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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.