Today’s post is brought to you by one of our fav Instagram mamas, Meg Miles. She is the owner of MOMSTRONG, a community about creating confident, healthy, and strong women who feel beautiful in their own skin.
I’m a lover of documenting certain moments of life—those moments where you know you have to whip out the camera to capture a memory you never want to forget. I also know that sometimes our experiences in life are best kept undocumented, and rather, experienced—and those ones I also hold most dear. But documenting things through pictures also brings me a lot of joy, and helps me to relive certain emotions, or memories. And how in the world do I manage to keep up my life’s documentation with a toddler, busy schedule, limited time, and another baby on the way? Photo books.
My Blurb family photo books are my main way of documenting today. They fall at the top of my “most valuable possessions” list; the type of thing I know I’d grab first in the event of a fire. I mean, don’t you treasure those old photos you have of your childhood? The Christmas you got a puppy, the time you aced your spelling test, the grass-stained knees and brown-covered jersey from your neighborhood soccer match and mud fight. Pictures are such a fun way of documenting life’s moments—the good, the great, the bad, and the ugly.
Wanting to do it, but feeling overwhelmed to start? Well, you’re not alone. We’ve all been there. First, download Blurb BookWright to your computer FOR FREE, and here are five easy ways to get started.
1. JUST START NOW
If you haven’t started creating photo books, it can be extremely overwhelming to think, Man, I have 5-10+ years to catch up on. Where do I start? Here’s my recommendation. Just start with what you have now. I usually spend around 20 minutes every Sunday updating our photo books if we did anything eventful that week, and that way it’s not taking too much of my time. When I devote just a little bit of time once a week to stay updated, I don’t fall behind. Set apart some time each week to do a little bit at a time.
2. FOCUS ON DOCUMENTING THE MAIN EVENTS
I think about my iPhone pictures and all the hundreds of “every day” type pictures I have on there. Do I put every single one in my photo book? HEAVENS, NO. I may pick a few here and there, but I usually try to stick to main events in life to document: my daughter’s birthday party, a camping trip to Moab, a memorable skiing date I had with my husband, the annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Party, those types of things. When you stick to more “mainstream” events in your life, with some everyday snapshots mixed in, it will seem a little less daunting. And honestly, it will end up looking better and not so “random” too.
3. DON’T TRY TO GET CAUGHT UP ALL AT ONCE
Back to what I talked about in #1, if you DO happen to have 10+ years of falling behind in documentation, and you want to document those things, make a goal to finish 5 pages a day, and don’t worry about them looking “perfect.” Maybe a blank black or white background with a simple layout for pictures (which Blurb provides for you). Small goals lead to big progress. Baby steps.
4. KNOW IT’S WORTH IT
Whether you are determined now to start, or you want to finish one in time for a Christmas gift this year, know that all the hard work is absolutely worth it. There’s nothing more exciting to me than seeing these packages on my front porch and knowing that my family will treasure these for generations to come. I think it’s the best gift you can give to someone.
5. GET CREATIVE
We take so many pictures around here, we do 1 family photo book every year. I know that seems really overwhelming to a lot of people, but it’s just what we do right now. I have split mine into years (January-December) since the time my husband and I were married, and I’m halfway through “2017” as we speak.
I also do something fun in the beginning pages of each book. I like to do a page that is filled with “styles of the day,” “prices of the day,” and some of those things so my posterity can one day be in awe at how “cheap” certain groceries or items cost, and laugh at the clothes that were in style. I love incorporating those additional things in my books. I also love to use them as journals when I feel inclined to. Most of the pages are just pictures, but I love that there are templates just for words, and some with pictures and words. It really brings a fun mix to the table.
I’m so grateful I made the switch from paper to digital. Not only do these photo books from Blurb store so easily on the shelf, but they end up costing me less, taking much less of my time to put them together, and I think they look better too.
How do you preserve your family’s memories? Share in the comments below!