I don't know about you, but when I became a mother, I got really excited about putting together a baby book for Coco. I ordered up this cute book when she was just a tiny baby. Life with a newborn, baby and toddler was busy, but the fact that it was still completely empty when Theo was born a few years later didn't deter me from ordering up the same book in blue for him. Then I had two completely empty baby books!
When we were down at J's parents' house on spring break, we saw the calendar we sent them for Christmas. J and the kids and I had the best time flipping through it again and again. The fact that they request photo calendars every year is literally the only reason I make them. With a deadline and request from the grandparents, I get it done. But without a deadline and request from someone else, I never do books and prints just for us. It's time to change that. It's so worth the effort!
So I vowed to get to the kids' baby books when we got back home. I think part of what makes doing baby books so challenging in the digital age is the sheer amount of choice. We take so many photos and have everything so well documented, it is hard to decide which ones to use. That, combined with the fact we don't have to print our photos in order to see them means they can just sit on our computers forever and it can feel like a lot of work to organize and print them.
But of course this is a bad move. I've heard that children in our kids' generation will be the most photographed kids of all time and yet have the least number of photos when they're older. What a paradox. So I set about making sure my kids photos got into those books and it was doubly time-consuming and difficult as I thought it would be!
I spent all morning yesterday flipping through the different pages of the books and looking for applicable photos. I set up two separate folders, one for Coco and one for Theo, which was a mistake because I forgot to print a bunch of Theo's once I started uploading. I used mpix for the prints, which is so easy to use. You can upload from your computer, or from a variety of social media sites, including Instagram, Facebook, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc. Once you've selected your photos, you choose the size and finish of the prints and add them to your cart. It was so easy!
Before doing a large order, I ordered a small assortment last fall to compare the different finishes. E-Surface and Metallic are shown above. I find that this is something that isn't explained all that well on the mpix site and it's a bit subjective, so they can't really give a good explanation anyway. They offer three finishes:
- E-Surface Paper (Standard Photographic Finish) which as the name implies is a pretty standard high-quality photo, exactly what you'd expect from a professional level print. This works well for most photos. This is the finish of the bottom print pictured above.
- Metallic Paper (Pearlescent Glossy Finish) which is a very dimensional and vibrant finish. I found that this is best for heavily treated photos, like those out of Instagram, Hipstamatic and so on. It gives a depth and vibrancy to the photos, which looks just great. This is the finish of the top print pictured above.
- True B&W Paper (Classic Matte Finish) - for any black and white photos, it's worth the extra premium to get the true black and white paper. There is absolutely no glare so your black and white photos are crisp and look gorgeous.
I highly recommend mpix for photo prints. Their customer service are so helpful and prompt. When I've emailed them, I always get a response within minutes during business hours. They truly are exceptional! And, they have beautiful art options and cards to order, too. I can't wait for the rest of our prints to arrive and to really see those baby books bursting at the seams with photos! :)
Have you done baby books for your kids? Do you plan to? What's your secret for printing photos or making photo books?
(This post is not sponsored by mpix, I just think they're really great:)