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Capturing Holiday Memories with Blurb Photo Books

Holiday Memories with Blurb Photo Books

If you’re anything like me you take fifty billion photos when you’re on holidays, and then find yourself sorting through them later, somewhat regretting your happy snappy fingers, and never getting around to actually printing anything.

While I’m guilty of never enlarging any of the images to put on our walls or even the fridge, I absolutely always make photo books. I’ve been using several companies over the years, including Momento, Albumworks and Blurb. I used Momento for my wedding album and Albumworks for a few year books to give them a test drive, and, while I found these two to be extremely high quality (the best quality really), they are both also pretty expensive and also don’t have as easy customisation as Blurb does.

As a result I’ve been using Blurb the most lately to make my photo books, even though the quality is *quite* as good, it’s still really high and I’ve been happy with the results. They’re a fantastic company to easily make custom photo books either quickly online through their basic tool, or through the downloadable Bookwright software that I use, which gives me incredible control over the books from the layouts to adding text.

Holiday Memories with Blurb Photo Books

Blurb often has amazing sales too, so I usually will create a book and let it sit on my hard drive until I see a great sale, then upload it and print the book at the sale price.

Holiday Memories with Blurb Photo Books

Due to storage issues, once you upload a book to Blurb you have to print it within 15 days or the book is deleted. Once you buy a book, however, it remains in your account so if you damage or lose one (which I have done many a time) you can easily re-order one.

Holiday Memories with Blurb Photo Books

I make several photo books a year, including a year book that includes all of our miscellaneous photos of events and random candids, plus designated trip books, plus a birthday book for Cheese.

Holiday Memories with Blurb Photo Books

Using the Bookwright software I choose the type and style of book that I want, import photos from my hard drive and drag and drop the images into the templates. It’s that easy.

Once I’ve finished the book it’s uploaded to the Blurb server and I complete my order online. I add in my preferences and info to the check out and thats it, the book is on its way.

Holiday Memories with Blurb Photo Books

I get really excited when the books arrive in the mail. We love looking over them together, particularly the little one as well as my parents. It’s a great way for us to connect talking about our trip and to jog our daughter’s memory to help her tell her grandparents what we’ve been up to. I also love looking back on the books through the years and find this a lot easier way to view the important memories rather than sifting through files on a computer.

Holiday Memories with Blurb Photo Books

If you want to try making your own Blurb photo book you can use my link to get you started.

Please note that I am a Blurb affiliate, which means if you make a book through them I will receive a small commission as a referral fee. I am recommending Blurb because I have been using them for years and really enjoy the process and product. Thanks so much for supporting me and my blog!

Photography Tip: Get Better Photos By Taking More

Today’s photography tip is something that is super simple and yet is often how I get my best photographs.

Just take more photos. That’s it. And I don’t mean take more photos every day in general, I mean when you’re trying to capture a memory in a single moment in time, just keep your finger on the shutter and keep taking photos.

The photographs that you’ll end up loving the most of your family in particular, are those that are candid and show you all just having a blast. These photographs can’t be posed, and, when you’re working with small children (or unwilling participants, not naming any names, Husband), the only way to get natural photos that show everyone basically having a good time is to set up the shot, and keep on shooting.

Shoot 50 frames, or 100, if you need to. You’ll end up discarding about 90-95% of the photos, which is fine (hooray digital photography!) but all you’re after is just one, single, great photo that reflects how wonderful that moment in time was.

I pulled together some outtakes below to show you a typical photo sequence of little Missy E. She loathes photographs in general, so I try and make her laugh at me, tell her silly things so she finds it all entertaining instead of a chore. If you watch her face as the photos progress, there’s a great mix of wacky faces, and then, at the end, a single great frame with a huge, natural smile on her face.

Technical tip: You want the camera to be shooting quite fast to capture crisp images with no motion blur (particularly with facial expressions). The easiest way to get this is by shooting in bright, natural light. If you’re using an SLR, set the ISO a bit higher to make the camera more sensitive to the light (I usually set mine around 400-500). This helps the camera capture the images faster.

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Are you trying to take better photos? What would you like more tips on?

7 Ways To Get Mums In The Picture

I’m the picture taker in the family. Are you? Between my iPhone, DSLR and snappy camera, I always have some device in hand recording precious moments. While this results in gorgeous photographic memories for my husband, daughter and rest of family, it means I’m usually not in the shot unless I beg my husband to take one.

The resulting images are predictable. One toddler who hates being photographed, combined with one husband who hates taking photos, and the photos are usually blurry, forced, or feature one very angry toddler.

I absolutely love photography. One of my biggest joys is in capturing moments for those whom I love. I also would like to be captured in moments too, however. When my daughter is older, I want to be able to hand down images of her childhood with us all enjoying life together, not just pictures of her with everyone else.

I want her to see herself and her mum, smiling, having fun, playing games and goofing around. Just the simple daily lives we lead that are precious to me, but that she won’t remember. So, what’s a mum to do? I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and have been working on ways to include myself in the picture in ways that are natural but still telling our story.

  A photo posted by Christine Knight (@christine.knight) on

1. The selfie

My daughter is 3 and now enjoys a good selfie. While she dislikes having her photo taken as a general rule, she adores when we take selfies together.

2. Little rituals

Our daily family rituals include babyccinos made by Daddy, and ice tea drunk by Mummy.

3. Activity shots

Ask someone to take a photo during a “Mummy & Me” class. Cute shots guaranteed when a certain someone doesn’t notice the camera is on them.

4. My shadow and me
My tiny sidekick loves shadows and is delighted when the sun is in the right spot to throw her shadow long and forward.

  A photo posted by Christine Knight (@christine.knight) on

5. While you were sleeping

I spend a lot of time strolling my child to sleep when it was the only place she would nap. When she was finally down I would reward myself with a treat, like this delicious ice cream.

6. Toddler portraits

My budding photographer enjoys pointing the camera back at me now. While she is slowly learning technique, the results are so entertaining, and I adore seeing how I look through her eyes.

7. Make them laugh
When I ask my husband to take a photo with me in it now, I try and make a game of it for my toddler to get her over the hating to pose mood. In this one, we were dancing around the room and I pulled her down into a backbend just as my husband snapped the button.

What about you? How do you like to sneak into the picture?