We came home from our February trip around the world with more than 10,000 photographs. The easy task was downloading all those pictures and completing a backup. The bigger question was how best to respond to everyone asking when they could see our pictures!
Oldest GeoKid shot more than half the pictures. In March, he diligently sorted through his portfolio, deleting, cropping, adjusting exposures and otherwise touching up his favourites. Meanwhile, Mr. GeoK and I used Lightroom to work our way through the rest of our trip photos. By the middle of March, Oldest GeoKid created an iMovie showcasing some 300 photos and music from the 11 countries we toured. Now formatted for QuickTime, we have a 16 minute video to share with friends and family. Youngest GeoKid’s classmates really enjoyed watching it and they especially liked all the animal pictures. But between Spring Break and a special grade 9 project, Oldest GeoKid still hasn’t had a chance to play it for his class!
The iMovie is great…but we know that over time, our memories will fade, so we’ve also started working on a Shutterfly book, so that we can create a complete package of photos and text.
We’ve used Shutterfly’s photobook service many times in the past. Over the past 4 or 5 years, we’ve created two photobooks per year: one to preserve our vacation memories and the other to document our hiking, biking and geocaching adventures. We decided to create a separate photobook for trip around the world, to make it easy to share with friends and family.
Shutterfly’s service is pretty straightforward. The most time-consuming part is uploading photos to their website. This time around was worse than usual, since both the website and desktop uploaders kept failing after just 2 or 3 pictures! Even after I reluctantly followed Shutterfly’s troubleshooting advice to turnoff my firewall, other security software, popup blocker, etc., I couldn’t get more than 4 pictures to upload before getting the dreaded “has stopped working” message. (UPDATE – late April – back in Calgary, I had another couple dozen photos to upload and found it went much more smoothly using a hard connection to the internet vs. the wi-fi connection I’d been using in Canmore.)
One great benefit of going through the effort of uploading some 600 photos from our trip to the Shutterfly website is that we now have an off-site backup of these photos.
Shutterfly’s website includes tools that will automatically create a photobook layout for you, but I prefer to do the layout myself. That way, I can leave sufficient room for text…not just photo captions, but also paragraphs that describe our travels, our experiences and our impressions of the places we visited.
At this point, I’ve spent somewhere around 10 hours creating the photo layouts, incorporating about 350 photos across 101 pages (the maximum photobook length on Shutterfly’s site). Now it’s time for Mr. GeoK to do a careful review. There may be some pictures that he’d like to touch-up a little more and I’ve probably missed a few of his absolute favourite photos!
Later this week, I’ll add text to the book. Last time I put together a photobook, Shutterfly’s proofreading tools were pretty limited, so I’ll probably ask someone to proofread the text, using the “share by email” feature on Shutterfly’s site. Then, it’ll be time to order our book and wait for it to arrive!