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What Now, Using the Best of the Bunch

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.)

Let’s Review

In part 1 of this series we eliminated duplicate and blurry photos. We grouped the photos into smaller themes and from those themes we selected a few of our favorite photos. I am participating with this series using a group of photos I took from a 2011 trip to Paris. I started with roughly 400 photos and by the end of this part, I had around 200 photos.

In part 2, we created albums and slide shows. This made it easy to share a majority of our photos with family and friends. I created a photo book with Shutterfly that used most of the 200 photos from part 1.

Now I want to share ways to take our absolute favorite photos to create smaller displays for our family to enjoy.

Part 3: Ways to Display the Best Photos from Family Trips

Slideshows, large photo books and even digital frames are a nice ways to store a large group of photos. However, sometimes smaller photo collections have more impact. These smaller collections can be displayed on walls or little books that are easy for our children and family to enjoy. They can be viewed at any time without needing to be set up. Here we will look at two ways to display and create a curated collection of our photos from a single trip.

Wall Art

As I mentioned, in part 1 of this series we selected a few of our favorite photos. We will use those favorites for the pictures we want to use in our photo wall display. There are many different types of photo walls, and I scoured the web for a few options. Because the theme of this series is to keep everything simple so that we actually do something with our photos, my criteria for selecting photo wall inspiration was to look for something: easy to assemble, change when necessary, child friendly and budget friendly. The bonus, they look great on our walls!  The inspiration I found is on Pinterest (you do not need to be a member to view the board). I will add to the board through time, so please follow the board or bookmark the page. Travel Memory Ideas Photo Wall

Now that we have some inspiration for our walls, let’s print the photos.

Wait! We have a few decisions to make first.

  • Color vs. black and white – Take a look at all the photos you want to display and ask yourself the following questions:
    • Do the photos have one consistent color tone throughout?
    • Are the photos simple images without a lot of clutter in the background?
    • Do you like color photos?

If you answered “no” to any of those questions, you may want to consider going with black and white photos. However, if you still prefer color photos, then do it! Or do a combination of both. They’re your photos and you can do what you want.

  • Editing photos – Again, editing is up to you. However, if you want a more polished look to your photos, it doesn’t hurt to spend a few minutes editing them. If you noticed that your favorite photos do not have a consistent color tone, you can use filters to achieve a uniform look. If you feel that the photos are busy, crop them. Here is a sample of three photos from our trip. The first group is before I applied filters, the second was after I applied the Saloman filter on Photogramio. They now look similar even though each was taken at a different time of the day.

Without filter:

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With “saloman” filter:

mkm1These examples are just to show how filters can easily give a more uniform look, but they aren’t necessary. Remember, the idea here is to keep things as simple as possible so that it gets done.

  • If you choose a wall display that has different sized photos, the last thing you will want to consider is which photos should be larger. Ask yourself, what is the goal in displaying these photos? Are you more interested in showing your photography skills? In that case, a perfectly composed photo of a building, landscape or something else may be the preferred large photo. Do you want to showcase your children and where they’ve been? Then the posed photo of them in front of a statue or building may get top billing. Do you want to show your family having fun? Then maybe a candid photo of family members laughing or engaging in their location will get the honors.

Kids Story Books

Kids love to look at pictures of themselves. In part 2 of this series, I suggested creating a photo book through a service like Shutterfly and then purchasing two copies of the book. One for you and one for your kids. However, this can get expensive. Plus, some kids just are not as interested in looking through 200+ photos of a single trip often. Instead, make a photo album. It’s cheap, easy, and fun. Also, by selecting just a small portion of our hundreds of photos we can tell a story children will enjoy reading over and over again.

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This is what I did: I recently went to my local photo printing kiosk and printed out 40 photos from our trip to Paris. I wanted a nice variety of photos of our family, and my son, with iconic images of Paris in the background and sometimes just the buildings and statues themselves. While my photos printed, I picked up a photo album that allowed for one 4×6 photo per page, and a total of 36 photos. To keep my son involved in the process, he came with me to print the photos and pushed all the buttons on the touch screen monitor. All the photos and album cost less than 15 Euros/20 USD. When I got home, I put the photos in the album in a way that told the story of his first trip to Paris. I also added a photo of the three of us to the cover and titled the book “Paris: 2011”. It instantly became his favorite book. He loves looking at the pictures of him in front of buildings, pointing out Pluto (we went to Disneyland Paris while we were there) and saying “Mommy” and “Daddy” when we are in the picture.

Here are some tips for you if you want to make a similar album:

  • If chronological order makes sense, do that, but don’t feel confined to the order of the trip. I had a photo of my son eating a baguette on the last day of our trip. However, it made more sense to be at the beginning of the book where I would have had a blank page to introduce a new section. Move things around to tell a better story.
  • Keep horizontal pictures next to horizontal pictures, and vertical pictures next to vertical ones.
  • If your photo album has more spaces than you have photos, use the extra pages to write details of your trip. Dates, places you went, and stories that your children will enjoy reading.
  • Use office labels to add text to the photos that could use a little more details. Especially if your kids are old enough to read, writing “Notre Dame” next to the photo of the “Notre Dame” and “Sacre Couer” next to the “Sacre Couer” will help them recognize the names and differentiate the different buildings.
  • Give the book to your children and include it in their evening bedtime routine. Use the photos to tell the story of their trip to Paris, winging it and changing it up a little each time. Or use labels and empty pages to write the story of their trip so anyone looking at the album with them can read the same story.
  • If you want to go back to the place don’t end your story book with “The End”. Instead, use “and they couldn’t wait to go back!”

