Happiness has Arrived

A frequently asked question is “Katie, what do you do with all the photos that you take?” 

And the answer is…a lot of different stuff.  I know that capturing, uploading, and editing can be a real time muncher but in my heart I really feel like photos are VERY important…and my camera is just another appendage.  Literally, if someone said that I had to choose between losing my left hand and never taking another photo, well, I’d only need one glove from here on out.  And if the house was on fire, I would grab my external photo hard drive and my baby on the way out the door…not necessarily in that order :)

So in the spirit of sharing, I thought it would be good idea to share some of the things that I do with my photos – some old and some new.  Today is a something new.  When Jeremy & I got married, I made an online wedding photo book.  I loved it and we still look at it on our anniversary.  But this year, I decided to go one step further and make a family yearbook.  Every major event throughout the 2010 year (and some minor ones) thrown together for a photo-only book.  And I decided that our photo yearbooks would be made through My Publisher.            

When we got it in the mail, I jumped up and down while squeeling every vowel known to man.  After a little calming down, I called Cole over to look at it with me (Will was just following Cole around like a puppy so he got in the mix too!).  I was thrilled that both of them were so into looking at it too.  Literally, I had to tell Cole to stop spitting on my arm everytime he saw a new picture.   

I have heard that it is a good idea to order an extra copy of your books – so that you can have one and then your kids can fight over the others.  It also keeps you calm in case there is some kiddie-induced-damage…like tears from chubby fingers trying to get to the next page…or spit spray marks from 6 year old laughter.

I ordered two of the Classic Hardcover size books…and yes, did the maximum 100 pages.  It cost a pretty penny too…close to $130 for a single book.  Thankfully, they were running a promotion for B1G1…so I was able to have two books for the price of one.  That made them only about $65 each – which is way more reasonable.  BUT I must say this…the quality is great, the creation of the beast was fairly straightforward (it took me about three days to upload and organize everything) and I think that next time, I’ll have a much easier time since I’ll remember the software.  (UPDATE: they are running another promotion right now and it makes the books even cheaper!) 

Okay, okay…so enough chitchat….do you want to see some of it?  Here’s a little peek: 

of course we had to include some maternity photos and the ones of our little guys arrival.

our trip to Amelia Island was a fun page….(remember how I was contemplating making books back then!?)

Summertime!  Will was so tiny! 

And of course our roadtrip to visit family and friends was a big part of the book…(that photo of Burger cracks me up…it reminds me of those lions who are hunting gazelle!)

Lots and lots of Will.  Yes, he can do more pushups than me.

Halloween!  Which reminds me that I should get started looking for a costume…

And one of our fun christmas pages. 

We have a ton of Will + friends pictures….so we threw them in for fun too.  One day it’ll be so funny to see Will and all his buddies grown up…and we will whip out this book and tell them how they used to be naked together :) Gotta embarrass the kids…helps build character.

Last but certainly not least, we did a spread about the house…it was our first home afterall and played such an important part in our love story…so we did want to remember it.  And since most likely Will won’t remember a darn thing about it, we wanted his first yearbook to have photos of his first home too.

So there you have it – one little way that we put those photos to use…and not let them collect virtual dust.  Do you guys create yearbooks?  Or are you scrapbookers?  Or perhaps you are good ole fashioned photo album people?  What do you do with all your photos?



  1. says

    Great idea with the pictures. We did the same thing with the photos from our trip to Yosemite last year. I think it is a great present for any occation.

  2. says

    Love the books!

    Have you thought about using Blurb there alot cheaper and the results just as amazing! – i use them all the time for my photography customers, and myself and there amazing quality.

    Im going to make a yearly one too now, you have inspired me! ha!

    • Chatelaine B says

      I’ll add another comment for a vote for Blurb. Amazing quality and a lot more cost effective! and they can turn a blog into a book!

      • Ash says

        I’ll add to the Blurb bandwagon. It is FANTASTIC. I’ve made several wedding albums using it and the software is incredibly user friendly.

