Interview: Jessika’s New Zealand Photobook

Jessika's New Zealand Photobook

I scrapbook my photos.  It’s my hobby and how I like to showcase my pictures.  Just because I scrapbook my photos doesn’t mean you have to.  If you do scrapbook, it doesn’t mean you have to use the same methods I do (or anyone else for that matter).

It’s more important that you do something with your photos no matter what that is.  I suspect sometimes people are overwhelmed by what other people do with their photos and then do nothing.

When my friend Jessika told me she finished a photobook for her New Zealand vacation, I asked her some questions about it.

When did you take the trip?

We took the trip in November of 2012. I have no excuse why I haven’t worked on the book until just recently. I think because we returned and immediately had to slip into “holiday-mode,” it was easy for me to put the book off. So, I think from now on, I’ll try to figure out when I’ll work on future books better. Having a set aside preferred time to do it maybe means it will be done sooner.

How long was it and where did you visit?

We visited New Zealand, and we were there for just under two weeks.

Why did you end up going with a photobook?

I scrapbooked for a little while, and I love how creative you can be with a scrapbook. However, I have other hobbies I love and I finally came to the realization that I could not also scrapbook. I also like having the option of reprinting a photobook should it get damaged. Finally, I like how quickly I can put a book together. It might not be as beautiful as a scrapbook, but it still holds the purpose that’s the most important to me: cataloging experiences and photos (before I lose the photos and the experiences become faded!). I also like that I can get the project done with and then the worry of losing photos disappears– I’ve captured everything in the book!

What are your feelings now that it’s finished?

Relief. Achievement. I feel like I’ve time capsuled a special trip before it faded too much.

What are your feelings re the amount of description you put with the photos?

My previous books… I’ve put in too much description. I’ve realized that I don’t need to document EVERYTHING. Some things just don’t need to be documented. And, in looking back at my old books, I described things in 20 sentences where I could have just used one to two sentences.

So, with this New Zealand book, I was very minimal about my descriptions. I think this will be harder to do when there are stories behind pictures, but I love how the NZ book turned out so much that I think I’ll keep with my short and sweet approach from now on. For example, we went to the Zealong Tea Plantation in NZ. The old me would have described it, then talked about the tea heater, then talked about what type of tea we drank and the weather and etc etc. Instead, in the book, I put in a large page-wide photo of the plantation, and then four pictures on the next page of us drinking tea and goofing off with bronze statues of teapots. The caption? “Zealong Tea Plantation.” With those pictures, further descriptors really weren’t necessary. And, as a result, the book looks cleaner.

Any thoughts on the tradeoffs between getting something finished versus spending more time on it?

For me, getting it finished was important. I worry about losing camera chips or computers dying with photos saved on them. I’m also passionate about my other hobbies, and there are only so many hours in the day to be crafty.

Doing a photobook with less wordy descriptions means that I finished more quickly and I included photos that were important, not filler. It’s also helped guide what types of photos I take on a trip, and to have a plan on when to photobook when we return.  This system works for me because I have other preferences– just stay true to what you want to do and what works out best for your worries and time allocations.

I love everything Jessika had to say about this.  She did something that worked for her.  I like how she realized she didn’t need to add descriptions ad nauseam.  Sometimes I worry that I’m not capturing everything about a story.  This reminds me that I don’t have to.

The point?  Whatever works for you is perfect.

Do you have a photo album, photobook, or scrapbook you worked on recently?  I’d love to talk with you about it!

Wood grain image courtesy Andrew Taylor via Creative Commons license.


China Vacation Photobook

My China photobook is done!

I now have 5 out of 6 vacation memory keeping steps complete!  Technically I think it’s 5.5 steps because I have half of step 6 (careful storage of mementos) complete.

I create a photobook for each vacation before I work on the scrapbook.  I discussed all the reasons why when I got back from Egypt last year, see the post on that here.

Same drill as last time, this is a 5×7″ photobook from MyPublisher.  Their software has gotten even better since last year and they make everything so easy.

I always start the book with a statement picture – this time it was the red lanterns on Gui Jie (Ghost Street).

I put text on each page where I started a new city but left the rest text-free.

Then I made lots and lots of pages.  This book is about 60 pages.  MyPublisher’s standard pages are very thick and high quality.

On the last page, I used a grid of pictures from everywhere on the trip, plus the cool “End” sign.

On the back cover, I put a picture of us.  I decided to make it a “thing” to put us on the back since I did the same with our Egypt Photobook.

Again, I’m really pleased with the quality and MyPublisher isn’t paying me to do an advertisement here.  When the book arrived at my office, my coworkers were very impressed with the quality and how good the pictures look when they’re printed and bound.

Vacation Photobook

Vacation Photobook

It’s getting time for vacation season!

We like to have pictures ready to show people when we get home from vacation.  Doesn’t everyone?  I don’t scrapbook with 4×6″ prints, so printing a bunch would be a waste.

Enter the MyPublisher Hardcover Pocketbook.  It starts at $19.99.  They have a soft-cover version starting at $9.99 but I like the feel of the hardcover.  The book is a little over 5×7.”

Vacation PhotobookThis gives us a durable, pretty album that we can take to grandparents’ houses and leave on our coffee table.

Vacation PhotobookI’ve been a MyPublisher customer for years because I love the quality and I can get great sales.

I plan the photobook as soon as we get home from the vacation.  I decide about how much I want to spend, how many pages that will give me and then divide up the pages to cover parts of our trip.

I know, I’m methodical.

Vacation PhotobookI put the book together and wait for MyPublisher to run a sale (which they do often).

Vacation PhotobookI made this one to showcase pictures from our trip to Egypt and Jordan last year.  I used the basic templates available on MyPublisher.  Since then, they’ve updated their software to be even more awesome and give you more template options.

Vacation PhotobookThis doesn’t replace the scrapbook.  I have tons of travel keepsakes that will go in a scrapbook with these pictures.  This is a compliment that conveniently shows a ton of pictures in portable form.

Vacation PhotobookAny products endorsed on this blog are products I actually use and like.  I have not accepted any freebies or payments in exchange for promotions.