The Holiday Story in a Photo Book

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

In January we had a week's holiday staying in a beach house in Pauanui in the Coromandel Peninsula. It's the 4th January we've been there (plus a few other times during the year), and the third time we've stayed at this particular place.

I've recorded previous trips there in my Project Life pages, but before we went this time, I'd decided I wanted to make a photo book. Because I had the idea in advance, I was more conscious of capturing moments and the essence of what we love about our holidays there.

Let's be honest, I also knew that I wanted to have an excuse to take photos... and lots of them. I don't know what it is about a different location and being in holiday mode, but it just seemed I saw beauty and great photo opportunities everywhere. The rainy days just added to the magic. And how do you beat getting up to watch the sun rise?

I used my Canon in manual mode for 300+ 'keeper' photos and kept about 70 from my iPhone, plus the others gave me a few they took of me to help me add more of me to the story.

I was definitely in my happy place there and once we got home, I was aware of getting my book made while it was all still fresh in my mind. Just over a week later it was in my hands.

How do you decide which company to use?
I chose Artifact Uprising because I've used them multiple times before. The first time was based on online recommendations and once I looked at their website and philosophy, I felt they were right for me. I love the feel of their pages and soft covers and their choice of sizes. I used their variety of page layouts to make the job simple. I felt there was no need to complicate the process with re-inventing the wheel, or adding any words or embellishment.

Choosing a book size.
I must admit this one was tricky and the final decision was based on the price, however 2 book sizes were the same price. I ended up going 6x8 portrait because I've used that size previously and I think the same size of specialty photo books sitting together on a shelf will work for us. My intention is to make the same size books for several other trips we've had to other places.

How do you decide what to include and the format/order? 
In the end I just went with the flow. The week was a series of rainy days and sunny days and most days the activities were the same so I just made pages in sort of that order and revised it a few times. Then I pushed order before I could fiddle with it any more. These are some faves.

Apart from the where, what and why words on the intro page and the final page, there are 86 pages of photos only, so it's basically a photo narrative. I love it and a sure sign of success is that my husband took it to work to show a colleague.

It was an investment. Our NZ dollar is awful against the USD at the moment and the postage was more than the book, but I feel it's a souvenir. I would readily have paid this amount for a painting or print to bring home in the past.

Apart from this photo book, there are some photos I want to use as wall prints and so I'm pricing special prints at the moment. I'll be sure to let you see how that project turns out.

Thanks for stopping by:)

OLW | A little practice challenge

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

If you're participating in the One Little Word workshop, you'll know what the February prompt is all about. I'm not going to explain it here, because that would be inappropriate, however I'm going to share what I've set for myself to do during Feb. It's all about practice. I've explained before that my word this year is voice and my reasons for choosing this.

I felt it would be a perfect opportunity to spend a month photographing using my DSLR camera.

In typical Donna fashion, I thought up too many complicated challenges for myself, then in a moment of clarity, I decided to keep it really simple.

Photograph and choose 1 photo per day which evokes an emotion.

Why? Because I want to focus on finding my visual voice, and in particular, my photography style. I'm obviously passionate about photographing "the everyday", because this captures our lives and who we are. But I have a much deeper connection to certain photos and a lot of those are really nothing to do with my everyday moments.

They are more about connecting with the magic in my everyday... things that spark emotion or joy. It may be something as simple as colour, lines in the shadows, the fluttering lacey leaves. Some days it may be the connection between my daughter and our dog or simply the way the light falls on the dogs ears.

From my enormous collection of inspirational words, today I chose this quote which will be my guide for the month:

"When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy." RUMI

It's only Day 2 of this 29 day challenge. So far I've surprised myself with the 2 photos I've chosen. They are probably not the ones which tell the story best. Yesterday I kept 6 of the photos I took at the marina. I chose this one because I was captivated by the light sparkling on the sea.

Today I walked past this hibiscus again. I remember photographing this one day last year. I adore the colours within the flowers but also the contrast between the flowers and the blue sky.. I used my 50mm lens today and love this capture. It was a competition between this one and seagulls on the reef at the beach, so I'm surprised this one touched my heart more!

It'll be interesting for me to see if any pattern emerges during the month. I hope so because it's the direction I'm looking for.

Thanks for stopping by.

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