blurb

Cross-Country Move, 6x9 photobook

Cross Country Move Photo Book: Introduction

This is the first post in a series about the photo book I made to document our cross-country move from Southern California to Indiana. You can view all of the posts in this series here.

I grew up in Southern California. My dad was in the Navy. Aside from the 5 years I spent in Seattle after I married, I lived in the San Diego area all my life. My whole existence has been on the West Coast and, like most Pacific Ocean snobs, I had long viewed the Midwest as some sort of curious wasteland. A place where people once lived, but moved on. I imagined it as one giant used car lot. A flat landscape of corn and wheat occasionally broken up by an abandoned factory, where things we once made were now being made somewhere else and the people who made them were desolate and lost.

 

 

Yes, there was Chicago (parts of it amazing—other parts war-torn, segregated, suppressed, sad). And maybe there was Minneapolis. But that's the Upper Midwest. That's different. That's not Cleveland. That's not Kansas City. St. Louis. That's not...Indianapolis, where I now live. (Okay, I live close. In a small city that sits on the northern border of The Big City. But work with me...).

I've never lived anywhere that feels this much like Home.

I don't mean home in the sense of where I come from. San Diego is that home. Adobe rooftops, marine layer, carne asada burritos, flip flops, jogging, traffic, beach cruisers, skateboards, veneers, implants, avenidas, mesas, and calles. That is home. But San Diego has never felt like a place I belonged to. It felt like a place I came from. It's as familiar as the mole on the back of my left hand, but feels no more a part of me than a glove covering it.

No, I mean the sense of Home in that I have arrived at a place where it feels like I've always belonged. The chattiness of the people. The old and worn things. The history. The green, everywhere. (In all my life I have never known there was so much green in the Midwest. From the fastidiously manicured lawns to the canopy of trees enveloping the streets, green is everywhere here. San Diego is blue and brown. Green is hard to find.) This place, from the moment I stepped off the plane to visit last fall, has felt like a perfect fit.

And it didn't let me down when we sold our home and moved across the country to live here. Nine months in, our circumstances have changed more than we could have imagined, but that hasn't stopped this place from wrapping its arms around me and pulling me in tighter.

Mushrooms in Indiana Somewhere in Kansas | yolandamadethis.com

Circumstances

We came here because I had a job. And that job was moving. The opportunity came. I explored it. 

I said yes. We prepped. And prepped. And staged and prepped. We sold our house in a day. We packed.

Papaya Way House 2014 | Somewhere in Kansas | yolandamadethis.com

We visited Indiana for the second time last February. Five inches of snow fell that first night. We found a home to rent. We got ready. We packed. We drove. We moved. We saw so much. I documented it.

Nine weeks after my arrival, the circumstances changed. I no longer had a job. I can't talk about it. Priorities shifted. I was expendable. Papers signed. Desk packed in boxes. Security badge turned in.

I went Home.

Two weeks late, I had a doctor's appointment to investigate some changes I was noticing in my body. Eventually, I'd learn that I need surgery.

I have had surgery before. That is why I need surgery, again. Complications. The body, like life, is complicated.

But, the story of my body is still writing itself. I don't want to dive into it in this post. Instead, I want to share with you the ways I documented and created a photo book about our cross-country move from California to Indiana.

Here's a few images from the finished book. Up next, I'll walk you through the initial design and talk about why most of my photo books will be 6x9 trade books from Blurb for the foreseeable future.

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.