We’re Loving Our Blurb Books!

        Over the summer I felt a big push to get caught up on printing all of my photos.  Not all the photos I take, but those that I edit and pretty much that is all of the images that I share here.  I had a backlog since January.  My goal used to be to print every other month but I don’t do well with goals,  and tend to do better at accomplishing things when the desire/need REALLY strikes.  Like, I don’t have a schedule of when to do laundry … I just do it when the baskets are overflowing.  Well … 6-months of images to print and my TOPRINT folder was figuratively overflowing.

        I printed 4x6s of January through May with Color, Inc. when they had a sale (which you can plan for with their calendar HERE) and then designed a BLURB book for our 4th of July vacation to the Beach House and combined 3 other little Summer trips into another.  I’ve mentioned this before, but since it was so fun (fast and easy) to design, I went for it and designed a 3rd book with the rest of our summer images (those taken June through August).  I wasn’t sure if I would print it because I wasn’t sure if I was ready to stray from my normal 4x6s + 3-Ring Binder albums, but took it as a sign that I should go for it when I peeked over at the BLURB site one morning and saw they were having a 40% off sale for just one more day.  I jumped on it, and I’m really very happy that I did.

        And so are these guys.  They love the look and layout of these books and grab them to look at a lot more frequently than my other albums.  Perhaps because these are thinner and the images are more impactful because of their size?  I don’t know.  But I love both of those things about these books, too.  SO much less bulk than my other albums.

        Plus, I love love love being able to print feature images large.  This is a 11×13 inch album, so some of the images on the pages are larger than those I have on my walls.  😉

        I design these in Lightroom and I really enjoy how that keeps my layouts and the process very cohesive.  The thing I can’t figure out is how to design the book in an on-going manner.  I seem to be able to create one collection of images and pull just from that to design the book.  But what I’d love to do is design the pages monthly as I shoot and then order every 6 months or so.  If you’ve designed a BLURB book with Lightroom, I’d love to hear your thoughts on how to do this.  😀  Pretty please?

        A few things about the process and the books:

        1. For this Summer Book, I used ‘Auto Fill’ for the layout, using my ‘favorite’ layouts.  This allowed me to keep the layouts cohesive and keep the max number of images to 4 per page.  After it created what it thought was a great layout for the book, I went through and moved images around to highlight favorites, etc.  That totally sped up the process.  Again, though, I don’t know how that would be done if I were to make the book over the course of a few months.
        2. If you don’t have Lightroom, BLURB has easy, free software to use.
        3. I have only printed 12×12 and 11×13, hard-cover books with the cover jacket.  I also use the same design on the cover jacket for each.  Can you tell I like consistency and cohesiveness?  😉
        4. The quality of the books is outstanding, in my opinion.  I do still remind the boys to be careful with the pages, though!  🙂
        5. The quality of the IMAGES is outstanding, too.  I’ve printed with another popular, semi-expensive, album/book company and their printing added dark to my shadows and that made the images look not so great, which is a bummer for anyone, but especially when you’ve taken time to get the exposure right and to edit the shots.  I want the images printed in the same appearance as they look on my computer screen and I really do feel like these hit the mark.  Thumbs UP.
        6. I’ve printed from 52 pages up to 130 pages and am sure at some point I’ll utilize their allowance for up to 200!
        7. You can convert the book to pdf form for viewing on devices for an additional $5 … I haven’t done that, but think of what a great gift that would be for someone if your book included lots of other people outside of your family!

         

        I gave a talk yesterday and at the end of it I asked if they remembered how Bob Barker used to always end The Price Is Right with a reminder to spay and neuter your pets.  I ended with the reminder to print their photos because I feel just as passionately about reminding you all to print your images as Bob did about animal control.  🙂

        • If you have an overwhelming number, just start with the past month and work your way back.  Or start with your summer images and go backwards.  Little by little.  Or, devote an entire weekend to getting caught up … whatever floats your boat.
        • And don’t feel like you have to print all of them … be objective and realistic about which ones you really want/need.
        • Think of a system to help you stay organized.  I suggest opening 2 folders on your desktop:  1 that has your images in it and an empty one that you will copy and paste your ‘favorites/toPrint’ ones into.  And then get into the habit of doing this every once in awhile to stay on top of prepping to print or design an album.

