I love the concept of scrapbooking and have made some very lovely conventional and digitally designed ones. But scrapbooking just isn't very practical for someone with a busy lifestyle. So over the last 2 years I have perfected how I preserve my photo memories via photo books and our living growing family scrapbook.
I'm going to share each of our family albums in chronological order...
The first photo book I ever had made was for our wedding guest book. I wanted a cute way to showcase all our dating and engagement photos while having a guest book that we'd actually keep around.
Inkubook. This is the "cheapest" feeling book we have. It's not bad by any means, it just reminds me of a children's picture storybook.
Blurb with the dust jacket in case an accident were ever to happen. I actually really had fun with the flaps by putting the lyrics to our first dance song there.
The quality is great but my biggest regret is that it doesn't have lay-flat pages :( In hind sight, I would have shopped around more for that feature. I later discovered Adormapix and absolutely love their books! They are the priciest that I have ordered but they are so worth it! Plus I have a couple coupons that I am planning on using for some new books this fall. Just have to pick the themes.
You can see our full wedding album in this post.
Shortly after finishing our wedding book, I started the audacious journey of converting my wedding blog into a coffee table book. The whole time I kept that blog, I knew I wanted it to be more someday. I wanted it to be a testament and keepsake to the journey I took towards the aisle. Ergo the name of that blog ;)
I took every single personal post and reformatted it into a book. It ended up being 180-something pages O_O After all those years (yes, years!) of writing and weeks of editing it was so amazing to see my book arrive from Lulu. Lulu is exactly who I turn to for paperback and mostly text books. Their quality is super sleek and their pricing is very frugal. I've ordered several times from them, and I have never been disappointed. If I ever finish a manuscript, I definitely plan to get it printed by them with wide margins to make editing easier.
The last of our photo books are the anniversary books I have ordered from ArtsCow. I've been and ArtsCow member for years and I absolutely love their pricing and quality. You get like 1800 free 4x6 prints and 6 photo book credits just for signing up and if you use the link here, I'll also get 900 prints (*wink*wink*)
I actually just heard about their photo books this past February. They always have amazing sales and I was able to get our 1st anniversary book for only $6.99 with S&H. That's $6.99 for a glossy 8x8 image-wrapped hardback 20-page photo book with lay-flat pages. Holla! For our 2nd one I paid a little bit more at $16.98 for the book, 42 - 5x7's, and S&H because I was too impatient to wait for a better sale. But until 9/30 they are offering 6x6 and 7x5 photo books for only $.99 with free S&H with the discount code MISMIKABOOKS.
I absolutely love our anniversary books. I plan to have our portraits taken every summer and then have each set in it's own book. That way, years from now we will have a shelf full of these lovelies!
And did I mention the lay-flat pages?!
So now that you have seen what I do with our special photos each year, what do I do with all the daily photos? Well that's where our living growing family scrapbook comes in. That initial binder I bought, has lasted us over 2 years and I am just now needing to order a new one.
Every few months I go through my favorite photos on my computer. I like to organize them in folders by the month they were taken when I upload them. Then I order 4x6 prints from ArtsCow. I always try to use a free print credit to keep the cost of this project low. In fact I've only spent about $50 on this project so far :)
You can pick up the binder I use here and the sheet protectors here. So far I've just mounted each photo onto a piece of scrapbook paper from a mat stack that someone gave me :)
I love how easy it is to keep up with this scrapbook and even though it's not super pretty, it serves it's purpose. I haven't forgotten these memories yet :)
So there you have it! Sorry for how image heavy this post was :-/ What do you guys use to preserve photo memories? Are you a conventional album and print family or have you mastered the art of scheduling scrapbooking into life?