How often do you practice what you preach? Countless times I’ve shared my perspective on printing beloved images to make them feel more real.
Does something really happen if it’s not shared on social media? Do memories even happen if they’re not printed and preserved? Admittedly, I’m the worst at taking my own advice. Really, it’s pretty pathetic. The queen of knowing WHAT to do, but not actually DOING it.
I’m currently two 365 Project’s deep with not one book printed.
Or basically, I’m just one hard drive crash and backup fail away from a VERY BAD place.
This thought literally haunts me every day.
For the past two years, I’ve watched my oldest gain interest in watching me upload and edit the photos of the day. Last Christmas, I decided that even if I didn’t get around to printing any of our family photos (we still haven’t even made our wedding album), I’d at a minimum make one for the girls. After all, the camera goes everywhere we go.
If I’m making memories of them, shouldn’t I find a way to make something FOR them?
I stumbled upon the board books at Pinhole Press – thanks to a good friend of mine who had recommended their calendars. I had seen zero reviews and had zero expectations. It was in a way, checking the box. It was super easy to upload my images and make the book and I knew the minis wouldn’t care about paper stock, layout, etc.
And for once, I didn’t really care about the obvious evolution of my editing skills. Here, consistency was not key. There were no looming critiques, no thumbs up to be given, no awards. This was entirely an exercise in progress over perfection. The board book, along with 3 calendars, was ordered in about an hour and I was relieved.
Friend, it was literally so easy to make this book.
The board book is 5.25 x 5.25 and holds between 17-37 images or 20-40 pages. The pages are made of Glossy Ultrathick paper which makes it ultra durable, built for even the tiniest hands to enjoy.
What I never expected was how much the girls would treasure the books. I about died listening to my oldest play back her memory of each photo like when she’d “crawl up in Sissy Lou’s rock n’play and kiss her,” or “tickle her stinky feet on walks.”
This year’s book is a hit with both girls as the youngest is 18 months and much more interested in reading. I can’t wait to hear her side of all those stories once she’s able to share.
Countless times I’ve found them sitting together, giggling, flipping through the images. These books have been smeared in chocolate, mouthed and drooled on and I’m sure, covered in boogey hands. Our books go with us to doctors appointments and restaurants, any place where we REALLY need them to focus and they always do. It makes my mom heart and my photographer heart sing.
If you can believe it, this year’s book took even less time than last year’s to make.
I credit my efficiency to foresight into wanting to do this annually and also, a good file structure in Lightroom.
In my 2017 folder I have a few key folders:
- Family Yearbook (also never printed)
- and Sisters Book.
I then file a favorite moment into the sisters book throughout the year and at the end, refine to super faves, upload and voila! It’s honestly the best $40 I’ve spent in a long time.
Not only do the girls get to see WHY I carry my camera along like a 3rd child, but I’m reminded of it too. Know those photographer ruts? The ones where the voices in your head tell you your work isn’t good enough? No? Well, neither do I anymore as there’s no room for perfection when it comes to making memories for my family.
Do I want my images to be good? Yes. Do my kids gravitate towards the better composed, better lit images? Definitely not. If you’re at all considering this or something like it, I promise you won’t regret it and if for some crazy reason you do, know that your kids never will.
Guest post writing and images are from photographer, Victoria Mello
About Victoria Mello: Oh hey! I’m Vicki. I’m a marketer and a photographer, forever seeking and sharing the fusion of truth and beauty in Motherhood. I work and reside in Rhode Island where you can find me chasing my minis with my camera, brunching with my family at my favorite local coffee shop and driving too fast on the high of a great splurge from TJ Maxx (#maxxinista). I’m also the proud owner of the most defiant dog in existence and his lovely and unwavering sidekick.