Lesson 28: Make your final selections

I strongly recommend that you make a commitment to order your class project within the first week of October.

Even if you have fallen behind with the weekly assignments, make this a priority because the longer you leave it, the less likely it is that you will follow through.

Of course, it's ultimately up to you, but don't be tempted to expand the scope beyond your photos from this month - that is only going to create more options, more decisions to be made and more likelihood of delay!

I recommend against making up your own project too. Again, too many options are only going to make it harder for you to complete this project.

Once you have completed the project, by all means use the momentum to create additional projects of a different or wider scope, but let's get your project for the month under your belt first, shall we?!

My other recommendation is: don't let perfect be the enemy of good. Or for that matter, of "done."

I know you want it to be perfect. But in aiming for perfection you are likely to get frozen.

It's not going to be perfect.

That's ok.

In fact, check out this video with some advice from my seven-year-old, Liam. It was advice for his brother about Kindergarten but is just as applicable to you!

All right. Are you ready?

If you're doing Project E - the 30 day photo album, your job as far as photo selection is already done, but you do have a little more work as far as uploading your photos and captions.

For all other projects, the best way to make final decisions on which photos to use is to do a "mock-up."

Project C: 12 x 12 square print - you can mock-up the different grid configurations to see how your photos look together

This sounds fancy, but really all you're doing is putting your photos together in the configuration of your final project to see how they look. 

This will help you see overall how all of your moments come together. 

  • Is your overall story and threads represented?
  • Are all your kids represented somewhat equally?
  • Are there any adjacent photos that clash or compete too much for attention
  • Is the composition of the overall piece well balanced? (It helps to have a mix of photos that are right vs left off-center as well as cropped in close vs at more of a distance.) 

This is most critical for Project C or any project where your photos are permanently arranged in relationship to each other, but even if they are not, it is still good to look at your photos in a likely configuration so you can look at your photos as a collection. 

The great thing about Social Print Studio is that they provide really good previews that make this process pretty seamless.

A screenshot from the Social Print Studio app

A screenshot from the Social Print Studio app

Put this into action now:

Projects A, B or D from the Social Print Studio app:

The Social Print Studio app is great for uploading photos straight from your phone.

Projects A, B and D  can be uploaded from your phone, but it is a little harder to mock-up your project and get a preview of all your images at once before ordering - because of the phone screen size, it requires some scrolling.

However, if you are doing a project with only a few photos, or you know that you are more likely to complete this project if you order from your phone, go ahead and do it!

Projects A, B, C or D from the Social Print Studio website:

If you are doing Project C, or if you feel you will be more comfortable going ahead with your project if you can get more of a preview, I suggest using the Social Print Studio website to upload your project from your computer. 

The easiest way to do that is to simply go to the product that you are ordering, upload your photos, and use the Social Print Studio preview to get an overview of your project. Go back to lesson 4 to find all of the product links.

Mock-up hacks:

You can upload your photos and narrow down your selection right within the Social Print Studio website.

If you are doing project A, B or D and want to preview a grid of 4, 9 or 16 photos, you can pretend that you are ordering project C to upload your photos into a grid and see what they look like!

This is helpful, for example, if you are ordering 4 metal prints and are planning on placing them in a 2x2 grid. The Social Print Studio preview will show your 4 prints on one row, but if you pretend you’re ordering a 4-photo 12x12 print you can see them laid out in a 2x2 grid.

Alternatively, you can create a really easy low tech mock-up by printing your photos. Then you can easily lay them out physically into whatever layout you are thinking. Don’t be afraid to use scissors and tape!

This last hack is great for any wall gallery project. To gain confidence before ordering a set of framed prints to mount on your wall, you can print the photos and tape them to the wall to get a feel for how they will look and feel.

Project E

A screenshot from the Chapbooks app

A screenshot from the Chapbooks app

For your 30 day photo album from Chatbooks, you will want to create a custom book rather than an automatic Photo Book Series (although the series is definitely something to look into for the future). This is because a series book contains 60 photos.

With a custom book, the minimum is 30 pages and you can upload from Facebook or Instagram (if you’ve been uploading your daily photo there) or you can upload from your computer via Chatbook’s website, or from your phone via their app.

Note that custom books can have up to 366 photos - perfect for an entire year of photos when you get to that point!

One last note:

Remember when finalizing your project to focus on how it feels, not how it looks.

  1. Does your project capture what you most want to remember about this time?
  2. Does it connect you to the feelings of the moments you are sharing?
  3. How does it make you feel?

Today’s photo prompt: What makes you feel good?
Next up: Action day

Note: I'll be giving you daily photo prompts to help you in your photo-a-day project, but they are completely optional. Ultimately you should choose the photo for your project that best reflects what you most want to remember about the day.

Go back to the 30 Days HQ >>>