babyhood / family / home / life on thomas run / LIVING WELL / making / MOTHERHOOD

Instagram in print

05.30.12

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There are a lot of things on my list of "Things I wish I was more diligent about". One of those is keeping track of our days in a more everyday way. There's the five year journal I've started and stopped. The 365 projects I've never signed on for. The Project Life series I've never been brave enough to try.

Then there's the notion of my grandmother's scrapbooks kept for her family of 15, full of report cards, doctor's bills, greeting cards, family letters–years and years worth of big, overstuffed leather-bound scrapbooks. 

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The other thing on my more diligent list is printing pictures. I take a ton of pictures. And now with this shiny little iPhone in my hand, I take even more. But I never, ever print. When Emma was a baby and there was no such thing as digital cameras, I took and printed pictures. Slipped them into albums, captioned each, wrote a few lines, memories. And now the album is falling apart with use and love. 

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Then, there's Instagram. While I don't do anything so organized as post every day or try to capture anything in particular, it has naturally evolved into this beautiful collection of special moments in my family's day. A trip out, the way they're sitting together at the kitchen table, a typical day running errands, a special moment at the stream. It's unrehearsed. Unposed. Natural. And, honestly, above all, convenient.

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So when I recently discovered that Blurb has a bookmaking process that sucks all the photos in your *Instagram stream, right onto the pages of a book I was intriguied. And late one night when there were a million things to do but this thing, I decided to see what it was like. 

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It was simple. I put them in my book in chronological order. Deleted and moved around a few that I didn't want in there, and basically held by breath and hit publish. 

But here's the thing. Just like my personal discovery that my moleskine journal needed to stop being what I thought it should be, and could just be what I needed it to be, I applied that same thinking to this book. I've thought about doing photobooks before but have gotten stuck on the idea of design, captions, and making it perfect. 

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But while I wanted to see these photos in print, in something my kids could hold in their hands and flip through, I also wanted my personal imprint to be on the pages. So I decided to print every page with nothing else but a photo. 

Now with the (beautifully published) book in hand, I'm adding my imprint to the book in the form of captions and dates in my own **handwriting. 

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And honestly, it's exactly what I wanted. It's turned into the perfect balance of my photographs plus my own hand. Something that I hope my kids will love to flip through and read and enjoy for years to come.

And I hope there will be more.

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Once again, I let go of what everyone else was doing, what I thought I should be doing and gave myself the freedom to do what I wanted and needed to do. I needed it to be simple. I wanted it to be personal. And I found a way to capture both. 

I'm so happy with the way it's turning out. 

*I'm mollybalint on Instagram. Come find me!

**The pen I'm using is this one, which also happens to be my favorite pen, which also happens to be the pen I use in my moleskine, which also happens to be perfect for this as well.

