Thursday, March 14, 2013

An Instagram Photo Book and an Adorama Discount

"Remember this day, mommy?" asks my curious toddler as she flips through the pages of her beautiful new picture book.

One of the promises that I made after I had my daughter (among the many) was that I would no longer let my personal photos collect proverbial dust in the vortex that is my archiving system.  Vacation photos, holiday photos, family photos...if they weren't for clients or as part of a photography project, once I started shooting digital I would rarely make prints.  Everything changes when you have kids and for me that included not just how I make memories but what I do with them once I've recorded them.  To this day my family goes through old albums and I love when my dad posts old photos on Facebook...especially when I've never seen them before.  Making prints of memories is important!

So I solved the problem of my personal photos taken with my dslr because I started to make books and prints for gallery walls but what about my iPhone?  I have over 11,000 pictures on it! (#issues #hoarder)  I've made prints of those before too but I wanted to make a special book just for Lucia.

While most kids play games and watch shows on the iPad my girl likes to go through the camera roll and scroll through old photos - "remember this day, mommy?" is one of her many catch phrases.  So I teamed up with my friends at Adorama to make an 8x8 photo book of some of our favorite family memories as recorded by my iPhone and processed on Instagram.

The book

The hardest part for me was selecting the pictures (no surprise).  The book itself was so simple to make because the program online is very straightforward and you have full control over the style and design.  There are many different templates to choose from for every size book available and in fact for someone like me who is terribly indecisive there are almost too many templates.  I narrowed it down to five and then just went with my favorite.  After selecting your images and loading them up to the website (a process that is very fast depending on your internet connectivity) you just drag and drop them into the space in your blank book and save as you go.  Ta-da!  I even cheated a bit and was able to drag a few photos into blank spaces that weren't meant for images and I was able to play with the size a bit to make photos larger than the space allowed them to be.  You can select photos from a number of different sources including Picasa, Flickr, your Adoramapix account and your computer.

I've been working with Adorama for personal and professional projects for years so it was no surprise to me that the quality of the book is top notch.  The pages are printed on real photographic silver-halide paper with a lustre finish so the colors are bright and saturated with great flesh tones.  For photography junkies like me this is a huge deal.  They use real archival quality photo paper so it's fade-resistant and you even have several paper choices.  I also really like how thick and sturdy the pages are.  Another really important feature for me when I made this book was that the HD glossy paper is fingerprint resistant!  Hello?  Amazing!  I usually prefer matte paper for my prints but I was making this book specifically for my toddler to thumb through, carry with her, and put her hands all over it so this feature was a major draw for me. 

Here's what I did: so simple...

1.  Visited and chose the perfect book size

Once I decided that I wanted to use my Instagram photos (since she loves them so much) I realized that the 8x8 format was perfect for the square-cropped pictures.   Since I'm terrible at editing to make a concise collection I went with a 26-page book.  Not too many, not too few.  I felt like it was the perfect number of images to keep my toddler's attention and just enough to capture the feeling of the general "theme" I decided to go with. 

2.  Chose my images

With so many pictures to choose from I had a very difficult task ahead of me so I just went with favorite images of the last year or so that were strictly of our family. A NYC-themed book of Instagrams is up next but I wanted to make this one for her first.


The books are already reasonably priced and  from now until June 1st Adorama is offering Ciao, Chessa! readers a 35% discount on all 8x8 photo books with the discount: pxcontessa


So get to it and make those books of your most important memories!  You won't regret it.  If you have any questions or need some tips, let me know!

The front cover gave me the option of choosing four photos.  I opted to leave the title off the front and put it only on the spine.  You can choose from several different fonts and sizes.

The back cover.  I loved that I was able to have one large photo on the back to balance out the four photos I chose for the front.

She's looking at one of my favorite family "portraits" - we were in an elevator when I snapped our picture in the mirrored ceiling.  The reflection of the flash was from my phone, not from this photo.

This is her focus face. She was looking at a photo of her and her cousin from last summer.  Her cousin is sitting in the front seat of this little automatic car my parents have for them at their house.  She looked at me very seriously and said that this summer her cousin will ride in the back of the car and she will drive it.  Okay.


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