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Always on the lookout: our youngest son discovers the world through a lens

MORE THAN MEMORIES

THE MANY ADVANTAGES OF PHOTO BOOKS

His first photo book – a project with positive long-term effects

Our youngest son is always on the lookout. And always to hand: his camera, which he loves to take photos of animals with most of all. He has already amassed a huge collection of animal photos, which he has only been able to view on a tablet or via our television screen up to now. It became increasingly apparent that he wanted to put his best images together in a photo book. No sooner said than done! During the time spent at home because of coronavirus, he created a fantastic ifolor photo book all by himself. This meant that he not only created lasting memories for himself and for all of us, but also learnt a great deal in the process. It was a thoroughly positive experience that we strongly recommend for all children and young people who love photography.

Photography as a family hobby

It was only natural that our sons wanted to take photos themselves, even as little tots. With a mother who is always taking photos, they discovered the same passion for themselves at a very early age. Equipped with their own children's cameras, or later with old digital cameras, they were always able to head off on a journey of discovery themselves and to photograph whatever they found interesting. Since then, our youngest son has got a great camera and has also attended various courses. The photos he takes are really cool and I am also able to use them for my work as a blogger with growing frequency.

Snapped and forgotten?

These days, with the digital camera or the smartphone always to hand, photos can be taken in an instant. Unlike in the past, when developing each individual image was a complex process with a corresponding cost, today we don't think twice about whether we should photograph something or not. We just do it. That means that we amass countless photos by the end of the day, which then, unfortunately, all too often disappear into oblivion in the endless depths of some kind of digital storage media.

Of course, you can view these huge photo collections on a PC or present them to a wider audience as a slideshow via a television screen or projector. Or you can share your many images with the entire world via social media platforms. However, when you do this, something always falls by the wayside: the focus on what's most important and the tangibility of the memories.

The photo book creates tangible memories

Keeping track of the flood of images isn’t that easy. However, focussing on your favourite moments and turning them into tangible mementos is essentially quite quick and easy. For example, by making thematic photo books at regular intervals. We have kept up this tradition ever since our boys were born:

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Photo books capture your most special memories.

The boys each have their own photo book, where we have captured the most significant moments from their childhood. We also regularly create photo books of our holidays together. The latter, in particular, have become hugely important since our boys have been actively helping to take photos – like on our trips to the US and England, for example.

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The photo book of our trip to England was a joint effort by the whole family

Photo books – family tradition and joint effort

For us, photo books are a family tradition. As it's so easy to create them yourself online these days and the boys are now well versed in using different media, the little one decided to use his time spent at home because of coronavirus to make one himself, together with ifolor. Using his best animal photos.

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Our son preselects photos for his first photo book project

Frequently heard comment on the subject of photo books

"Photo books are great, but it takes far too much time to make one. I can't do it. After a holiday, I always intend to immortalise all my many images in a photo book, but then suddenly the year has gone by and the next flood of images is here..."

The top practical tips for creating a photo book quickly and easily

Obviously, a photo book doesn't make itself. But anyone who already takes a systematic approach toward photography and archiving as already won half the battle and can soon enjoy a great result without any huge effort! These are our tips:

  • Think ahead: When taking and archiving your photos, make sure to immediately delete the ones that strike you as being unusable. Our son does this at the end of each photo session: he sorts through all the images on his camera and gets them organised before he transfers them to the cloud. Doing so prevents floods of images from building up each day that you are barely able to sort through after just a couple of days.
  • Separate the wheat from the chaff: The next step is to select the images that are going to make it into the photo book. Our son does this on his tablet by marking his favourite images and then saving them in a separate folder. These are the images he uses to create his photo book.
  • Tell a story: You can use various criteria to arrange the images in a meaningful order. Our son arranged his images chronologically and thematically, but sometimes purely according to colours that go well together.
  • The design: First of all, choose a suitable format and define the number of pages based on the images you have selected. When using the ifolor photo book software, you can access many different designs and design elements and can also add text to them. The software is intuitive to use – especially for digital natives. Our son tried out various versions when designing his book and experimented with different cropped images and page layouts.
  • Less is more: If the individual pages are too cluttered, it will soon look messy. Particularly beautiful photos can work well for the cover or in a larger format for a double page, for example. Our son followed this principle and actually decided not to have any text, so that his images could just speak for themselves! You can see how easy it is for children and young people to create their own photo books in our making-of video.

Photo book Premium or Deluxe?

We ordered two versions of our son's first photo book so that we could clearly see the differences between the photo book Premium and the photo book Deluxe.

The photo book Deluxe is ifolor's bestseller. It is available in A3, A4, A5, 21×21 cm and 28×28 cm formats. For a really special effect, the inside pages of the photo book Deluxe in A4 format are also available in high gloss. This photo book is such good value for money, it makes it an excellent gift.

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Deluxe or Premium – we were impressed with both photo books.
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The Premium version with flat-lying pages makes photos look particularly beautiful!

In the Premium version, the images are printed on real 340 g/m2 photo paper, rather than on standard paper. It is available in A4, A3 landscape and 28×28 cm formats. ifolor offers a choice between matt or glossy photo paper. It creates a unique result – the lie-flat inside pages in particular are perfect for photos that spread across both pages.

Conclusion 1: Completely happy

We are impressed with both versions of the product. In the future, we will probably always get a copy of the Premium version for the family library, but most likely choose the Deluxe version for gifts.

Either way, for many years now we have only used the ifolor software to create our photo books and are always completely satisfied with the result. The software is easy to use and offers lots of different options for designing the photo books exactly how we like them. The finished photo books are delivered directly to your home within a few days, the quality is always great and we consider the prices to be very good – especially because you can often benefit from fantastic discounts 🙂

Conclusion 2: A photo book can capture more than just memories

After our son completed this first photo book project almost entirely on his own, we realised that photo books can do much more than just capture memories. Here is what we learnt:

  • A photo book not only captures valuable memories and makes them tangible, it also forces the viewer to slow down, focus and look at things in a different way. We look at photo books differently than photos on a display. More closely. We discover the detail. We enjoy the feel of high-quality paper that glides between our fingers.
  • Photo books have an important social aspect: you take time to look at them with family and friends in order to revisit memories of moments spent together. Photo books also make great gifts and give a lot of pleasure.
  • Creating a photo book is a fantastic project for children and young people, as it encourages the meaningful use of media or creative media skills.
  • Creating a photo book is a great way to turn a digital hobby into a tangible product by yourself, especially for passionate photographers like our son. This not only increases self-efficacy, but is also motivation to keep taking photographs. Prints or even a photo book are the reward for hours of searching for the best subject.

"Only prints (or a photo book) can complete the photographer's craft, making them the second half of photography, the second part of a photo shoot."

Peter McKinnon, photographer  

Our next project

Our planned trip through Namibia this summer should actually have resulted in two new photo books. One that we, as parents, would have made of our experiences as a family. And one with the Big Five and all the other animals that our son would have discovered. Unfortunately, it all came to nothing. Instead, two other photo books are already in the pipeline: our family holiday in Switzerland and – yes, you've guessed it – Swiss wildlife! We are already looking forward to the results!

Rita Angelone und Die Angelones

Rita Angelone and the Angelones family

After part-time study in business economics alongside her work and a career in various management roles, Rita Angelone decided in 2010 to live out her passion for communications and writing through one of Switzerland’s first family blogs. On her blog, the mother of two paints a picture of her day-to-day life. The leading roles are played by her two boys and her husband, meaning the blog is actually a joint effort undertaken by the entire family.

Blog: www.dieangelones.ch
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