Hey all! Hope you all had a wonderful Easter! I've got a few album projects that I thought I would share this week, and I'm going to start with the daycare album project I've been working on. I want to backtrack a little bit, and share what I wrote about this project back in January (in THIS post), when I had just started on the idea.
I've had this idea in my head for over a year now, in terms of doing something with the years and years of daycare photos I've accumulated. I've been doing daycare in our home for 15 years now. For many, many of those years, I would take photos of the kiddos constantly. And for many years, I also scrapped all of those photos as well. At some point, I made a conscious decision NOT to scrap the daycare kiddos so much. And somewhere down the road, I made the decision to turn a huge majority of those layouts into a digital book (shared HERE and HERE), and gave most of the layouts to the families to keep.
So while I still have three albums that hold layouts of the daycare kiddos, and I have a few digital books of various kinds of them, I can't help but think about all of the photos that are just hanging out on my external hard drive. Or in a box, or on negatives, seeing as how the first five years I did daycare, I was shooting with film.
Just this past weekend, I started working on the plan that I've had in my head. I'll be doing a few 9x12" pocket page albums, and the albums will be 95% photos. I really won't be adding much to them, other than divider pages and maybe a small page of journaling for each section. I randomly started with 2007 and 2008, and put in a huge order for photos from those years that will be here at the end of the week. I hope to share more about this project really soon.
Ok, now that I'm done backtracking, I can get on with what I came up with. As I mentioned, I'm using 9x12 albums, and pocket pages. The pocket pages will consist of ALL photos. I'm not trying to work in cute filler cards, or journaling cards, or any embellishments. This project is all about getting the photos in albums.
I'm breaking this project down by year, tackling a year or two at a time. And for each year, I'm breaking things down by quarters. I'll share more on that later in the post. I wanted to address my divider pages first, since that's the first I'm sharing in these photos. This post will walk you thru one full year in my album, which is my 2016 photos.
I created 6x12" divider pages to mark the start of each quarter in the album. I have tons of this white grid patterned paper, so I thought it would be perfect for these pages. I planned out my months in my Silhouette software, using cut files from Kerri Bradford Studio. I die cut the first and third month in each quarter in a larger, chunky word from colored cardstock - and then die cut the middle month of each quarter in a cursive word from black cardstock, along with the year.
I ran the two colored cardstock months thru my Cuttlebug, using a few different embossing folders. Just to add a little texture. I adhered all three months to the bottom of the 6x12" graph patterned paper.
I added a large strip of patterned paper along the top of the 6x12" page, matching it to the photos that showed to the right of the divider page. I ended up using all Bella Blvd patterned papers for this project, since I have so much of it in my stash. I also added a scalloped border strip along the bottom edge of the patterned paper.
I used a second piece of the graph patterned paper on the backside of the 6x12" divider page, adding a large strip of colored cardstock along the top, with a scalloped border strip of black cardstock.
My thought for the backside of the divider pages is that I could possibly add some journaling at some point. Or notes. Or just little tidbits of whatever I can remember from the time the photos were taken. Could be what kiddos I had at the time, what our schedule looked like, or any funny stories that pop into my head while looking at the photos. Or maybe they'll get left as-is, and I'll never add anything to them. We'll see what happens.
As I mentioned before, I broke down each year into quarters. Three months worth of photos in each section. I pulled the photos from my external hard drive, and copied them all into new folders on my laptop. I copied over pretty much ALL the photos from each month. From there, I would see how many I had to work with and start narrowing them down if needed.
There are 3 different styles of 9x12" pocket pages. There's one with a few 4x6's and a few 3x4's, one with all 3x4's, and one with all 3x3's. I decided that my goal would be to use one of each design for each quarter. That would allow me 56 photos total for each quarter - and breaking that number down, I knew I would need (4) 4x6's, (28) 3x4's, and (24) 3x3's.
There were a few quarters so far (as I've only completed 4 of the 15 years) that didn't have enough photos for the three pages, or that had so many photos that I wanted to include that it required a fourth page, or that needed a different mix of pocket page designs (depending on what my photos looked like orientation wise).
