Thursday, February 11, 2016

Photo Books, An Attractive Nuisance

Today I noticed that 2 of my 3 wall calendars are still in January.  So am I, apparently.
Last weekend I decided I should use my coupon for a free photo book before it expired in April.  Plenty of time, I thought.  The coupon had come with a new camera I purchased before our trip to Maine and the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  I planned to make the photo book a memory of that anniversary trip. I had already narrowed our 1,349 pictures down to 826, but that was still way too many so I began the sorting and editing process.
Okay, everyone knows I am not a fan of technology.  I admit that I would not be writing this very blog if it weren’t for some help from the computer age, but the human spirit can only stretch so far before it snaps in frustration and mine was about done in by the photo book. 
I had 826 pictures to upload to my working file.  I should have only done a quarter of that but eliminating excess is not my strong suit, either. Every picture (except the fuzzy or accidental ones) was a memory.  So I uploaded the 826 which took forever!  During the process I played around with page layouts and style options for my book, becoming very irritated that I had to choose one style (out of the 245 they offer) to get the colors if not the embellishments I wanted.  Looking through the 245 choices and checking their options of color, layout, and “whimsical” quotes and whatnot made me very sure that I prefer doing things by hand, my own way, with my own choices and no cutesiness forced on me.
Somehow the process of putting pictures into page layouts caused an interruption of the photo uploading process and the whole thing was lost.  Not once, not twice, but three times.  I had already yelled loud enough for Tech Guy to come by and he kindly offered to use the coupon himself for a photobook if I gave up on it (he hates to waste a good coupon) but no way was I going to let him have a shiny glossy professional book arrive in the mail in 3 days without suffering as I had.  He would just have uploaded 20 pictures, dragged and dropped them into the first format and been happy with it.  No suffering. 
So I began to rethink the whole photobook idea.  I am a hands on, slow processing, perfectionist, my own worst enemy.  But I am jealous, too, and I wanted to use my coupon myself.  So I decided to choose my top 20 favorite pictures from the trip and just let it be a book of pretty coastal pictures, not a detailed record of what we did every day.  (Similar to what Tech Guy would have done in the first place.  Okay, so I can learn from him.)  Well, my top 20 pictures is actually my top 41 pictures, eliminating excess being too much of a challenge, but I can pay for extra pages beyond the coupon’s allowance of 20. It’s just that I love things so much, you see.
My daughter has made a few photo books so I consulted with her several times during this long process of having the internet send me messages that it had failed and they were searching for the solution.  She said that she could actually get into my computer from her computer at home and walk me through it. Now that I have narrowed it down to 41 pictures it seems a lot more manageable especially if she is remotely controlling my computer. And me.
And after I get my shiny professional looking photobook back from the publisher in 3 days I can spend the next few months putting the 826 chronological, record-keeping, detailed photo history of our trip into an album. By hand.  Choosing my own background colors.  Adding text. Gluing in ephemera such as maps, napkins, brochures, and ticket stubs.  Puttering along having a good time with no computer messing with my mind.
You can see why the calendars don’t get turned.  I just don’t know where the time goes!


ellen b said...

Oye...I haven't done a photo book yet. I have received a few and seen a few. They are nice but I'd like someone else to do the work for me. Hope yours turns out the way you expected it to. Cracking up about the allowance of 20 and sticking to it. I would definitely need a remote helper!! Now I'm going to go check my calendars and making sure they are turned to February!

Hollace said...

Haha, Ellen! I found a few more photos that I couldn't live without so my total came to 70 but I was able (with my daughter's patient help) to get them all into a 20 page book. Now I just need to write the captions and I am in fear of doing something terrible that could erase the whole thing before it goes to the printer.

BTW, there is an option of sending your photos to the company (Shutterfly) and having them assemble the book for you with your chance to edit it first. My daughter has also done this and said she was really happy with their formatting, but they were all pictures from one occasion so chronology was not too important. I can imagine doing this for a book of flower pictures I have taken, for instance, but not for my travelogue. It's a control thing!

Thanks for your visit! Holly

Willow said...

Oops. I think I need to switch my calendar.
I've not used Shutterfly yet, either. I had to laugh at the thought of being forced into someone else's idea of 'cutesiness'. Yeah, that would annoy me, too :)