When Andy and I got married, we wanted to do something that would make marriage feel different and special, so we decided to take a picture of ourselves every day for the first year and make a big scrapbook. I thought it would be a great way to memorialize what would undoubtedly be one of the best years of our lives, while also giving us something really fun — and funny! — to do together every day. I’m always disappointed when I see how few pictures there are of my parents together when they were young, because someone always had to be behind the camera. This was a great way to prevent that. Well, now that we’re about a month away from our two-year wedding anniversary I finally got around to making our “year one” book…. and I could not love it more!
We decided to order a book from Artifact Uprising because we wanted to use square Instagram-like photos, and because we really wanted to support a company that is so focused on authenticity, creativity, and sustainability — all of the interior pages of their books are printed on 100% recycled paper. We selected a 8.5×8.5″ softcover Instagram-friendly book. It came to about $65 for 72 pages and shipping, which I think is totally worth it for something that means so much to us.
I’m not going to lie, though, making this book was HARD WORK — mostly due to the fact that we were utterly and completely disorganized. We’d taken pictures on Andy’s phone, my phone, his camera, my camera. Some were on his computer, my computer, my old computer. Some of them were square and some weren’t. Some were duplicates. Some had the same file names. It was rough. Once I found all the pictures on our various computers (we have too many computers), I resized every non-square photo to 1200×1200 pixels. I wasn’t sure what the optimal size was for Artifact Uprising and Instagram doesn’t have a standard pixel size, but 1200 worked well. To make vacation photos special and so we’d be able to remember what they were 20 years from now, I added hand-drawn text to some.
Then it was a matter of uploading all the images to the Artifact Uprising site and using their page templates to arrange everything in a way I liked. This part was fun, though of course I’m a perfectionist so I rearranged things like ten million times. Since we’d been so disorganized from the get-go, I couldn’t worry about putting everything in chronological order, so it’s funny to see us with wildly different hairstyles on the same page. What I did is use vacations as sort of fixed points throughout the book, starting with our wedding day, then our Cancun minimoon, Detroit, Philadelphia, honeymoon in Italy, a couple trips to NYC, South Carolina, and then ended with our anniversary party. In between each group of vacation photos, I added random photos in no particular order, and used a few of my favorite photos as full-page shots to keep things interesting.
Despite how much work this was, I could not be more happy with the final product. The quality is fab, and I’m so glad that we’ll have this book for the rest of our lives to look back on our first year together and laugh at all the ridiculous pictures. I mean, that was a GOOD YEAR, right??!!
We actually decided to keep doing the daily photos when our second year started, so hopefully I’ve learned from my mistakes and can put together the second book a lot quicker — and sooner, considering our anniversary is only just next month!
What do you think? Have you ever put together a photo book and how did it turn out?