I’m a strong believer in living with our photos. By that I mean, take them off of the computer or memory stick, and find a way that the whole family can enjoy them easily.
This three-part series is going to offer tips on how to choose from the hundreds (or thousands) of pictures taken on a single trip and turn them into a beautiful souvenir that your family will enjoy for years.
(Note in this post I reference various services and products that I am using. These brands are not sponsored, nor affiliated in any way with Travel Turtle. They are just products that I have used and enjoyed.)
Quick Review from Last week.
Last week we took a huge group of photos from one trip, grouped them into smaller, workable categories, and deleted all the unneeded photos. I am working with photos from a 2011 trip our family took to Paris for my son’s first birthday. I went from 400 photos to around 200 photos in a total of three categories: Disney/Halloween, Birthday, Paris Sites. This week we will look at options for creating something that our family can enjoy using as many of the remaining photos as possible.
Part 2: Organizing Large Photo Collection: Ways to use ALL of your favorites from a Single Trip
One school of thought, when it comes to photos, is that if we are going to take a lot of photos, we might as well do something with them. The other school of thought thinks that we just don’t need to keep every photo we take. Last week we deleted all the photos that didn’t add to our travel stories. The blurry shots, the multiple shots of the same things, the less worthy shots.
I feel my 200 remaining photos tell a complete photographic story of our trip. There is not too much redundancy with a good amount of sites and people.
For those who want to use as many photos as possible from your trip, this part is for you.
I’m not going to kid, 200 photos is still a lot for one one-week trip. With large numbers, we are limited in both money and space on what we can do with the photos to create something that our family can enjoy. However, we are no longer burdened with the stress of deleting photos. Sometimes, especially for the more special trips, it is worth keeping as many photos as possible.
Here are some options for your consideration:
Create a Slide Show
If your photo storing software on your computer allows this, it is definitely the easiest option. Otherwise, there are online sites that will allow you to upload your photos and make a slide show. With 200 photos, this can take a long time.
- Break down your slide show according to the categories you created in part 1.
- Each category should take the length of one song.
- You will want photos to last on the screen 5-10 seconds, so keep that in mind when picking the song. (For example, one of my categories, has 33 pictures. So, I want to pick a song that’s at least 2 1/2 – 5 minutes long.) Alternatively, you can find the song you want to use for each section and then include the number of pictures that will fit into that time frame (For example, I found a 2 minute song and decide to remove some more pictures so that each photo gets more time on-screen.)
- Use transitions between photos.
- Have a compelling opening and closing photo.
- Keep in mind that viewers may start to lose interest if the total time for viewing is 10 minutes.
- If you have the software to do so, add a few segments of a video clip.
- Burn it DVD and watch on tv and enjoy!
Use a Digital Frame
Upload your photos to a digital frame. Then people can just watch the frame when they want.
- I have the Kodak Pulse 7-inch frame. I can send photos to the frame via wifi.
- The slide show and transitions happen automatically.
- With my frame, I am only able to have 400 photos at a time. So, the frame will only allow me to have two trips worth of photos unless I upload fewer, of course.
- Place the frame in a prominent place and enjoy!
Create a Photobook
There are plenty of online or in-store options for turning digital photos into photobooks. These books are the only way to have a physical copy of your photos without using up a lot of space.
- Allow a lot of white space in the pages.
- Use a template and select autofill for the book. Make adjustments as needed, but don’t get too caught up in the details.
- Keep in mind the number of pages you will need. For a book with 200 photos, 50 pages means 4 pictures per page. Since we’ve already deleted the really unnecessary photos, we will want these pages to have no more than 4-6 photos per page so that they each get the attention they deserve.
- When you get the book, use a sharpie marker and write any details that you want to share about the photos.
- Purchase an extra copy of your book and give that one to your children. Now they have their own book of their own trip that they can look at when they want!
- Alternatively: Many people commented that they use their blog to keep memories from their trip. Turn your blog into a book by using a service such as blurb.com. In between or at the end of blog pages, include all the photos that didn’t make it to the blog. Now the children will have something to look at to remind them of their trip!
What I’m doing: Due to computer limitations at the moment, I opted to create a photobook with Shutterfly over creating a slideshow or adding photos to my digital frame. Using their simple path, I can put up to 4 pictures per page automatically. They have several travel styles to choose from suiting a wide-range of vacation experiences. I chose the 8 x 11 photobook. I like that it’s big enough to really showcase my photos without being overwhelming. Prices shows are for books with up to 20 pages, with an option to pay for additional pages. Because of this, I did end up reducing the overall number of pictures I used. My book would have been $65 for 78 pages, which is beyond my budget. I adjusted the book manually to allow for 6 pages occasionally. I did pick autofill and shutterfly organized my photos in date order, not in the order they were uploaded.
There are many great photobook making services out there, so find one that works best with your process.
A note about editing: For the purpose of this project, I opted out of individually editing the photos. I wanted it done. These photos are from 2011, I’m making this for my family, and I don’t need 200 perfectly composed, contrasted, white-balanced photos. Next week, we will look at creating items with just the best of the bunch and I will offer some tips for editing photos.