I value memories . . . a lot.
I'm a sentimental sucker who can't let go of anything. With this move, I've gotten all sad about bidding farewell to my old condo, a place filled with so many memories. After all, this was the first home that Bryan and I ever shared together. We have so many memories of good times with friends, family, and each other.
Similarly, I have a hard time throwing away trinkets and mementos from trips, weddings, and other experiences in my life. While helping me pack for this move, one of my good, practical-minded friends admonished me every time I tried to keep some piece of junk for "memory's sake."
"Take a picture of it and throw it away!"
Sigh - I do love photography, but does a picture always replace the physical memento?
Well, I haven't quite gotten to that level of detachment from all my things. However, the ability to take photos and make scrapbooks has helped ease that pain. Now I tend to put ticket stubs, museum pamphlets, and foreign coins into dedicated scrapbooks for each trip.
But how does that work in the digital age? Does a picture of a ticket stub really replace the actual ticket?
Just a few weeks ago, Kodak partnered with Foodbuzz to give some bloggers an opportunity to try out their photo book-making services. I've never actually made a real-live book from any of my photos before, even though I've always considered it.
So, I decided to try commemorating my China trip with a photo book from Kodak.
I must say I was pleasantly surprised at the wonderfully simple user interface. The online program is set out to look just like the book. You upload your pictures and then it automatically creates a beautiful book for you.
Of course, you can always go back and customize it, but I like how you have the option of quickly creating a really nice book if you don't want to spend the time painstakingly designing your own book from scratch.
If you do want to customize it, you can resize and move photos around pretty intuitively by dragging and dropping here and there. think I spent about 10-15 minutes whipping up this book. I did some minor tweaks and readjusting after auto-generating a book. I uploaded my photos from my computer, but you can upload automatically from facebook as well, which could convenient for some.
I was really really pleased when I received my book in the mail yesterday! The shipping was super fast - I received the book three days after I submitted it.
The pages are thick, the colors are spot on, and overall the book just feels like it's really high quality. In hindsight, I think I would have picked hardcover instead of softcover. There's something about hardcover that just makes a photobook seem that much more professional.
Nevertheless, I was quite pleased with the outcome. I've been carrying the book around with me everywhere because I love showing it to people. My particular book (which had close to 40 photos) cost around $50 to make, so it's not by any means cheap. However, you can always make smaller books or books with less pages to bring the cost down. Additionally, they often have discounts, so you can probably get away with making one for a lot less than full price.
In fact, Kodak and Foodbuzz have partnered to give readers a 40% discount off a medium hardcover or a large Photo Book. Just click here to redeem. Offer expires August 31, 2011.
I'm still keeping some of my sentimental mementos around. However, I'm also willing to let go and throw away more stuff. It's a learning process, but a good one to exercise every once in awhile. There's nothing like a move to force one to reconsider the importance of every piece of "stuff"!
Will I stop making physical scrapbooks? Probably not, but I still love the ability to make gorgeous photobooks for friends and family. I think they make fantastic gifts. 🙂
Disclaimer: I got a $40 discount on my book through the Foodbuzz Tastemakers Program
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