A few years ago, when my son was born, I decided I wanted to do scrapbooks for my kids. I quickly learned that it takes a lot of time and a lot of supplies. I completed my son's first year and started on his second year. My daughter's first year book isn't even close to done. This is both frustrating and discouraging.
One of the biggest challenges was handling the pictures so many times. First, I had to go through all of my pictures from the year and select those that I wanted to print out. Then, once I printed them, I had to put them in order, which turned out to be more challenging than I would have guessed. Then, I had to work with the pictures to crop them and lay them out on the page. I spent time cutting paper and taping it all together. Then, I would journal (in my not so great handwriting).
I tried to scrapbook at home, but the paper, books, pictures, and tools seemed to take over the dining room. I would go to weekend scrapbooking events, but found that I was too social, talking with others and reminiscing as I flipped through pictures.
The costs seemed to be high too. I had to buy the book, the pages, the papers, the stickers, etc. I had to pay to print the pictures and fees for attending weekend scraps.
Then, last year, we made photobooks online for our parents at Christmas. We had them printed and I was very happy with them. It was after that that I decided it would probably work better for me to do my scrapbooking online and print the books. Sure, there was some loss of personal touch, but I was still the one assembling the pictures and providing the thoughts through the journaling. Initially, I thought that the costs might be high, but when I considered all of the other costs I had with making paper scrapbooks, I decided they weren't that far out of line.
Certainly, my experience making the books for Christmas showed me that it was a lot quicker than what I was doing with the paper scrapbooks. Additionally, I was handling the pictures less and as long as I named them appropriately, I could easily sort the pictures I wanted.
So, this year, as I went through the past 12 months selecting pictures for our parents book, I also selected pictures for our books. All of my pictures are in a folder and ready for me to upload.
Now comes the hard part. Who should I use to do my photobooks? I am looking for flexibility - who offers the most layout options both in arrangement as well as in number of pictures per page. Do any of the sites offer better options for journaling than others? Which books are high quality and value.
What has been your experience with photobooks? Who would you recommend? Who would you recommend steering clear of?
This question posed at the backwards edition of Works For Me Wednesday.