My Yearly Photo Books

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Every year since 2011 I've made a yearly photo book that has hundreds (pre-Neda) to thousands (post-Neda) of photos from each year. I'm notorious for taking photos all the time, and it's the best way to house everything in one neat spot. And, a little spot, until you get 11 stacked together! Those following me on Instagram have come to expect my posts on these books every January, and to know me is to know they are my most prized possessions (look at this blog post from 2014!). If I had to grab one item from this house and run, it'd be this stack (or the 2019 book if you're really letting me only have one). I'm always curious what other people do with the precious photos on their phones and hard drives — please tell me they don't just get lost there!

I started dating B at the end of 2010, and I made my first photo book for 2011, so it feels like our entire relationship has been documented through these. The big moments (the night we got engaged! hundreds of photos from the dozens of vacations we've been on! the day I found out I was pregnant!) and the small (so many meals, random snaps from the couch, selfies). I see how much I've changed and grown through every book, and I see so many stages documented. 

For years, I made my book on iPhoto on my MacBook and ordered it directly that way. But, a few years ago, iPhoto stopped offering printing services, and I was unreasonably upset. I already had a handful of books I loved, and I didn't want to switch the look and feel for the next handful. Through message boards I learned that Mimeo Photos was the one printing iPhoto books behind the scenes, and now I could get the same by going directly to the source. 

I use a Mimeo Photos app on my MacBook, but you can also make the books directly on Mimeo Photos' site. My sister just made her wedding album that way. The whole process is incredibly easy. Brian likes to remind me of this because I dread the task every January. In my mind, it takes me forever to gather all the photos I want to use and forever to make the book (and forever to pick the quote/poem I always have in the front flap to summarize my feelings on that year). But, it doesn't. This year I started on January 2, spent half an hour a night, and I was done by January 6. And now she's here! I've spent longer flipping through it with Neda already. 

Neda has loved looking through these books for some time now. Most recently, she asks to see the 2017 book and flips to us feeding monkeys in Japan. She also loves "the day baby Neda came" from 2019 and seeing "mommy and daddy when Neda was in mommy's tummy" (2011-2019, she thinks she was in there for 31 years). Thousands of precious memories with her are captured, and I'm glad she'll have these when she grows up and isn't down the hall from us. Maybe I'm na├»ve and she won't want them, but I'm glad they'll exist if she does. 

Mimeo Photos has tons of templates to choose from, but I always go with the blank one for the most flexibility. Then I add 1-36 photos on each page, 100 pages total. Every book starts with January 1 and ends with New Year's Eve (there have been less flashy NYE photos year after year...). It takes seconds to download thousands of photos into the Mimeo Photos library and you can easily see which pictures you've already added to the book and which still need to be slotted. And, the books are extremely reasonably priced. I've tried dozens of services and while some are cheaper and some more elegant (I used Artifact Uprising for our wedding album), I don't think Mimeo Photos' quality can be beat. It's why they were Apple's chosen vendor for decades.

It's likely you're not as sentimental as me, but these books bring me so much joy, I can't help but encourage you to sit down and make one this week. It's worth it, I promise! And, I truly can't recommend Mimeo Photos enough. Blog posts are few and far between these days, but this is a dream partnership and something I had to hop on here to gush about.

Next up I'm finally working on Neda's baby book, which will require digging out the external hard drive, printing photos and trying to remember things that probably weren't catalogued during those sleep-deprived months. Wish me luck! 

P.S. Mimeo Photos is offering readers 25% off with code MAKEMOST. I've only ordered yearly photo books but there are lots of beautiful products to check out :)

P.P.S. The quote for the 2021 book in case you're curious: “There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but other things that do fall under the jurisdiction… I can select what I can read and eat and study. I can choose how I’m going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life — whether I will see them as curses or opportunities. I can choose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others. And most of all, I can choose my thoughts.” — Elizabeth Gilbert

(This post was sponsored by Mimeo Photos. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Make the Most.)

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