© 2016 photobookgirl

Photo Book Mom Gives Herself a Grade – Ideas & Tips for Memory Keeping



Okay, to be more specific, I’m giving myself a grade as it relates to photographing and making photo books of my second born – well more like a progress report. This is a follow up post to my earlier post from this summer, Do Second or Later Born Children Have Less Photos Than Firstborns?

Six months have passed since my little guy was born and I’ve been slowly adjusting to being a mom to two young boys. If I think I didn’t have time before we expanded our family, now I realize how much more time I had when we had just one kid. With one child my husband and I could switch off so the other could work or catch a much needed nap. We’re very lucky to have lots of help, but when it’s just me and my husband the day feels like a marathon that we have to finish just so we can pass out after the kids are put to bed. I guess I make parenthood sound so attractive huh? (Really, I’m enjoying every minute of it!)

Flush mount album MyPublisher review

So far I’ve made the following custom photo products related to my second born (click on the links for more details):

photobook america lay flat photo book review red egg and ginger partyHmmm…now that I see the list I don’t think I’ve done too badly actually! Some of them encompass the whole family and not just the baby, but I think that’s a bit inevitable. My firstborn has more photo books featuring just him at this point, but I’ll make sure that the baby has his own as well.

So amidst the hustle and bustle, where does memory keeping and photography have a place in our day? Well I have to thank my camera phone for giving me a quick and easy way to capture the every day moments I don’t want to forget. The downside is – and I suspect for many of us – you end up with a lot of photos in your phone and it becomes a lot to manage. I delete any photos I know I don’t want to keep and save one or two of the best versions. Every few days I connect my phone to my desktop and download the photos to Lightroom, do some editing (usually brightening, color correcting and sharpening) and then “flag” the ones I want to use in my photo books. I also add keywords to the photos so that I can find them easily by just typing in either the location they were taken, the subject matter (i.e. birthday, food) and/or the subject’s name and other identifying markers. By doing this, I can refer back to a curated subset of photos when I’m ready to make my books – it’s a time-saver.

My phone is also where I jot down notes of my baby’s milestones. I just use the “Notes” app on my iPhone but there are several apps which are meant specifically to keep a journal on your baby. Kidfolio is one that I’ve used before, but mostly I just use that to keep track of baby’s doctor visits and vaccinations. I also read about a number of other memory keeping apps for parents on this app review site www.smartappsforkids.com. This was the most recent post I found on the subject while searching on Google. I plan to check out some of the apps mentioned there.

Another project I’ve been successful in keeping on track is my monthly photo shoot with my little guy. Every month I take out my DSLR and snap photos of my baby sitting on the same white chair with the large stuffed lamb I had personalized with his name. (He was born the Chinese Year of the Goat/Sheep.) The lamb is the object I’m using a point of reference for his growth. I’ve been doing a little twist in months that are relevant, like a santa hat for December and a Halloween costume in October. When I reach 12 months, I’ll put together a canvas print of his progression just like the canvas print below of my firstborn’s 12 months. As you can see the object we used for his photos was his dad’s guitar. I actually continued this series with him even after he turned one – taking a photo every six months until he reached age three and I put those in my yearly photo books for him. My husband jokes saying that if it were my choice, I would make him do this every year to age 21. Sure, why not?

MyPublisher Canvas Print

So, what haven’t I gotten around to yet? Lots actually. I suppose when you have another child your focus naturally becomes divided. I still have my firstborn’s 3rd and 4th birthday books to do. I’m also part way through his “baby book” which is actually a huge book covering his first three years – something I tried to finish before baby #2 came but was unsuccessful. A good amount of it is done though – it’s just a matter of finalizing it. (More on the details of this baby photo book in process here.) I’m pretty excited about that one. I’ve designed spreads featuring our family tree and a story of our family history. With much of our families living out of state or overseas, it’s harder to preserve our roots but I’m going to give it my best shot!

Disney Personalized ABC Photo BookI’m also behind on my Disney photo books. Our family trip to Disneyland in September 2013, and trips to Disneyworld in 2014 are yet untouched, but I do have a number of Disney-themed photo books already completed like a super cute Disney ABC book. I have a lot of tips on how to make a fabulous Disney photo book!

Another item on my to do list are canvas prints. If you’re a follower of my blog, you know that I’m a big fan of repurposing my layouts. That includes taking layouts that I’ve designed for photo books and putting them up on the wall for some personalized wall art. I usually make my son’s birthday invites every year – it’s really easy to take that image and create a canvas with that. It’s a nice memento to have hanging up rather than sitting in a drawer.

Well, that’s my progress report for my first six months. I think I would give myself a B+. I know that parents have a lot more pressing things to do than making photo books, but just set yourself up for memory keeping success by taking lots of photos and jotting down notes on your phone, baby schedule tracker or on a trusty notepad. Then when you have a spare nanosecond to catch up on those projects, you’ll be ready to go! Remember it’s never too late to make a photo book!




Be sure to check out my CANVAS DEALS!


  1. Claudia B
    Posted February 1, 2016 at 2:21 pm | #

    I have two boys as well – 3 & 5 year old, it gets just a tad easier the older they get but I think time will always be limited until they go off to college 🙂

    • photobookgirl
      Posted February 1, 2016 at 2:25 pm | #

      Haha… I agree with you! I just figure when I’m really old and grey (versus old and slightly grey) I can sit with my computer and a cup of tea and make photo books to my heart’s content!

  2. Posted March 3, 2016 at 5:47 am | #

    I do not have two boys, but I have 2 girls, 1 boy and a pup – oh and my husband is in the mix too. SO I take a ton of pictures daily! I am playing catch up on scrapbooking too.

    I sent this question directly to you, but others may benefit from your answer.

    I haven’t figured out how I will store all of my books at home. I want something other than the typical book shelves throughout my house. I also want the books to be on display/available for guests to enjoy them.

    How are you storing yours?
    How do you display them in an inviting way for guests to view?

    • photobookgirl
      Posted March 3, 2016 at 11:54 am | #

      Good question. We just recently moved so all the books are mostly in boxes. To be honest, I’m a bit OCD about my books. Some people take more care when they flip through, but some aren’t and the pages get all creased. For that reason, I really love the stiffer, harder to bend pages offered by Shutterfly (lay flat upgrade) and AdoramaPix. The stiffer MyPublisher paper also holds up pretty well. I guess I’m off on a tangent! Anyway, when I see really good deals, I will make duplicate books of certain books I want to leave out or give to my kids to have on their bookshelves. I plan to leave a few out on our living room coffee table. I also am so lucky to have a great office with built in bookshelves and I’ll probably put the bulk of them there, most likely grouped according to topic and then chronologically. I love accessorizing so I’m sure I’ll display them along with framed family photos and other knick-knacks that I love. As of now that room is a mess of boxes – it’s the last room to get unpacked so I have a big job ahead of me! I guess I don’t have a super creative way to show them off – I think as my kids grow it will change over time when they are a little more mature. For now, my little guy will just crumple and drool on everything and try to eat the books!

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *