Feb 14, 2014

The Baby Photos. Project Life.

I know.  But I promise.  This will be my last dying swan post about The Baby Photos.  And The Trauma of trying to organize The Baby Photos one year (and a bit) after the baby who is now a toddler's arrival.

On the up side, I placed so many click and collect orders with my local Big W that I've gotten to know the photo lab staff quite well.  How I've gotten to know the self check out staff just as well is another story and testament to my ability to see the silver lining in every retail situation.

The Big W online photo system is pretty easy to use, photos load quickly but as with anything online, if you're working with a huge backlog of photos, it can be stressful trying to do your final cull of photos using their interface as the thumbnails for the photos aren't that big.

A big tip, that I discovered after uploading my first 600 photos is that Big W have an iPhone app that makes it really easy to upload iPhone photos for printing.  You can see your photos as the separate albums that you may have already organized them in on your phone.  I don't think you can create photo books using the app but my plan from now is to simply order prints at the end of each month using the latest iPhone photo album that I've created.  

As a bonus with all those orders, I got a 30% discount code to use on Big W's premium range of lie flat, hard cover photo books.  Having spent a small fortune on professional newborn photos both at the hospital and at home, it seemed a bit of a waste to not have any of them in print form.  A photo book seemed the best format for me as I couldn't narrow down my number of favorite prints to the kind of number that would make for a nice wall collage.  I ordered the smallest size (8 x 8) with the standard number of pages (20).  It came up to $103 after the discount which my mum tells me is a great price.  

As you can see, the books are beautifully presented.  The glossy album box is sturdy and features photos from your album.  The album itself was exactly what I wanted it to be - simple and well made.  I'm not a photography expert but the quality of the prints justified the expense for me.

You can't have a massive home re-organization project with Ikea somehow coming into the picture, can you?  A dozen of my favourite iPhone photos have now been framed with the Ribba frames in white.

Unfortunately, the baby book I've finished collating looks nowhere near as elegant as the photo book or the neatly framed pictures on the wall.  It's puff balled to three times its previous size and I can't actually lay it flat.  It needs its own enviro bag.  Let's face it, it's a morbidly obese collection of photos.

Which is why I've changed tack for future photo projects and become a scrap booker.  One of those craft loving 'mom jeans' wearing women with 'mom hair'.  Which, thank goodness, isn't high waisted denim and a spiral perm anymore but rather skinnies and some complicated chemical process that takes hours but leaves you with hair like sheets of silk.

Project Life is a system of photo journalling from the US that I only just heard about a few weeks ago.  Its founder, Becky Higgins is enjoying great success with the brand overseas and I understand that she's going to be in Australia later this year doing some promotion through Spotlight stores.  I bought my set from Amazon and only realised the bit about Project Life being available in Australia after I'd clicked 'by it now' and express international shipping by mistake.

Project Life simplifies scrapbooking to make it fun and easy to find time for on a regular basis.  One of the downfalls of my previous attempts to scrapbook was the time and space I needed for paper, albums, glue, scissors, knick knacks and photos.  All you need for Project Life is a binder, a set of plastic pockets, card inserts, a pen and your photos.  You can add all the other bells and whistles if you like but you don't need to in order to get a pretty attractive looking result.

The cards and albums are available in a variety of colours and themes.  I have the cobalt edition of cards and a seafoam green binder. All you do is slot your cards and photos wherever and however you want them to look.  The cards are double sided and work both vertically and horizontally.  The photo pockets work for standard 6x4 sized prints and there are square photo pockets as well.  For Instax users, the polaroids fit into the smaller card pockets with enough space for you to have a background of the Project Life themed cards.

The cards are what I like most about this form of scrapbooking.  Part whimsy, part inspirational quotes, part quirky - they're a fun way of livening up a page of photos.  Some cards are marked specifically for use on the front and back pages of an album.  You can write as little or as much as you like on each one.  The cobalt edition has a wider colour theme than the name suggests and so far, has worked really well with my photos.

I have seen specially themed cards for weddings, babies and special occasions so the possibilities are endless.  At the moment, I'm planning on a once a month session with photo sorting session using this Project Life album and it actually seems both a doable and pleasant commitment to make.

Here's to the end of future dramas surrounding The Toddler Photos.

Are you a scrapbooker?  The old school glue, scissors and knick knacks kind or a cards and pockets one like me?


  1. I've looked into the Project Life cards before, but always been turned off by international shipping.
    It makes me seriously happy they are coming to Australia soon, yay!


  2. I felt ILL about the photo situation so then I started making those book things - what a RELIEF!!! Must do another soon x

  3. Project Life looks amazing! I will definitely be checking it out!

  4. The Project life sounds like the sound of scrap-booking I could do! At one point my unfinished scrapbook was left to gather dust with lots of images ready for it, and no time to cut them up and stick them in.
    Will need to put some thought into how best to have photos available - I've been noticing a lot stacking up on my hard drive I'd rather do something with.

    Hope you're having a lovely weekend!

    Away From Blue

  5. I love seeing the Project Life outcomes- am a big fan of Pink Ronnie. I took so many baby photos of my eldest that I broke the photo album I was storing them in! Have been slack with printing now that it's all stored on the computer, but I need to, because when child care asked for a photo of my eldest for a project they're doing, the most recent printed photo I had was over 1.5 years ago!


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