        You know that when you print your images, be it in a book or as 4x6s, you breath a huge sigh of relief.  I sure do.  I want that for you … and I want your images in a safe place where your kiddos and you can easily enjoy looking at them.  ♥

        Thanks for reading!  If you have questions about BLURB or printing, let me know! ♥

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        • Stephanie@LaDolceVita - I’ve been using blurb for about 5 years now and love them. I do my vacation photos in separate books, and then a family “yearbook” Album too. Love them! I have hundreds of photos in a fraction of the space. I have used the software as an ongoing project but not through lightroom. All you do with the software is save the project.ReplyCancel

          • Lacey - Awesome! Thanks so much for sharing Stephanie! I took a look at their programs to use and just sort of slinked back to Lightroom because I’m such a creature of habit. LOL … But being able to have it go as an ongoing project makes me think I should try a bit harder to figure it out. 🙂ReplyCancel

        • Lisa Edney - I’ve got light room and SO want to learn to make blurb books that way! What’s a good tutorial??ReplyCancel

          • Lacey - Hi Lisa! That’s a good question! I really haven’t watched any but I’m thinking that I should! 🙂 There is a bit of information on the Blurb site about using Lightroom, but I learned what I have just by playing around with the Book module in Lightroom. 🙂 If you do find any tutorials that you find super helpful, I’d love to know!ReplyCancel

        • Heather - What paper did you print with from Blurb?ReplyCancel

          • Lacey - Hi Heather! I’ve used Premium Luster and Premium Matte, and honestly didn’t notice enough of a difference between the two to say which I prefer. 🙂ReplyCancel

        • Kasey White - I have used Blurb for books for years and just recently had a problem with a book. One of my older books that is well taken care of had two pages that came out. I immediately contacted Blurb and they are shipping my new book to me now without any cost to me. I just had to take a picture of the page coming out and send it to them. I really like their service and quality! Now, your books make we want to go for a bigger size even though I’ve always done the 8×10 books! I love the bigger size!ReplyCancel

        • Betty - You’re books look awesome! I haven’t figured out how to get the Auto Layout to use more than one layout – I’ll have to figure that out. I watched a tutorial a few weeks ago that shows how to keep adding photos to allow for an ongoing process. I can get the links to those if you want. 🙂ReplyCancel

          • Lacey - Hi Betty! Yes! I’d love to see the link! I’d appreciate that a lot. 🙂 To change the Auto Layout option, do you see where it says ‘Preset’? It defaults to one photo per page, so you’ll want to select the arrows next to that and select ‘Edit Auto Layout Preset’. And then you can tweak from there. I had it changed to Random from Favorites and allowed up to 4 photos. 🙂ReplyCancel

        • Betty - After working with both a square and 11×13 which do you find to be easier to fit your images?ReplyCancel

          • Lacey - Hmm … I’m not sure! I think I like the 11×13 just because it suits the ratio that I like to keep my images at? I’d have to look back at the layouts, though. I *think* that all the layouts are available at both sizes, but I could be wrong. The one thing is, I do wish I would have just stuck with ONE size and not varied. 😉ReplyCancel

        • Signe Clayton - We love Blurb books too! Their software is super easy to use 🙂 The last one I made I did make directly through LR and I really like the ease of that. I haven’t tried saving a project and then coming back to it, but I wonder if the “create saved book” button would do that? Although I’m sure you tried that already 🙂ReplyCancel

          • Lacey - Hi Signe! It’s good to hear from you! 🙂 The issue I run into is how to add more images to the set that are going into the book. I guess I haven’t really figured out how to smoothly add to the collection of images. Does that make sense? I’ve only just made the book from an already collected group of images. I’m sure there is an easy way to go about it and I just haven’t had the patience to think it through. 😉ReplyCancel

            • Signe Clayton - Have you tried creating a smart collection first with keywords and then creating a book based on that? I’m not sure if it would work, I honestly haven’t tried it myself. It just seems like it should be possible and now I’m curious as to how to make that work 🙂ReplyCancel

        • Rediscovering a New Passion for Photography » This is Life. With Country Boys {Lacey Meyers Photography} - […] few weeks ago, I came upon the boys looking at a photobook in the school room.  They’d been having a debate about how something had happened way back […]ReplyCancel

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