If there’s anything better than summer itself, it might just be that feeling you get when you complete your summer photo book. While it’s still warm out.
It’s far easier to sort and upload photos when they’re fresh, than six months later when you forget who took which photos – and you can hardly remember the names of all the places you went on vacation. When you approach your vacation and summer activities with the intention of making a photo book, you build in certain habits that make the whole process much simpler.
#1: Use your camera like a notebook
I can’t remember the last time I had a pen and paper on me, but I am practically always have my iPhone in hand. Use your smart phone to snap pictures of place names, signs and other minutiae that will retroactively help you piece together the progression of events. It’s not that you’ll necessarily include the pictures in your albums, but you’ll have a built-in way of remembering what you did where so you can add captions that are robust with memories. The more details you include, the more easily you’ll be transported to the time and place once your photo book is complete.
#2: Take pictures like a photojournalist
While you don’t want to dwell in this state of mind every minute of your vacation (your family might want to leave you home next time), remember to take a few minutes each day to snap pictures of things other than people posing and pretty sunsets. Snap photos of a striking centerpiece at a new favorite restaurant, or take a picture of the texture of the sand beneath your feet, or the crisscrossed grasses on the hike up to your cabin. These photos aren’t the primary focus of your vacation, but they go a long way to create context and add dimension to the story you’re creating in your book.
#3: Vary perspective
Say your child is going off to a summer of sports camp: you’re going to have a lot of pictures taken from the sidelines. Try to find creative ways to get new angles on the fun. Everything from mounting a GoPro camera to his head to using a zoom lens to simply perching from a different place in the stands each day can help create variation in the composition of your photographs. It’s important for your photo book’s pacing. Just as in writing an essay, you don’t want all your sentences to be structured exactly the same way, you want to make sure your photographs challenge the eye so that it actually “sees” what’s in front of it.
#4: Think about “series” shots
You don’t always have to capture it all in a single shot. Keep in mind that it’s really nice – especially when documenting children – to show a progression of activity. For your visual layout, an odd-numbered group of photographs is likely to look best. So whether you’re showing three, five or seven photos of a single activity, you can capture the action in step-by-step sequence, which is a really nice way to transport yourself back to the action years down the road.
Mixbook has lots of great summer-friendly photo books to choose from. One of our favorite new designs is Colorful Collage, which is a modern, minimalist way to overlay the saturated colors of summer onto a strikingly simple backdrop. And the Summertime photo book design is perfect for chronicling a classic American kids’ summer – from pool outings to beach days and ice cream treats. Mixbook’s Soccer themed photo book is ideal for sharing all the fun from sports camps throughout the summer. And Mixbook’s Summer Days photo album is great for showing off a tropical holiday. When you’re ready to create your photo album, simply upload all your great photos and hit the Automix button. You can remix the order of your photos till you love the result – and, of course, you can always manually move things around.
Happy Mixbooking! Happy Summer!