Seven little days in a life. There it went.
I always feel a little strange on Monday morning when I wake up and don't start taking photos right away (and a little bit of relief as well). This is an intense, in-depth project. It's a whole lot of work but one of the coolest projects I have created since I started scrapbooking.
Each time I tackle the "putting together" phase of Week In The Life I do things a little different. Today I want to share with you my process for going through my photos
and how I chose which ones to place where, which to enlarge, which
to crop, etc. Some of it will be done after printing, but for the most
part I am going to make a plan before uploading.
This year I'm having Scrapbookpictures.com print my photos vs. printing them here at home. I definitely considered printing at home, since that's what I normally do, but with this many at one time I think it was easier for me to upload. And as you will see later on in this post, I'm pretty sure it was less expensive as well.
I'm still definitely following my design plan for this album. For each day I have a Daily Opener, a baseball card divided page protector (front & back), and a photo collage page.
Each night during this past week I uploaded my photos to my computer.
At that time I went through and did a quick delete of any photos that
were obviously not going to be used (triplicates, seriously blurred, mistakes, etc). Since I was taking over 100 photos
per day (and I knew there was no way I would use them all) I was pretty ruthless about which ones I deleted.
NOW HERE'S THE DEAL : I did take around, or over, 100 photos each day of my week. In my experience, 100 photos doesn't really mean "100 photos that I want to frame and hang in my house" or "100 photos that must be crammed into this album no matter what." 100 photos usually means about 20 of Simon & Anna chasing each other and wrestling in the living room...one of which I will use in this project. It means 5 shots of my lunch...one of which I will use. It means 5 shots of Simon and I in the mirror...one of which I will use. You get the point.
Out of 100 photos I average about 30 or less that I really want to use per day. This is the reason that I always encourage people to take more than you think you will use. It's this point in the process that having more is really a benefit because you have more choice when it comes to telling the story of your life at this point in time.
Yesterday I went through all the photos again and got serious. I created canvases, pages, etc (read below) to be uploaded. It took me most of the day to organize, edit, crop, etc. Even though it was a really long day, it is really fulfilling and eye-opening and cool to see a whole week in photos all together in one place.
I encourage you to make a plan for yourself to get this album done. Set aside some time each night to address your photos. One night for deleting. One night for selecting and uploading your daily openers and collage pages. One night for working on your divided page protector pages, etc.
As I looked through all my photos to select which ones would be my main image for each day there were definite favorites. Through this process I realized that what I wanted for these intro pages was variety - each one showing a little something different about life right now (the black and white image above will be the opening photo for Wednesday).
I ordered 8, 8x10's that I will crop to 8x8.5 when they arrive (one for each day of the week and one for the intro page).
In years past I have used only photos of myself as the main photo. This year I'm branching out and including a photo of Simon, a couple of Anna, a couple of me, one of food, the one of Chris above, and one with all of us.
There's no right or wrong in choosing an opening photo. If you have a ton of photos you really want to include you might consider creating a collage in the daily opener photo space. For me, I love the enlargements contrasted with all the smaller photos throughout each day.JUST A NOTE: EMBRACE THE PHOTOS YOU HAVE. This project takes long
enough without going through and adjusting every single photo trying to
get it just perfect. Embrace those photos that aren't perfect -
what a great reflection of real, everyday life.
Next I attacked the collage pages. I decided to tackle these second, before the baseball card page protector pages, because of the variety of size and orientation and ability to pick just which photos I wanted to be highlighted.
To create my collage pages I used the 8.5x11 digital templates I created for Designer Digitals. The package includes seven different layered templates. My process for this part was simple: open the template, drag photos into Photoshop, mask them into the spaces on the template, save as a jpg and upload to the developer.
So how did I choose which photos to use on the collage pages? The collage pages are really a collection of my favorites photos and/or ones that fit the designed spaces (like the really vertical shot of Simon swimming above). Again I look to create variety and include different times, places, people, colors, etc.
As some of you noticed throughout the week, when I take photos I take almost exclusively horizontal shots. This is just my personal preference. I know coming into this project that I will be cropping many of them. I also know, from expereince, that part of what I love about this project is seeing the "pieces of life/pieces of the whole" that show through the cropped shots.
CARD PAGE-PROTECTOR PHOTOS
After selecting the photos for the daily openers and the photos for the collage pages I worked on rounding out each day with photos for the baseball card page-protectors.
For uploading to scrapbookpictures.com and for printing I decided to create canvases in Photoshop that were 5 inches x 7 inches. On each 5 inch x 7 inch canvas I was able to fit 4, 2.5 inch x 3.5 inch photos.
For most days I ended up with about 12 (there's 18 pockets available) photos which will leave room for the journaling cards and other "stuff" I collected throughout the week.
I tend to follow a pretty simple cropping and saving procedure in Photoshop. Here's a video tutorial that walks you through that process (click to view larger on Vimeo):
Here's the written how-to for Photoshop Elements:
- Open your photo.
- Go to Image/Resize/Image Size.
- Change the Resolution to 300dpi and adjust the height to 3.5 inches. This should automatically adjust the width to 5.25 inches.
- Using the crop tool, drag a crop box that is 2.5 inches wide (and 3.5 inches tall). I eyeball this. I like that I can move the crop box around on my photo to find my favorite crop. Don't worry that you are removing some of the photo and remember that some photos will lend themselves better to this vertical crop than others - keep that in mind as you are selecting which photos go where in your album.
- Go to Image/Resize/Canvas Size and change the size to 5 inches x 7 inches. This will become your new canvas. On here you can fit 4, 2.5 inch x 3.5 inch photos. I decided to go about it this way when I saw that I would need to order 2 wallets (I don't need doubles of all these shots.
Here's a look at a couple of those 5 inch x 7 inch canvases:
One of the questions I am often asked is related to printing at home vs. uploading to a developer.
After uploading my completed photo pages to Scrapbookpictures.com the total cost was $30.85 (including $3.99 for the shipping option I selected). This cost included the following:
- 9, 8x10's (I added one additional photo that I want to frame)
- 18, 5x7's (photos for the baseball card page protectors - 4 to a page for a total of 72 images after trimming)
- 7, 8.5x11 (the collage pages)
I know that is significantly less expensive than purchasing new ink cartridges for my printer. I'm looking forward to seeing how the pages all turn out and hoping that the sizing is all correct. I'll give you an update on that in a couple of days.
In the meantime, while I wait for my photos to come home, I'll be putting other pieces of the album together. Tomorrow's post will cover that process.
here for a complete list of Week In The Life posts.