Eli's Baby Book

If there was universal truth to unite women in all walks of life, it might just be that photo organization and display is a beast and no one has a good answer. Like every new mom, I took approximately 13 trillion photos of Eli in 365 days and quickly found myself overwhelmed with how to keep them contained and under control. While I'll save how I organize photos for another day, I'll have you know that I was able to whittle it down to about 1,000. I know that it still sounds like an insane number, but I assure you, I was ruthless and I got rid of LOTS of adorable photos. But isn't it funny how you never really remember a photo you deleted? 

That both terrifies me and inspired me to delete more ...

Anyway, I shimmed that number down to about 150 of my most favoritist photos for Eli's Baby Book, and I was so glad that I had been pretty committed to keeping his photos organized throughout the year, because it was a breeze to pull together. The only problem was keeping it to only 150 photos - but paying per page helps keep the desire to add more in-check. 

Here's a peek at a few of the pages: 














It's hard cover, with his name printed on the binding.


I used Shutterfly to make the book, simply because I had a a coupon for half off and free shipping, so I knew I could get a good deal - if you're curious, it was about $60.00. I made a 10x10 book using their custom template, "Modern White." I plan to also print off his monthly updates, and put them in a folder I'm going to glue into the back of the book - if that makes any sense.

I don't plan on making a book like this every year, but I'm not sure exactly what my game plan is going forward. Anyone have ideas? Like making one per child every two/three/five years? Just a family photo book for each year? Then what do the kids get when they become adults? My mom had one or two photo albums for each of us to take when we "grew up" and I liked that method, but at the rate I take photos, Eli's going to have a semi-sized load of photo albums if I'm not careful ... good thing things are digital now a'days. I suppose I can just give him a terabyte-sized hard drive to take with him.

Sorry, you just received my full train of thought. No filter here.

I'm always curious how other people organized photos, and in particular lately, how they are doing photo albums for their kiddos. Have any tips you'd share?

14 comments:

  1. The cutest family around town. Love the Wifler family! (And also loved seeing the Eli's infamous hair began at such a young age. Bless him.)

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  2. Good morning! I love that baby book. Especially the pages that show each month- they change so quickly! I also liked the page with all of the family and friends.


    This reminds me of something I started for my husband. On our one year wedding anniversary, I presented a book called "Our Adventure Book" (got off of Etsy) and filled it with photos from each month of our first year together, plus I included little descriptions for each. Some months only had one memorable photo and others had a few. Some photos were us together and others had family or friends in them. I am already putting together our second year together since our anniversary is in August. It helps me to be very intentional about bringing our camera or taking a photo during special moments.


    Our first little one is due in September so I think I will try to do something similar by documenting a photo or two a month for the year. But I'm thinking our little one can get his own adventure book that I can fill up through the years.

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  3. Great job Laura! I want to do something similar for Alice. My plan is to do a "baby book" like you've done here which includes their 1st year since I didn't buy a traditional baby book. I'm more of a digital person as opposed to a paper scrap booker I guess. (Which leaves you with what to do with the first lock of hair trimmed, cute bday cards you want to save, etc.)

    After the first baby book I plan on doing a family year that includes photos of everyone into one book. But you have a good point that they might actually want their own book and I'd want to keep the yearly family book...so maybe a book every 3-5 years that includes just them and or their siblings with plans for them to take would be a good idea too.

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  4. I LOVE IT! I have been battling photo organization for what feels like years - ok, it has been years... many. many years. You are so right that its a beast! I have been working on combining my photos with my husband's and getting them all organized, with the plan to make yearly family albums, and then do individual ones for the kids as well.

    I have also had the thought that since they are digital, I could print one for each kid - maybe filtered down to mostly their stuff and just print them every few years??? I figure that at least with the digital stuff you already have the work you have done if you want to print extras, or move pages from one book to another.

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  5. Love the idea of doing a simple, white book with just photos! I spent waaaaaay too long adding those virtual stickers and things and that ended up frustrating me more than organizing the photos. Good tip to remember for future children! Brad keeps requesting that we do one book per year. What I'm not sure about is how to keep our digital files. They can't live on our computer forever, so I'm considering getting an external hard drive for everything we want to keep long-term like wedding pics, professional family photos, etc. But then what happens if that gets lost or destroyed? Oh my. Sometimes I think the print and store method is the most simple way to do it!

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  6. I do a Shutterfly AND Snapfish book, and every month update it with his monthly photo and then a collage of photos from that month. The Shutterfly version is more deep, and includes holidays, birthdays, events, etc. it's so clean and organized, I love it!

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  7. Hey Laura. I love your photo pages! I totally relate to the high volume of photos taken in a year...and I don't even have a kiddo! I organize photos by year and season and then make a book for each year using shutterfly-because of the awesome coupons. I also find that if I make a book later into the next year (for example, I'm currently making ours for 2013), I am better able to delete photos and only put my favorites in the book. Thank goodness for digital photos! Another idea is that I make photo calendars for my parents and Glen. the calendars are a great way to recap a year and are easy to store and pull out when you want a glimpse at previous years. Don't know if these ideas help you at all but thought I'd share.

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  8. Thanks Jaclyn! What a good idea to wait a bit - you're right, I always have much less attachment to photos if it's been a bit since they've been taken. I should definitely do that, it's the hardest part for me, choosing the photos. And calendars are awesome - I do it for my parents, but I don't know why I didn't think to do it for mike - I could make him take it to work! Ha!

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  9. Wow! Go you! That's so impressive and you're so organized!

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  10. We I keep the past two years on my computer, and everything before that (like wedding, etc.) is on an external hard drive that's pretty much indestructible. We then store it in our safe that's truly indestructible (fire proof, waterproof, etc.) so I don't have to worry. Does Brad want one photo book per year for your whole family? Or per kid? Gah! Photos are SO hard!

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  11. I'm thinking I'll do exactly what you're saying. One for the whole family for every year, then one for a kid, maybe even every four or five years - eeek - is that too long?!? But like you said, if I have them filtered, it shouldn't be hard, right? It's just so much ONGOING organization - I like projects that are one and done!

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  12. Totally with you on being a digital person than a paper person - I have a small photo box (just like a nice cardboard storage box) that I keep Eli's larger "mementos" in and a plastic file folder to keep his papers in. I'm not sure it's a good long-term solution but it works for now! I'm getting convinced on the family book once a year, and a "kid-specific" book about every five or so years...I think. Gah!

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  13. Wow! The Adventure books sound so cool! Such a good idea and I'm sure you're little one will love having their own adventure book! And the "photo a month" is awesome, I have LOVED looking back on those photos!

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