8x10

Family Album 2013

Family Album 2013: The Completed Album

This post is part of a series where I explain in detail how I approached and built my 2013 family album that was printed by Blurb.

For the past few posts I've walked through my process for designing and creating a photobook family album for 2013. Below, you can see the entire album page by page. If you have any questions (or if there is something I didn't cover but you wish I had), please let me know.

The images you love deserve to be in your hands.

More About This Project

  • Want to know why I decided to make a 2013 family album? Check this out.
  • Would you like to know more about how I organized this project and the tools I used? See here.
  • Curious about the cool navigation technique I added to the fore edge of my book? Want to know what the heck a fore edge is? Read this.
  • Want to know how and why I incorporated my daughter's artwork into this project? That's here.
  • Want an in-depth look at an entire season from my photobook? Read here.
  • Curious about the Highlights page at the end of the album? Here you go.
  • Want to know how I designed the photobook cover? Details are right here.

Family Album 2013

Family Album 2013: The Cover Page

This post is part of a series where I explain in detail how I approached and built my 2013 family album that was printed  by Blurb. In a hurry? View the completed photobook, now.

Let's talk photobook cover design, shall we? Not interested? Oh?  Did you stumble onto this web site by mistake while googling for quilts? damn. That sucks. Everyone else, let's get to it.

When it comes to cover design I opted for simplicity: a single image on the front and a small version on the back.

Photos + words, you cannot go wrong with it.

To design the cover, I modified my favorite image from our family portrait session last year to add a soft, tilt-shift style blur. I then added the initial of our last name and the year. I wanted the design to be stripped down and replicable in future years.

Building the cover was easy. I simply pulled images into the pre-designed cover layout options in Lightroom (I turned off the text layers).

More About This Project

  • Want to know why I decided to make a 2013 family album? Check this out.
  • Would you like to know more about how I organized this project and the tools I used? See here.
  • Curious about the cool navigation technique I added to the fore edge of my book? Want to know what the heck a fore edge is? Read this.
  • Want to know how and why I incorporated my daughter's artwork into this project? That's here.
  • Want an in-depth look at an entire season from my photobook? Read here.
  • Curious about the Highlights page at the end of the album? Here you go.
  • Ready to see the whole album cover-to-cover? Coming right up!

Family Album 2013

Family Album 2013: The Highlights Page

This post is part of a series where I explain in detail how I approached and built my 2013 family album that was printed  by Blurb. In a hurry? View the completed photobook, now.

While I really wish I had been clever enough to come up with this concept, I have to that Nettio Designs for having the foresight to create this Highlights page. You can see how the designer used it in her original Week in the Life album here.

Although the entire album is a time capsule of our lives in 2013, I felt that the Highlights page was something that could really give us sense of time travel when we looked back on it in coming decades. So, I modified the column headings to capture the things I thought I'd find most significant to our time and place when I looked back on it, years from now.

I design my photobooks to capture the here and now,
but my audience is the Future Us.

Already, at a year out some of the music we were listening to in 2013 already feels like ancient history. Time moves so fast. Yet, some things—like the board games we were playing—are just as relevant now as they were a year ago.

PURCHASED

This column bugs me a bit.  really wanted a place to note the big purchases we make each year. My husband and I find ourselves doing a funny memory dance all the time as we wrack our brains trying to remember wen we bought our last TV or refrigerator. Years and months just seem to run together after a while. The intention of this column is to correct that, but I don't love the way it looks.

THE NEWS

I wanted a place in this album to mention some things that had affected me emotionally, such a the Boston Marathon bombing; but, since our family was not directly affected, I didn't feel I should dedicate a spread to. Also, my daughter is young, though she is a very capable reader. I want her to look through this album and enjoy it as a part of her own story. I don't want to create spreads about Big World Things that turn this into a book she needs to be shielded from.

But, world events are a part of our story and the significance of them will be revealed to her in tome. I want her to have a place to connect what was happening in her world at the same time something else was happening in the rest of the world. My feeling is that I will adjust how I handle stories like that in the future, as she gets older. But for now this is one way of incorporating the larger stuff in the world, without distracting from the story of our day-to-day lives.


More About This Project

  • Want to know why I decided to make a 2013 family album? Check this out.
  • Would you like to know more about how I organized this project and the tools I used? See here.
  • Curious about the cool navigation technique I added to the fore edge of my book? Want to know what the heck a fore edge is? Read this.
  • Want to know how and why I incorporated my daughter's artwork into this project? That's here.
  • Want an in-depth look at an entire season from my photobook? Read here.
  • Curious about how I created the photobook cover? That's up next.

Family Album 2013

Family Album 2013: A Full Season Page-By-Page

This post is part of a series where I explain in detail how I approached and built my 2013 family album that was printed  by Blurb. In a hurry? View the completed photobook, now.

When we last left our hero, she was explaining how she spent hours and hours scanning her child's artwork in order to put it in a photobook. Now, let's take a walk through a single season in the book so you can get a sense of how the whole thing flows together.

Title Page

These were a last-minute add. I felt there needed to be a more clear transition between seasons beyond the colored navigation tabs. I created the diamond titles using text and the shape tool, but they were heavily influenced by this Diamonds Are Forever series by Ali Edwards (I purchased and used  version 03 of these for a photobook about our cross-country move).

Intro Page


All of the intro page designs in the Photobook Frenzy set incorporate an 8x10 or 10x10-inch image paired with smaller images on the opposite page, separated by white space for journaling. A 10x10 image is shown here. It can be tricky working with the gutter on these larger images. Large images like these absolutely make my heart sing. I use them as much as I can.

Visual impact = emotional impact every time.

In telling the stories throughout this season I used several more of the various intro page designs. I really love the way the journaling space encourages me to dig deeper than a single sentence or caption. Here are the other spreads in this season that use similar designs:

Unique Spreads


I spent an outrageous amount of time trying to get this spread right. I took a lot of photos on that first day of school and I really wanted to tell the story visually. But, in the end, the visual clutter was working against me. It took a lot of stripping down and rearranging to get to the final result. My favorite part? The way that S in School wraps around her leg like a ball and chain.

You can read more about this spread here.

This spread was slightly modified from one that is included in the Photobook Frenzy set called A Week in the Life™ Topics.

Scanned artwork

This 2-page spread of small images depict a significant trip we took. Notice that the grid structure is consistent with the other pages.

This 2-page spread is an-almost complete departure from everything else. I do this couple of time throughout the album when I want to tell a particularly intimate or emotional story. What remains consistent, however are the font choices (I use only one font for journaling throughout the book, one for navigation, and one fancy font that is introduced sparingly).

Here are the rest of the album spreads, most of them are photographs with simple captions:

More About This Project

  • Want to know why I decided to make a 2013 family album? Check this out.
  • Would you like to know more about how I organized this project and the tools I used? See here.
  • Curious about the cool navigation technique I added to the fore edge of my book? Want to know what the heck a fore edge is? Read this.
  • Want to know how and why I incorporated my daughter's artwork into this project? That's here.
  • Curious about the Highlights page at the end of the album? I'll explain that next.