooth. Thanksgiving dinner. Hawaiian crafts. The Nui (a little luau). Visiting the North Shore. Lunch and stories. Iconic images of the North Shore. Another sunset and details. The Art. Swimming. Leaving and heading home. A collage of all the paraphernalia – tickets, map, postcards, certificates, wristbands, brochures, receipts, etc.
Don’t be afraid to use color, but I did find that the pages with a bit more muted tones worked much better than some of the bright, over powering colors.
A long weekend camping with friends captured in a photo book. I used My Publisher and they are definitely one of my favorite photo book companies. Their lay flat option up to 100 pages allows for more pages than most companies and the quality of their pages is fabulous! My pictures come out the way I intended – clear, vibrant and detailed.
I designed my own pages in Adobe Photoshop for more flexibility.
A couple of details that make a book easy to create:
stories of kids or adults playing – games, adventures
discoveries – footprints, bugs, etc.
the stars and sky
sunrise or sunset
evening around the campfire ( pump up your ISO and turn down your aperture)
maps of the area
the trip home
Here is a sampling of pages from my book:
A title page including the date of our adventure. A quote and the story.The journey there. Waiting for everyone. Learning new games and our boat. Getting seasick and a scenic shot of where we were staying. Details Activities – hiking and swimming What it looked like at night and in the morning. Learning to fish. New friendships.The big hike. Nature details along the hike and the exhaustion from the hike. The map. Napping and Fish. Sunrise. Kayaking and learning knots. The wildlife. What nighttime looks like. Our accommodations. Exploring. The journey home. Seeing whales on the way home and a quote about nature. A summary photo of the trip. The back cover. The spine detailing place and year.
Hope this inspires you to think about another photo book.