A SIMPLE WAY TO GET CREATIVE: My Guide to Producing the Perfect Photo Album
I had a thought the other day. Imagine your Facebook, Instagram, laptop, iPhoto (whatever you store your photos on) simultaneously crashed and your photos were suddenly GONE. So many important life events, memories, and experiences would be lost (they may be hiding up in the cloud, but who knows how to use the cloud anyway). Sigghh, this would be a sad day.
I recently went back to BC and visited my friends and family for a "late Christmas". When I was back home my brother and friend both pulled me aside to show me these beautiful photo albums they created. My friend and his wife created an album that told the story of their wedding day and my brother created one of his travels. I LOVED looking at these albums, they felt nostalgic, like a lost art, something that we used to do but no longer create. Remember how exciting it was to take in a roll of film to get printed, and then looking at the photos for the first time? Having a hard copy of a photo is rad. Now a days, I think we mostly look at pictures on our phones, iPads and laptops. Yes, having a camera and photo album at our fingertips is convenient BUT some the excitement and feeling of holding a hardcopy is lost.
Last year was my first year working full time after being a student for what seemed like eternity... So, I treated myself by going on a few trips - Mexico, Nicaragua, San Fran, Toronto and Peru. Now, living in Canada, this YYC winter has got me craving some warm tropical destination; the travel bug is kickin' in, hard. I find myself constantly searching the internet looking for the next best flight; however, I have personal financial goals I want to meet so going on a trip maaaay not be the best idea. Creating an album really made me reflect on last year and realize how fortunate I was to be able to take those trips.
My friend and brother inspired me to make my own album, and I'm hoping I can do the same for you! It's easy, enjoyable and anyone can do it. I will provide you with a step by step Guide on how to get this done. I am not talking about an album that consists of scrapbook pages with stickers, notes, and matting...these are great, but expensive and time consuming.
Here's why creating an album is BENEFICIAL:
- RELIVE all your wonderful memories and experiences. Whether you choose to make an album of your travels, wedding day, hikes or loved ones....it's all good content! I think it's important to be THANKFUL for the memories that we have. Sometimes we get caught up in "what's next"... but take the time to reflect and be grateful for what life has already given us.
- Allows you to BE CREATIVE without the pressure of "messing up". Nothing here is permanent. Keep organizing and playing around with your photos until it feels right to you. There is no right or wrong. I think a lot of us don't spend enough time doing something creative, and we are scared of dabbling into an unknown world. Thankfully, this activity does not require an "artist" but allows you to get those creative juices flowing. Doing something creative is good for the soul and your brain.
- Helps de-stress and allows your mind to focus on something positive instead of something that could be bothering you. It's like therapy. Seriously, you can make an evening of this...put on your favourite music, pour a glass of red, and have FUN!
- If you have a travel bug (like I do currently), it really helps to alleviate some (not all 😉) of the pain.
- Nice way to share your experiences with your family and friends, now and in the future. How many of you have looked at albums with your grandparents? Didn't you enjoy listening to the stories that came with the photos? Having these pictures accessible stimulates good conversation. These albums will be keepsakes and long lasting.
STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO CREATE YOUR ALBUM
1. Find an album you LOVE - I hate clutter and knick knacks probably more than anyone in the world, so find an album that would look nice on a shelf, something you actually like to look at. Make sure there are sleeves inside that individual photos can fit into (mine fit 5 photos on one page). I bought mine from Michaels, it was buy one get one FREE! Yay for me! Otherwise, print off a coupon online or download a coupon to your phone to receive at least 40% off one regular priced item.
2. Organize your photos - Upload photos from your camera and/or phone to your laptop. Create a separate folder in iPhoto (this is what I use) of the content you choose to showcase. For example, I made a separate folder for each of my travel destinations and organized the photos accordingly. If you desire, you can do a quick edit in iPhoto, otherwise leave the photos as they are. Once you are content with your photos they are ready to be uploaded onto a USB stick!
3. Upload your photos - Plug in a USB stick to your laptop or computer. Drag your folder of photos from iPhoto to the USB icon on your desktop. It may take some time to upload depending on how many photos you have.
4. Print your photos - Take your USB stick to a print place, I used Walmart (they are the cheapest). Upload your USB stick into the machine, here you can select what photos you want to print and make any last minute changes. You can print immediately from the machine, this is good if you only have a few photos. But if you have 500 like me, they can print them in 1 hour!
5. Place photos in album - Arrange your photos in a way that makes sense to you, you can play around at this point and have fun!
I love having the sleeves that the photos fit into; however, I still wanted to be able to write a description beside a photo and add my own creative touch. Actual scrapbook pages have plenty of room for this, but the sleeves initially felt limited. I searched for awhile to try and find blank white paper that would easily slip into the picture slots so I could write on those...but the correct size of paper pad could not be found. SO, I bought 4x6 inch blank photo paper from staples (pictured here). They only had glossy finish, but the backside of the photo paper is matte. I suppose you could use either side, but I like to write and draw on the matte side. You must use permanent marker because any other markers smudge. Anyway, this allows you to get a little more creative...if you dare!
This is a good project to have on the go when you are trapped inside due to the -30 degree weather. I hope you enjoy this project as much as I did and inspire others around you to create their own masterpiece!
"Creativity is contagious, pass it on"