Saturday, January 22, 2022

Saving your travel memories

If you’re an avid traveler, chances are you also love taking photos. Larry and I can take several thousand on a weeks-long trip. Whether you use an actual camera, (DSLR, mirrorless, or point and shoot variety) or a smartphone (cameras are excellent these days), taking digital photos is really easy. So we snap away, sometimes taking the same scene from various angles in order to choose the best. It’s also easy to delete those that don’t measure up to “copying” status.

Large cover photo highlights contents of a photo book

So our online file of travel photos continues to grow. Trying to share a huge stash of photos on the computer is counter-productive. And we know that not everyone enjoys reliving our latest adventures. The goal is to garner interest without causing friends to slip into head-nodding boredom and to also have easy access to our memories when we’re feeling nostalgic.

Make a photo book

I have found that photo books are an excellent way to preserve these memories. There are many companies (Shutterfly was one of the first) that will print your photos in a book format. Some services will take your photos and place them in a book format for you. That option might be okay if you’re only recording one event or place and don’t have a gazillion photos. It’s a quick and easy way to the finished product.

Photo book covers work with your chosen picture
and offer options with color, style, font, and more.

Because pictures of our travels feel very personal, I prefer to place them myself. I know which ones are most important to us and the order that I’d like to showcase them. I also include sufficient explanatory text, which isn’t possible unless I do it myself. Besides, making the book satisfies my creative streak.

The process is fairly standard, regardless of which company you use. First, you choose the photos that you want included. Selecting and editing the photos to be used is often the most time-consuming part of the process for me, especially when we have hundreds or thousands of photos to wade through. But it’s also very important if you want to make a high quality book with the best photos possible.

Each page can be customized as you wish.

Next, upload the photos from your computer or phone into the template you’ve chosen. If a company offers storage, you could transfer the pictures to that site and work from there. I typically place photos in somewhat of a chronological order and find it easier to manage placing the photos if I only upload around 20-30 p at a time.

Many design options are available to choose from when you actually start placing photos on the pages. You can choose the size of the book, which can range from 8 x 8 to 12 x 12 inchers, and the cover design and material (hard or soft). Select a theme or style, backgrounds for interior pages, placement of each picture on the page (as well as number of photos per page), and different creative embellishments to add interest to your masterpiece. As for text, you can choose the font style, color, size, and placement.

Frames showcase special photos.

This is where you let the creative juices flow. Each page might have a different background, or you can be consistent with the same one throughout. Let the pictures be your guide as to placement and how many fit well on a page. A selection of layouts will probably be provided, but you can customize the layout however you wish. Cute labels, quotes, stickers, borders, frames, and more will add to the personalization of your book.

Embellishments include preprinted sayings,
pictures, quotes, and decorations.

When you have finished, especially if you have added text, ask another person to proofread for you. We’ve found that another set of eyes really helps prevent typos and misspellings (and we still miss something in almost every book I make!).

 In addition to recording our many travels, I have made books for presentation at weddings and books that tell and preserve life stories of older persons. I’ve made books recording special experiences such as sky diving and family reunions. There is a learning curve, but the process gets easier with each book you make.

Example of a double page spread

The finished product is a professional looking keepsake that you’ll be proud to show to others. And you will cherish the memories that are so beautifully displayed in your unique story.

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