DSC_0010
There are a lot of things on my list of “Things I wish I was more diligent about“. One of those is keeping track of our days in a more everyday way. There’s the five year journal I’ve started and stopped. The 365 projects I’ve never signed on for. The Project Life series I’ve never been brave enough to try.
Then there’s the notion of my grandmother’s scrapbooks kept for her family of 15, full of report cards, doctor’s bills, greeting cards, family letters–years and years worth of big, overstuffed leather-bound scrapbooks.
DSC_0006
The other thing on my more diligent list is printing pictures. I take a ton of pictures. And now with this shiny little iPhone in my hand, I take even more. But I never, ever print. When Emma was a baby and there was no such thing as digital cameras, I took and printed pictures. Slipped them into albums, captioned each, wrote a few lines, memories. And now the album is falling apart with use and love.
DSC_0014
Then, there’s Instagram. While I don’t do anything so organized as post every day or try to capture anything in particular, it has naturally evolved into this beautiful collection of special moments in my family’s day. A trip out, the way they’re sitting together at the kitchen table, a typical day running errands, a special moment at the stream. It’s unrehearsed. Unposed. Natural. And, honestly, above all, convenient.
DSC_0023
DSC_0024
So when I recently discovered that Blurb has a bookmaking process that sucks all the photos in your *Instagram stream, right onto the pages of a book I was intriguied. And late one night when there were a million things to do but this thing, I decided to see what it was like.
DSC_0026
It was simple. I put them in my book in chronological order. Deleted and moved around a few that I didn’t want in there, and basically held by breath and hit publish.
But here’s the thing. Just like my personal discovery that my moleskine journal needed to stop being what I thought it should be, and could just be what I needed it to be, I applied that same thinking to this book. I’ve thought about doing photobooks before but have gotten stuck on the idea of design, captions, and making it perfect.
DSC_0019
DSC_0028
But while I wanted to see these photos in print, in something my kids could hold in their hands and flip through, I also wanted my personal imprint to be on the pages. So I decided to print every page with nothing else but a photo.
Now with the (beautifully published) book in hand, I’m adding my imprint to the book in the form of captions and dates in my own **handwriting.
DSC_0029
And honestly, it’s exactly what I wanted. It’s turned into the perfect balance of my photographs plus my own hand. Something that I hope my kids will love to flip through and read and enjoy for years to come.
And I hope there will be more.
DSC_0032
Once again, I let go of what everyone else was doing, what I thought I should be doing and gave myself the freedom to do what I wanted and needed to do. I needed it to be simple. I wanted it to be personal. And I found a way to capture both.
I’m so happy with the way it’s turning out.
*I’m mollybalint on Instagram. Come find me!
**The pen I’m using is this one, which also happens to be my favorite pen, which also happens to be the pen I use in my moleskine, which also happens to be perfect for this as well.

23 comments on “Instagram in print”

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Everything you said about scrap booking is exactly how I feel. I have been waiting to figure out the way I want to actually scrapbook (Im about 6 years behind)…but this is how I want to do it…perfect! Thanks for posting!

  2. This is lovely! I’ve got a voucher I’ve been meaning to use for a photobook! It was going to be ‘O’s first year’ (he’s nearly 2.5 now…) argh, better get to it before I forget all those precious little things!

  3. Wonderful idea. And thank you for the reminder to forget what everyone else is doing or what you think you should be doing and just DO IT the way you want to! I need that reminder just about every day.

  4. I was just saying yesterday that I need to put aside my sewing machine and other crafts for a month or so and focus on getting our photos out of the computer and in to books!! But, yes, I agree that the captions etc take so long…why not print the book caption later? Love it, especially since you can flip through and peruse while thinking and all the while on a comfy couch or chair instead of in front of the computer!! THANKS for sharing!!!

  5. This looks great! It’s so good to have something you can hold, and the handwriting is just the right touch. And it makes me want in on Instagram even more. I don’t have a smartphone or an ipod w/ camera, so I feel left out! My camera is feeling clunkier to haul around these days.

  6. i love this.i’m like 2 full months behind on project life, but i am determined to catch up next week while the kids are in camp.still. i love this.

  7. what a great simple idea. i am as guilty as charged of taking millions of photos and not printing any since i’ve had a digital camera and now my iphone. i’ve also been meaning to start making photo books and well…it hasn’t happened for all the reasons (and more) that you mentioned. i think i am out of excuses and like you i need to try it and make it simple. thanks for sharing the idea.

  8. this book is great. way to give yourself the time and space in which to do it.

    i love that you have a favorite pen and that you shared about it here. at one point in my life i was in love with the uniball micro and swore that if i ever got a tattoo it would be of that pen. hasn’t happened yet, but i should go pick up one of those pens!

  9. Absolutely looooove this idea! I am months behind on getting my photos into books, because editing the pages on-line is so time-consuming. Love the simplicity of this. And maybe you could come over & caption my photos for me? Your hand writing is so darn neat I thought it was a font until I got to the part where you said you are hand-writing the captions! LOL!

  10. I just spent my morning making a book! Thanks for sharing the info and how-to. I really have been encouraged and inspired by your blog over the years. I don’t often comment, but wanted you to know. Your grandma’s granola and your pumpkin bread have become traditional family favorites.

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