A couple of weeks ago, I talked about the "easiest" year long photo project that I started when my oldest son Liam was born almost four years ago, and have kept up since then - my photo-a-day project. I call it the "easiest" project because it's the ONLY project like this that I've kept up since becoming a mom! It's also the most rewarding project I've ever done, as a photographer AND a mom.
However, today I'm going to share another project idea with you that, with a few tweaks, may easily integrate with something you're already doing and kill two birds with one stone.
Do you share photos on facebook?
What if you could take the photos that you share on facebook and magically turn them into a beautiful photo album, complete with captions and comments, in just a few clicks?
Oh wait, you can!
I admit it - I love facebook. I don't really care if they're evil, because I gain so much from facebook, personally (and I'm not even talking about my business here).
I love being able to easily stay in touch with so many people who I know I would probably not be in touch with otherwise, at least not on such a regular basis.
I love being able to share my kids' lives with them.
I love it when people tell me that reading my Liam and Jack status updates and seeing their photos makes them happy.
I love getting the likes and the comments.
I love that friends and family around the world feel like they know them.
I love that when they do get to meet them, they don't have to start from scratch.
No, facebook should not replace friendships and "real life" interactions, but it's a great supplement.
Plus, for me, it's a huge motivation for me to select, edit and share my photos. Yes, I do like to have an audience!
If you're the same way, and if you're already uploading photos to facebook on a regular basis, you have to take a look at Blurb Facebook Books.
I know that many album vendors now allow you to pull from your facebook photos when you create albums, but I have not heard of another vendor that also brings in the captions and comments, and that to me is the beauty of this.
Here's a spread that includes two photos and their captions.
And here's a spread that includes a photo that had some comments!
Ok so it's not perfect - some of the page layout options don't look exactly as I would like, and there aren't a lot of options for the pages that include comments.
This is why I usually like to custom design my albums… and also why I have so few done.
So for these books I have really tried to let go of perfectionism and design control in favor of creating a quick book that may not be perfect but at least has the advantage of actually existing!
A few tips:
1) Your photos will come in automatically cropped to fill the size of photo the template has allowed for, so you'll want to quickly go through your book and make the necessary adjustments to how your photo is cropped. If you're like me and use borders on your photos, you'll want to use the handy "Fit Photo" button so the entire photo is visible.
2) You'll also want to look out for the yellow warning symbols for things like long captions that don't fit on the page. You can easily select the text and make the font smaller so it all fits.
3) The maximum number of photos in a Blurb Facebook Book is 240. I had 331 photos from last year so I'm going to have to split them into two books.
4) You can choose from hard cover with a dust jacket, hard cover with no dust jacket ("ImageWrap"), or soft cover. If you have small kids like me, I would choose "Hard Cover, ImageWrap" so you have durable book your kids can enjoy.
5) As I put the book together, I did wish I had the dates included somewhere, so I'm probably going to go back and add them in before I order my 2012 books. For 2013, I am now including the date in the description when I upload the photo so I'll be all set.
Bottom line - if you post a lot of photos on facebook and have a hard time keeping up with creating all the albums you would like, this is a great option for creating a book quickly so that you at least have something your kids can look at in a relatively timely manner.
(First time users only, but it doesn't have to be a Facebook Book. Lightroom users - you can design your book from right within Lightroom!)