I took each quarter as it came, even though I tried to stick to my original plan when I could - using three pages, one of each of the three pocket page designs. If I had to adjust the plan, I did. I worked on a few older years of photos, and narrowed down a huge amount of photos to just the 56 photos without any problems. I think I had a tendency to take multiple shots of the same thing back in the day, when I was using my DSLR more.
I found that when looking thru the photos from the last two years or so, I had a harder time narrowing down my photos to just the 56. While I did have some that were very similar shots, I didn't have the same type of multiples that I found in earlier years.
I would say that 95% of the photos from the last few years are phone photos, so I think I ended up with a wider variety of shots as opposed to earlier years. When I used to take photos with my DSLR, I would tend to pull out the camera and take a bunch of photos at once. While with my cell phone, I take them more randomly here and there.
Once I would get my photos narrowed down to whatever number I settled on (usually 56, but sometimes less or more), I would start prepping them to print. I usually started by picking my 4x6" photos, since there was only 4 of those most quarters. It was easy to spot which photos needed that full 4x6" space, and couldn't be cropped into the smaller sizes.
From there, I would then move on to the 3x3" and 3x4" photos. Some photos will only work as 3x4's, as they're all vertical orientation in the pocket pages. A large majority of my photos can work in the 3x3" size as well, especially since I take most of my photos on my phone as squares. But it's fairly easy to find which photos will work better as 3x4's or 3x3's, and some will work either way.
I've completed four years so far, and I think I ended up with maybe 3-4 empty spots total. Like the page above. I ended up using 4 pages for that quarter of 2016, but was just one photo short of filling the full 4 pages. I figure I'll just add in a 4x6" filler card, or even just a piece of patterned paper. I haven't done it yet, but I'll get to it at some point ;)
When prepping my photos to print, I knew how many of each size photo I needed, and I would work from that list as I went. Once I had my 4x6's picked out, cropped and saved, I moved those original photos to my "used" folder, so I could keep track of what photos were left to work with. I would slowly move photos to the "used" folder as I went, which made it easy to see what was left when picking my sizes.
I named my files for printing so that I could keep track of what was what - the photos for this section were named "DaycarePL_2016_Qrt3_1", "Daycare PL_2016_Qrt3_2", etc. I combined (2) 3x4's on a 4x6" print, and combined (2) 3x3's on a 4x6" print. So I ended up printing about 30 photos total for each quarter, since most of the photos actually had two photos, which I cut apart.
I've used two different sites for my printing so far. The first batch of photos I ordered from Persnickity Prints, as I had a large print credit for 4x6" photos that I had bought when they had a big sale about a year ago. Since then, I've been adding a batch of photos to my FreePrints order each month, since anything over my 85 free prints a month is only 10 cents each (and it doesn't affect my shipping at all).
Once I have my photos in hand, I sort them by sizes, and then just start slipping them into the pocket pages. I don't over think it, but I do try not to get too many of the same kiddo on one page, and try to split up photos that look too much alike.
I was looking back at layouts I've made, and I think I've only created 6 layouts in the last year and a half about my daycare kids. I just don't create them like I used to years ago. That's the biggest reason that I wanted to do this album.
To get all of those photos of all these adorable kiddos off my computer and my hard drive, and into something that we could all look at. If I do get around to getting all 15 years worth of photos in these albums (which will be a challenge, since 5 of those years were film photos and involve negatives), I'm sure I'll end up with more albums that I think I'll actually need.
Then again, I have a few years that have next to no photos at all. Sadly. Those were the years I touched my DSLR far less, and didn't have a cell phone with a camera yet. I just printed my photos for 2013, and I have all of 32 photos total. For the entire year. So that year will only have one section. I think I have two more years that will be very small.
That wraps up my 2016 year of photos. I'll be back to share a small portion of my 2007, 2008, and 2015 tomorrow. I won't be sharing all the pages, as they're just photos and to anyone but us, they might be a little boring. Lol. But I thought I would at least share all of the divider pages. Plus, it gives me a reason to do an extra blog post this week ;)
I've actually got a similar album idea in the works for my girl's sports photos. I have them both started - lots of photos already printed and in place, and divider pages made up that include team photos, individual photos, and die cut team names. I'll have to see if I can finish up enough of the albums to do a post on those.
While I love making layouts, or more involved albums, there are times when straight up "photo albums" just work. And this was totally one of those times.