Project Life 2016 | My photo book process

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

This year I've adopted a different approach to Project Life. If you're not familiar with this system of memory keeping, you can read more about the different ways to work it here.

For 4 years, I've been making hybrid project life pages and have physical albums. At the beginning of this year, after toying with the idea for over a year, I decided to make a photo book for this year's photos. I thought I'd share with you my process, in case any of you are wondering if super simple might work for you.

Over the years, I noticed my preferred pages were becoming more and more simple. I knew my love for photography was developing, and so I wanted to have more emphasis on the photos.

I've spoken before about my concern at having too many bulky photo albums and wanting to downsize. I've also observed my family looking through photo books more than the larger albums.

I've opted for very little use of digital stamps or embellishment.

That might seem like a strange question to any memory keeper. Surely the story is important. Yes it is, but for me, there is no need to state the obvious.

I was talking with my son about a famous film director, who said that films shouldn't need to be explained if made well enough. I also saw a quote from Alfred Hitchcock, another film director, who said "If it's a good movie, the sound could go off and the audience would still have a perfectly clear idea of what was going on".

I feel the same can apply when telling the story with photos. They can narrate the story perfectly without any need for explanation. Often though, there is more of a story to be told, or the photos don't cover it.

I've trialed writing a monthly currently page and after 3 months, I think this is working well. For the first 2 months I added little other wording, but as I approach March pages, I recognize there are more stories to be told, so I'll be adding those as I go. March was definitely a month of stories, rather than moments!

1. Decide on a photo book company. There are so many to choose from and differences in quality, price and postage to be considered. There's also the ease of system to consider. For me, I chose Artifact Uprising after considering all of these things. I've used them before and loved the product received.

2. Size. I weighed up pages and cost, along with the vision I had and decided to go with 8.25 x 11 inches in portrait. The soft cover book has a maximum of 200 pages. That allows me roughly 16 pages (or 8 double pages) per month. Having this knowledge before commencing was valuable because it sets the guidelines and I work out my month based on this. I thought this would be tons, but seriously, it's so easy to fill these pages! I love that I can add and move pages around at any time. My project is saved on their site until I'm done with it.

3. Style. There are so many ways to approach this.

  • You can simply use the page templates in Artifact Uprising's system, and I do use these for some pages. You can add text anywhere on these pages.
  • You can use the Project Life App to make pages and then upload the JPGs. In fact, Becky Higgins is working on photo books to add to her products.
  • You can make your own pages in an Adobe system and upload the JPGs. I use a series of grid templates for a lot of my pages, so I can fit more photos in.
  • You can use digital Project Life cards in any of these options and you can use digital stamps added to your photos before uploading to AU page layouts.

When I think of a photo book, I see simplicity, emphasis on photography, good design and white space. I try to keep this in mind as my pages flow. I've used my fave full page photos balanced with small photos. Some full page grids and some small blocks of grids.

Because it's a yearbook, it's not exactly a themed photo book, so not all pages will have that sense of continuity, but after 3 months, I've settled into a pattern and details like keeping my currently journaling page format the same each month help keep that continuity.

I've noticed I'm spending a lot more time taking photos and less time making pages, but I'm sure I'm going to end up with a product that's closer to my heart.

Here are a few fave pages from February.

This photo shows how I've set out my monthly CURRENTLY summaries.
Products Used:
Becky Higgins Everyday Edition digital files
Paislee Press templates

Project Life is a system for memory keeping by Becky Higgins. Last year I was part of her Creative Team. You can find out more about Project Life here.

Thanks for stopping by:)


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