I LOVE scrapbooks - when done right, they're a beautiful keepsake of memories and photos. I also love my free time, yet still value a wonderful keepsake. I combined my laziness smarts and photos and made the easiest keepsake scrapbook EVER. I'll tell you about it!
I won a once in a lifetime vacation to South Korea. It was a photo contest sponsored by Travel and Leisure magazine, Lotte, and Korean Air. I won the grand prize - round trip business class airfare (so swanky!), and stays in amazing hotels in Seoul and on Jeju Island in the East China Sea. I know, I'd never heard of Jeju-do either. It's Asia's answer to Hawaii - a gorgeous tropical island (that manages to get snow in the winter!) of beaches, basalt crystals, waterfalls; it's famous for its black pigs and tangerines (I recommend eating both if you visit).
I took, over the course of our week, thousands of photos. I am proud that it wasn't more - I really took my time to enjoy the trip, the scenery, the people we met. Instead of aiming my camera out the windows of the taxis, I talked with the drivers and my fiance about what we were seeing, where we were going. I made an effort to be present - and am grateful for it. But I took plenty of photos (many snapshots with my iPhone, but I also used a D700, a pinhole camera loaded with Velvia, and there were two casual point and shoot cameras with us, too). After editing, I wound up with a whopping 644 finished photos - about 100 photos a day. Wowzer.
The truth is, I love those photos. But no one, NOT ONE PERSON, will ever have the patience to look at all 644 with me. If I were to put together a presentation of the 644 photos, people would leave in protest, eyes would glaze over. What I really needed was a simple way to present the highlights, the CliffsNotes. What I needed was a scrapbook.
Now, I'm quite crafty. But I also like spending my time tending the chickens, bowling, going out to eat, etc. It is rare I sit down and craft something. But I really wanted a final product of my vacation, something I could hold, and share, with ease. What I came up with? A photo book, duh!
I love AdoramaPix - I use them whenever I need something printed. Their site is painless, their customer service is wonderful. I set out to make a big "scrapbook" of our adventures in South Korea, something that would really WOW people when I shared it with them, without boring them, and without taking hours and hours and hours of my life and sanity.
I picked a pretty large book - as it was going to live on my coffee table. I chose a 10x12.5 book, and even opted to use a world travel theme, to really drive home that it was a record of our vacation. Over the next week, whenever I had a little spare time, I would futz with the layout. I chose the highlights of where we'd stayed, things we'd eaten, beautiful things we'd seen. I chose a combination of photos of us together in places we may never see again, and the intentional landscape and cityscape photos I'd taken the time to shoot with my pro-gear. I kept them in the rough order of our trip, to tell the story of our time. I was even able to customize the font and colors for captions I applied to the pages - which I loved!
When I was satisfied with my work, I ordered the album. It was a small investment* (but still under $100 on sale!), but it had saved me time, I didn't have to go to a craft store and fight with old ladies over sale paper and cutters, in fact I got to sit at my desk in my pajamas, and it was beautiful in hand. It arrived beautifully wrapped and I was thrilled with it.
*I say investment because this is a product that will always be priceless to me, an instant reminder of my adventures overseas with the love of my life
But there was more. I took out a bag of receipts and tickets from attractions. Instead of genuinely scrapbooking, I had intentionally left some room here and there on pages to add actual items to the book. I set out with glue and tickets, and finished the album. It contained, upon completion, photos, ticket stubs, and even a room key from a fancy resort we'd stayed at on Jeju.
This album has been SO well loved - it lives on our coffee table. Friends and family flip through when visiting. I've taken it with me to share with friends when I've traveled. Instead of lugging around a laptop full of 644 photos, I can pull out an album. It takes a few minutes to flip through, I get to narrate our adventures, point out cool things. My friends' eyes don't glaze over - as it's the abridged version. I get to talk about things with the person flipping through, answer questions, share my experiences in both a verbal and a visual manner. It's really a pleasure having this album to hold and share. Even I still look at it sometimes!
So, if like me you value your time and sanity, and detest craft stores, I can't recommend my lazyman's scrapbook - a beautiful photo album, modified to contain your ticket stubs. It's really win-win!