So I was pretty busy in December, not with photo shoots, but with photo albums to be given as Christmas gifts. These are perfect for me to do in the quieter winter months, and as it turns out in lockdown! My photo books are a great way to collect your digital images (mine are usually phone and camera) in one place that you can dip into and look at with the kids and they make amazing and thoughtful gifts. I always go hardback so the book is really durable, but I use an affordable printer so I can have lots of gorgeous books without breaking the bank. I've tried a few phone app options that you often see sponsored on Instagram, but I've never liked the auto-fill option and prefer to have more control over the look of my books. I've been using Bob Books for years now, and am always so happy with the quality.
I really got into making photo albums after a round the world trip of a lifetime - in 2011, my husband and I visited 15 countries in 7 months and took over 30,000 photographs! It was 2011 so really before we were all using camera phones and we each had a digital SLR. I couldn't not document our journey and have easily accessible books to look back on the 'best of' our trip. So, I decided to make a book for each country with all our favourite photos and include some of the best extracts from our travel journals so that I could tell the story of our amazing trip! It was a daunting and mammoth task, but so lovely looking back at all the photos and now I look at them with my five year old and tell him all about our adventures before he appeared on the scene. I made a bumper travel album for Natalie in December of 3 months of travels with her other half. It was lovely going through the photos and selecting the best, especially as I'd been to a lot of the same places, but now I NEED to go to Myanmar!!!
Lockdown 2.0 in November and the lack of photo shoots was the perfect opportunity to get stuck into client albums as well as a significant family album for my father in law's 70th birthday. I did something similar for my Mum a couple of years ago - using photos since birth and including messages from family and friends - it's like the ultimate birthday card! I think it's particularly special to have a collection of old pre-digital childhood photos in one place in a book. Then I bought it right up to the present day with photos of the grandchildren. It was a labour of love, but I'm proud of the finished article and my father in law loves it. It felt particularly important this year given his birthday party was cancelled and we weren't able to visit him.
Another birthday book I've produced has been for Babs' 70th birthday. Her daughter booked me for an autumnal photo shoot in the Golden Valley in Ashridge. The shoot itself was a surprise present so she was thrilled to see the family all together after such a turbulent 2020. I spent an hour with them, taking photographs of Babs, with husband John and their three grandchildren aged 5 to 1. Babs said she couldn't have thought of a better way to spend time with her family. I've now produced a book for her with all her favourite photographs that she can look back on for years to come and show her friends and family. I used the Bob Books lay flat option for this - it's a bit more expensive, but I love that you can spread a photo over the centre fold seamlessly which makes for a really dynamic double page I think. I particularly like doing this for wedding albums too where your have high quality camera images. This book really captures a special moment in time for Babs and I hope she enjoys it for many years to come.
Then there's the holiday albums. These have included a special holiday this summer for a family to Dorset celebrating a year when both Grandparents turned 70 and one of their daughters turned 40. They ordered one large book for the grandparents as a Christmas gift and two smaller albums for each of the families to have as a keepsake. Another book was a Christmas gift for a family that had their best holiday ever to Lapland in December 2019.
My final book was baby's first year and I had lovely feedback from the client:
'I got in touch with Tanya to help create a photobook of my son’s first year as I was really struggling to get something together myself, I am not at all creative and didn’t know where to begin. With thousands of photos to look through Tanya managed to identify key moments and people in our first year as parents and create a book that documents all those moments so beautifully.
The service from start to finish was so simple from discussing my requirements to a zoom call to run through the draft layout and finalising it before it went to print. Despite the mountain of photos to sift through Tanya was amazingly patient throughout the process and although she was in the background doing all the hard work I still felt like I had a part in making the book.
I can’t thank Tanya enough for bringing the book to life and look forward to working with her on other projects soon.'
Hopefully that's given you a few book content ideas - really anything goes! They make fantastic and unique gifts so why not give your creative side a challenge and try one yourself, or get in touch if you'd like to know more about my bespoke service. Prices start at £80.