  3. says

    I LOVE My Publisher! My husband used it to make a book of our honeymoon to Italy and I loved it so much I used it to make books of our wedding photos for our parents and grandparents. Scrapbooking takes forever, but these “yearbooks” are perfect!

    I rarely comment, but I love your blog! :)

  4. Haley says

    I scrapbooked up until recently when I got too overwhelmed with being “behind” on my pictures and just recently did a family yearbook through Picaboo. I’ve used MyPublisher as well for some other albums and found Picaboo to be just as good and often time mores affordable with the promos they run!

  5. says

    Thanks, Katie! I LOVED the idea of a book, but I did one through another outlet and didn’t find it as easy as I thought it might be… Of course that might be because I felt obligated to caption every photo and I’m a little, well, verbose… I LOVE pictures, pictures and more pictures, not a caption to be seen, and just photos, arranged in date/theme order.
    I will be taking more pictures and doing this if it kills me! Which I hope it doesn’t because, then why bother?!?

  6. Lynn says

    I used My Publisher for our wedding thank you’s and the quality is amazing. Those books are beautiful. Its hard to stay on top of them isnt it? My dad brought over a TRUNK of photos from when we were little when he moved to Germany a couple years ago. It took me weeks to weed out the junky ones and organize them. I VOWED to stay on top of mine with our family. You just reminded me to actually DO IT!!!

  7. Lindsey says

    I used to scrapbooked, until the overwhelming feeling I would get when I was months behind. I would try to avoid the fact that I was behind and before I knew it a whole year flew by. So, two years ago,I found the site Picaboo and began doing a yearly book on the computer. It has changed my life and the price is very reasonable. Hopefully I can continue to keep it up!

  8. Katie says

    Wow – what a beautiful idea!! I am (was) a traditional scrapbooker until 3 kids/working full time caught up with me – and now I’m waaaaay behind. This is a great way to do it – and I love that it’s just pictures!

    It certainly helps that your pics are gorgeous…mine aren’t nearly as pretty!! Thanks for the inspiration!

  9. Kim says

    I make books with MyPublisher for all of our big vacations (usually 1 or 2 a year), and I use a photo album for all of the in-between: everyday photos, weekend trips, small events/parties, etc.

    I was a scrapbooker through high school and college, but after I noticed my pictures were piling up and I did not have the motivation to go back and catch up with all that scrapbooking, I bought a few big albums, slapped those photos in there and never looked back! Although I do still include an index card on just about every page with a little description of what’s going on in the pictures or the date of the event…I guess I couldn’t COMPLETELY leave my inner scrapbooker behind. :)

  10. says

    I’ve spent this whole last year going back to 2008 to make our family yearbook with MyPublisher–I love it! I didn’t think about ordering extra though. Maybe when we start having kids I’ll make sure there’s an extra for them, per kid.

    But, I should say that what I have done for the 3 books is I’ll finish them and then wait for their best promotion: a flat $35 dollars for unlimited pages. Finally ordered 2010 last night for a grand total, with shipping, of $48.92!!! Now each month when I do my backup of 2011 photos I go ahead and work on that month’s spreads in the book and save my project so it doesn’t feel so overwhelming at the end of the year. :)

  11. says

    Thank you so much for sharing, Katie. This post was very timely as I just got done organizing all of our photos that our stored on our hard drive from the last 7(!) years of marriage and realized that I failed to print the majority of them. And while I would love to scrapbook, I just don’t have much time for it. So, this is a great option. I may just need to publish a year-book for 2010, which included buying our first house!

  12. says

    My mom made one of these for my husband and I with all of our wedding related pictures in it. It was a great gift and she even did smaller versions for our parents and grandparents.

    I love love love the yearbook idea. I’m not much of a scrapbooker because it would just be one more thing to add to my list, but I love this idea. Thanks for sharing!

  13. says

    I love doing this! I don’t have kids yet, but as Christmas presents every year for our parents and grandparents I make a calendar of the past year’s events – birthdays, holidays, get togethers, etc. It’s like a little mini scrapbook/yearbook and everyone loves them. I do them through iPhoto and they only cost about $29.99 + shipping. I also did this for our wedding album through iPhoto. I want to start doing the yearbooks every year too!

