My Favorite Way to Close The Year
I’ve always felt a strong pull to document our lives. When I was a child I used to love to look through my mom’s high school yearbooks. I was fascinated by the pictures of her as a young girl, and by her friends, and especially by the notes that were written in the yearbooks by her friends. I also loved looking through the baby books of my siblings and myself. They had photos and cards and little details about how much we weighed at our checkups and what our “firsts” were. Photo albums were also fun to look at, but they lacked any kind of story. I often saw photos from before I was born, but I didn’t know who the people in them were. I couldn’t tell what the occasion for the pictures was, or where they were taken. I always wished I knew more. Sometimes my mom knew – sometimes she had forgotten.
Scrap booking became very popular in the late 90’s, and of course it was right up my alley! I loved organizing my family photos in a creative way, and I especially loved being able to tell the story behind the photos. Of course, I never do anything unless I take it to the next level (lol!) and I actually became quite a successful, well-published scrapbooker, with my work appearing in many magazines and landing a spot on a design team for a popular supplier. That is actually what led me to photography. I wanted my images to be as good as they could be on the pages that I designed. Soon, the love of photography eclipsed the love of scrap booking. I studied and learned and then started my business in 2004.
I stopped scrapping soon after that for several reasons. One, my kids grew up and left home so there was much less to document. Two, I had less time to do it because of my business. Three, we moved to South Carolina and in that process I realized how bulky and heavy those albums were! I thought of my poor daughters having to deal with them someday after I’m gone; not having room to store them but not wanting to get rid of them for sentimental reasons.
Also, I realized that I was taking more and more personal pictures with my phone. I almost never brought out my DSLR for casual shots. That was creating a problem as well – how to store/save/print my camera photos.
My perfect solution emerged just two years ago, and I just love it. My Social Book is a service that slurps your Facebook timeline into a printed book. You choose the start and stop dates as well as what specifics you want to include, hit a button, and BOOM. The result is a nicely done record of your year in a wonderfully compact bound book. It works really well for me, because I use Facebook as my means of documenting my life and my family now, with words and pictures. And space for storage is no longer an issue!
I have printed 4 of them now. The first one included everything from 2006 when I first joined Facebook to 2010. I didn’t use it very much in those years because I didn’t have a smart phone. The second was 2010-2012 and the last two have just been from the previous years. I now post to Facebook with these books in mind. They are a fun, sentimental journey through the past and I am thrilled to have them! Here are a few images of them. I order the softcover versions.