Two weeks in, and I’m a convert to this system. This week was a total of 40 minutes including photo printing. And potentially a bit of Facebook chatting 😉 I do, however, need to reprinted that one on the bottom left of the second page where the photo got a bit distorted in resizing. I had run out of landscape photos, but none of the portrait photos were really pivotal enough to justify using the Design D page instead, so I created a little 2-photos-on-4×6 collage in Photoshop (is this of any interest to anyone else? Let me know and I’ll make it available as a download). There is nothing overly spectacular about the photos or story this week – it was just a regular hanging-at-home week, but I know I’ll be glad I documented what life right now looks like – baking, small people playing, babies sleeping, a lazy weekend and Saturday night games night with a finger food dinner (something we do every few weeks instead of pizza).
I journalled the week on the ledger card on the bottom far right, and the small 3×4 card on the middle left is the back of a card used in last weeks spread. The colour worked with this week’s spread, so I decided to leave it rather than add another card, and used it to note a couple of highlights from the week, notably, Beetle’s postnatal check and his brilliant weight gain, and Boy2’s second orientation for Big School.
I’ve had a few questions about my PL process, so I thought I might add a little bit about a different step of the process with each update. The first one I thought I’d address is how I pick the photos, and what goes in as a 4×6 and what goes in as a 3×4. I import my photos throughout the week, as I have cause to need them (say I take a photo for a blog post, then I’ll import all new photos at the same time). On Sunday afternoon, I sit down and flicked through the photo library, and 4-star all the photos from that week that stand out to me. Maybe they are of something that happened, maybe they are nothing fancy but tell the story of our life (like the photo of our Saturday night dinner). I don’t think too much about it, if I like it, I star it. I am doing this in my main photo handling program, Adobe Lightroom (currently running v3.2 because I’m avoiding the upgrade sitting here waiting that will kill all my favourite presets!), but you could achieve a similar result by opening the folder of photos on your computer and selecting the ones you like and temporarily copying them to a handling folder. Once I’ve done that, I filter so all I see is this week’s 4-star photos, and cast my eye over them. Where there are duplicates, I pick one, based on which I like better, but also thinking about orientation. Do I have more landscape or portrait? Which images do I want to feature? If (say like this week), I have more portrait photos, but the ones I mainly want big are landscape, I’ll base my cull on a 2-Design-A-page layout. I had two different angles of the photo of Butterfly lying on top of the lounge, one landscape, one portrait. With the Design A layout in mind, I saw I only had four landscape photos, so dropped the portrait back to a 3-star (this drops it out of my filter, but leaves it rated if I want to come back to it later on). Again, if you are using the folder system, you could just delete the excess photos.
Then it’s printing time. Last week, I exported the photos, and then opened the portrait photos in Photoshop and created a 2-on-4×6 collage that I could print then crop in half. This week, my brain actually worked, and I printed direct from Lightroom, were I can instruct it to print two photos on one 4×6. MUCH easier. But the photoshop option didn’t take a great deal longer last week, either, it was just the having to open another program and do it. I can also make the 2-3×4-on-4×6 template available for download if there is any interest?
If you don’t have Photoshop to do the collage for the smaller photos, you could either focus on a few large photos and use the 3×4 cards as fillers, or, as you are looking at your photos, check out how much room there is in your image. Perhaps you have a landscape photo, but half of it isn’t anything important and you could crop it down to a 3×4 portrait oriented photo, or crop all four sides for a 3×4 landscape photo. It is reasonably easy to get a bit of a feel for which layout to use and what photos to feature once you have the photos in front of you on the screen, and it gets easier as you get further into the project. And worst case, most photos are digital, it’s not hard to reprint if you crop one and decide you don’t like it!
This week’s layout was created using the Design A pocket pages, cards from the Jade Edition core kit, washi tape (MT brand) sourced from a local independent boutique, and a Uniball Eye ink rollerball pen. Photos were printed at home on my HP Photosmart 8230 printer, on Kodak gloss paper. The two photos in the collage are from my phone and the rest from my DSLR.