  14. Susan says

    Love the book! Also, my husband and I are going to Amelia Island at the end of may, and I was wondering what you guys thought of it, and if you have a link so I can read your post about it :) Thanks!

    • says

      We loved it. We visited the nearby state park and did the whole downtown thing…we highly recommend Kelly’s Courtyard Cafe – they had great food for the price and outdoor entertainment! Also, hit up some of those antique shops…they were so fun. Also, we ate at a couple restaruants that were right on the water and they were good too…but Kelly’s was our favorite (probably because the music drowned out the cries of our baby!). I think if you just punch in Amelia Island on the search bar, you should get what you are looking for!
      xo – kb

  15. Mary says

    this is so awesome. I cant believe how creative you are! if only you could bottle and sell it you would be a millionaire! Will is lucky to have such a great mommy.

  16. says

    Ooh, thanks for introducing me to My Publisher. I’m a HUGE HUGE Blurb fan – I made our wedding album and California road trip using Blurb. They’re quality is amazing, and it seems it’s a little less expensive, too. Just another option for your next book!

  17. Karen says

    I have started a couple different books on different sites, but I feel like I should caption every picture and then I become paralyzed by how big a job it is and I get nowhere. You’ve given me permission to just include pictures, no text!

  18. says

    Thank you so much for the tip!! I just finished a book covering the first 20 months of our daughters life!!

    It was so much fun going back through all of the pictures. And I managed to get my parents, my husband parents and our daughters great grandparents in the book as well. This will be a great keepsake!!

  19. says

    I love making photobooks. I made one of shots I took of my friend’s wedding — maybe one of the best gifts I’ve given if I’m going by her reaction! :) I also like to make these for my dad for Christmas. I have only tried mac’s iphoto site. Now I’ll have to check out MyPublisher and BLURB (saw it mentioned in the comments). Yayfun!

  20. KellyD says

    Thanks for the inspiration! Your awesome book begs the question – What is your photo organization system (so that putting together this kind of 100 page book is manageable)?
    My stuff is all mixed up, half in Iphoto (which I am still struggling to get the hang of), half in basic folders from my PC days, and I am struggling to decide how I should bring them all together to make importing them into a yearbook easiest….Do you use software or an application to manage them? or just plain folders on your hard drive?

    • says

      Folders on my hard drive. I have it broken down by family and friends by years and then each subfolder is very well labeled.
      To be honest…it was a lot of work…but I think it was well worth it.
      xo – kb

  21. MICHELLE says

    I think your book is beautiful. I would recommend in future books to add text for friends names and place names as well. One of these days you won’t be around and Will (or his wife) will wonder who all those people are. I say this because We have books my grandmother did and we have no idea who some of the people are. She’s no longer with us to ask.

  22. Nicole says

    Hi Katie, just curious if you still use My Publisher or if you’ve found a better place to create photo books.

    • says

      I’ve heard really good things about other book publishers too…blurb for example puts out some really great ones. We chose to just stick to the my publisher ones simply because of the cost & quality that we can afford reasonably :)
      xo kb

  23. Joan says

    Hi Katie, I have recently printed my family yearbook from Photobook Worldwide, Malaysia’s branch. Something very similar to what you have printed, the print quality was surprisingly very grainy or in other words very dotty. Doesn’t matter photos taken with DSLR or digital camera or phone camera, even a small photo 5cm x 7cm the print quality is full of dots and I can’t see the objects in the photo clearly. I was told by the support team that this is sadly their print quality from using digital offset print and not able to help me reprint with improved quality. I don’t know what to do! :(

    I saw that you have an A4 page filled with 9 pictures and that’s what I did with mine too. Do you have the same issue?

    • says

      Nope. Not at all. It is noticeable if the photo is taken at a very high ISO or a poor camera (like a phone) but for my normal pics, the quality was great.
      xo – kb

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