After a bit of research, I decided to try making a photo book. I'd heard good things about the books from Blurb and decided that getting a book printed would probably work out being a lot cheaper and a lot less hassle than going down the DIY scrapbook route (my printer drives me nuts! and the ink costs a blooming fortune!). I thought I'd chat a bit about how I put the book together in case any of you lovely folks are thinking of doing something similar.
Though I'm sure I may have written some interesting (?) things on my blog over the years, apart from my tutorials (which I'm thinking about making up into a separate booklet of some kind - a project for another day!) I realised that I was only really interested in collecting all the photos I've taken over the years. And I decided to stick to crafty photos only (leaving out the more personal home and life-related pics from my blog) as though there's room for personal stuff on my blog I didn't think photos of my old flat, etc, would sit well with the more business-y things like product photos... and now I'm single I have a lot less desire to look at photos of where I used to live :)
Using collages like this was great because the problem with getting photos printed is that you have to have good quality large images or else they won't print well... and though I have some hi res images a large chunk of my photos are really rather small. I take a lot of quick snaps because when they're just going to be used in a blog post or a shop listing, so why bother with a large image size? And I also lost several months worth of original files due to a computer-related disaster a few years ago so there are a whole bunch of pics where the small version I uploaded to my blog is the only one I've got. But you don't need large images to make collages, hurrah! Problem solved.
Your photos also don't have to be perfect, or totally fascinating when they're in a collage... so I could include photos of lots of the "everyday" bits and pieces that make up my crafty life (like photos of posting supplies) as well as my more "pretty" photos and I could include lots and lots of pics on a page... so a) I could fit in more photos, b) this would make it much easier to choose the pics I wanted to include as there was room for so many of them, c) I could fit "everything" in without having to spend loads of money on a whole stack of books and d) hopefully the finished result would be really visually interesting and, well, just fun to look at.
But enough of this waffling - on to some photos of the finished book! :)
I chose the hardback option, with a dust jacket and just picked a few of my favourite higher res images for the front cover and the back...
... the book is a large square (12 x 12 inches / 30 x 30 cms) so a nice coffee-table book size.
Then inside I've got 43 pages of photos, in roughly chronological order from 2007 through until the end of 2012. I chose a slightly glossy paper which looks really nice (but does make it a bit tricky to photograph!)
I was a bit worried about how my photos would print out but - apart from a few pics which I knew would be a bit dark or blurry - they all came out pretty crisp and lovely and bright.
... and others are more product-shot heavy with more white space...
... while others are full of tutorials, or my personal crafting projects like all the knitting I did last year. I like how the different pages look and breaking the pictures up into categories helped make the collage-making and the book-layout-planning go much more smoothly than it otherwise might have.
Overall I am thrilled with how it turned out. It was definitely worth the money and the time spent sorting and arranging all the photos. And luckily Blurb do lots of smaller book sizes too so I won't have to wait another six years before putting together a second book!
P.S. Sorry if this post has popped up in your inbox or blog feed twice - I hit the wrong button (oops).