My photo book arrived, and I'm thrilled with it!
It has been a goal of mine for a LONG time to do photo book annuals for our family photos, but it seemed like it always fell to the back burner. So to finally get one finished and printed feels SO GOOD. I'm freshly motivated to start on 2012, and also to work backwards until I have one for every year that we've been married. (Back to 1997!) When I get back to about 2004 I was shooting film, so my photos will need to all be scanned. I also didn't take as many photos back then, and I don't remember as many details to write about, so I may combine multiple years in one book.
I ordered my book from Shutterfly, and it was about $68 (including shipping) which I think is a screaming deal when you think about how much it used to cost to buy film and develop a year's worth of photos. Or how much it would cost in supplies (or time) to scrapbook. I had a 50% off promotion code, and an additional $10 off code that kept the cost down significantly.
My book is 12 x 12 (ideal for fitting lots of pictures on a page) and 72 pages long. I used a lot of the photos and text from my blog rather than starting from scratch, which helped a ton with the time factor.
Here are a few of the layouts:
I set up a limited number of grids and font styles to follow and kept the design pretty simple from there. I intend to keep this same design theme going through all the books I do, so I wanted it to be pretty clean and classic.
Shutterfly has some really nice templates to follow, but I wanted complete design flexibility so I built mine in InDesign and uploaded full pages as JPEGs. The production isn't absolutely perfect—the spine text doesn't align perfectly for example, and I've found a couple of small design errors already, but I know from my years of catalog publishing that they are never perfect.
Overall it turned out awesome and my family is already having a ball reliving our last year. I can't wait to start the next one—wish me luck!