Now that you have a few options on turning your large collection of photos into something that your family can look at over and over again, go ahead and make something with one of your trips. Share with me if you make anything from these ideas and I will share them here.

Thank you so much for following along!

This post is part of Friday Daydreamin’ at RWeThereYet. Click on the link to see what other bloggers favorite posts of the week.

 

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The Scene of a Laugh

 

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One of many fun things to do at the Open Air Museum in Arnhem, Netherlands.

This looks innocent enough. My husband and my son enjoying a small boat ride. What they didn’t know is that most of the people who rode on the boat before them had taken the boat from the starting point, to the other side and back to the starting point. Well, everyone except for the family that went right before my husband. My husband was showing our son the animals (seen in the background) when the previous family got bored with the boat. They opted out of returning it to the dock above, ignoring the line of people waiting for their turn. With the boat at the empty dock, the people on the other side had no choice. They walked away.

When my husband and son finished with the animals, they saw this boat and decided to go ahead and ride to the other side. As I walked with my daughter to meet up with the rest of our family at this dock, I noticed a group of kids running to the dock my husband just left from. They were the next in line when the previous family left and they were going to go get the boat themselves. Only, they didn’t know my husband had already taken it across. Once my husband docked, no one was interested in heading the other direction. They got to the dock and threw their hands up in the air. They watched as their boat docked where they were just standing only 5 minutes ago. They just stood, waiting for a boat that wasn’t going to return to them. Then they made the decision all kids really wanting a boat ride must make, go back to where the boat is.

The journey from one dock to the other, along the lake, isn’t a straight line. It weaves in and out of buildings from the Netherlands past, windmills, a small shopping street, a drawbridge, a poffertjes cafe, into some kind of building, and then around another building before getting to the dock. Strolling it’s a good 15 minute walk. For kids on a mission, it’s a 5 minute sprint.

For the third time in 20 minutes, the kids ended up waiting at an empty dock. Yes, by the time they got there, another unsuspecting family had taken the boat to the dock the kids just left. Whether or not they finally had a chance to ride the boat, I don’t know. Like I said, there was a poffertjes cafe on the way and we had to stop there. I did see those kids later, laughing and having a good time. Whether they rode the boat or not, they didn’t let their boat disappointment ruin their day.

 

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Germany, What a Beautiful Country


Wordless-Wednesday

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Happy Queen’s Day

Untitled designToday is Koningendag in the Netherlands.

The last one, at least for a while, as the Queen of the Netherlands will abdicate the throne to her son. Starting next year, the Netherlands will celebrate King’s Day. Queen’s Day is one of the Netherlands largest parties, if not the world’s largest party, with family friendly events included in the schedule.

In honor of Queen’s Day, here are four family friendly activities to do in Amsterdam all year round guaranteed to keep everyone happy.

Family Friendly Amsterdam

NEMO Science Center 

For kids of all ages, anyone interested in pushing buttons , playing with balls, and learning how all things work. It’s conveniently located near Centraal Station and the Amsterdam Public Library.

I wrote more about Science Center NEMO here.

Hot Tip: Order tickets online to avoid the lines. During weekdays, the Science Center can get quite busy with school groups. 


Nemo Science Center

Nemo Science Center

Another bonus: Head up to the top and enjoy beautiful views of Amsterdam. During the summer (and in good weather), this is a great place to eat lunch. Bring an extra set of clothes because there are some water features that kids can’t help but jump into.

Nemo Science Center

Picnic in Museumplein area

On one end, a grocery store (Albert Heijn) selling ready-to-go meals. On the other end, a large Iamsterdam sign, the Van Gogh Museum, and the very recently reopened Rijksmuseum. In between, a large grassy area with a playground on the edge. Perfect place for picnic and play.

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Vondelpark

Amsterdam is a busy city, with canals, trams, bikes, cars, people… whew. Vondelpark is a great escape to let the kids run around and explore without any immediate danger. Rumor has it that there are also playgrounds here, but my son had too much fun running around in the open grassy areas to care about the playgrounds.

family friendly amsterdam

Heineken Experience

The kids won’t get to sample the beer, but the Heineken Experience is interactive enough to keep it fun for them.

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This post is part of Travel Tip Tuesday. Click on the link to get more great travel tips.car seat cover rav4kits de sexeReplay JE5gopro hd hero3 black edition

What Now, Using Most of the Photos from our Trips

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.

Suggestions:

  • 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

Easy way to organize large number of photos from single trip

Here’s part of my process. So easy!

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.

Suggestions

  • 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.

 

 

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