Monday, March 14, 2011

Mommy and Me Monday - Our Fall Vacation

I posted a few photographs from our trip up North back in the Fall, but not very many. Instead I was busy putting together a book with 200+ photos in it. Oh what FUN that was! I used a combination of cell phone and DSLR shots to tell the story of our four glorious days in and around Duluth. I make a living designing books for other people so it was a real treat to make one using my own photos! (the four arrow icon in the lower right will allow you to view the book full screen)

Did you make it all the way through to the end? If you did you'll know why this book is extra special to our family! I managed to get myself in a few photos thanks to PapaBear and Sam's willingness to take over camera duties every once in a while.

Today's Mommy and Me Monday selection is from our last night when we stayed in a camper cabin in one of our favorite parks - Jay Cooke. We had the park almost to ourselves - something you can't say in the summer months, but in late October? Q.U.I.E.T!

The first two nights we stayed at the Edgewater Hotel and Waterpark and stored our perishables in the mini fridge. On Wednesday when it was time to say goodbye to our suite and hello to nature, we had our hotdogs, beans, S'mores, granola, hot chocolate, and gorp all ready to go. It was chilly that night with a few raindrops, but we were snug and warm in our heated cabin after dinner!

We don't get to take very many vacations because we are tied to the park much of the time so we had high expectations for this trip - it didn't disappoint!

Head on over to Krystyn's blog for more Mommy and Me moments!

Mommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?
Hosted by Krystyn at Really, Are You Serious?

And because I love book design and are a 10 tips on how to make your next family vacation book the best it can be!

1) take detail shots as well as wide sweeping shots. This is key to telling your story. Example in our book - the pages about the waterpark and our night in the camper cabin.

2) use the information your camera stores to look up the time you did things if you want to include those details in your book (came in handy when we were up before sunrise to watch the ship come into the harbor)

3) Even though the scene might not be 'picture perfect' take the photo anyway! When you piece your book together it's more about telling the story than only having beautiful photographs. Photos that are darker than you'd want or aren't 'picture perfect' can be put in a storyboard layout rather than a large 5x7 or 8x10 spread. (for example: the pictures of our food at Perkins)

4) You don't need captions for every picture - summarize the activity either under the photo or better yet, write on top of a photo that has a 'blank space' for writing

5) Don't forget to take pictures of isn't always about the destination, sometimes the story is in the journey to get there! (what did the kids do in the car to keep busy, did they fall asleep? Take a picture of the GPS or better yet the road map!)

6) If you are the one who usually takes the photos - change it up! Let your children take a few and don't be shy about asking a stranger to take some of your whole family! One trick I use is to walk up to a mom who's about to take a photo of her husband and kids and ask her if she'd like me to take the photo so she could be in it. Once you've returned their camera sometimes the mom will offer on her own to take one for your family or it's never been an issue if I ask her to take one of us. Be sure to tell them it's OK to snap away so you have a few to choose from!

7) Turn your camera from time to time. If you are prone to taking all vertical or all horizontal photos, you won't have as much flexibility when designing your book.

8) If you've followed the first 7 tips you should have lots to work with when it comes time to design your DIVE IN! With digital bookmaking it's easy to change things around. Just start plugging photos in and before you know it you'll have a great first draft! Mix the close up shots with the story shots, add a few words when necessary and you are well on your way to having a beautiful book your family will treasure forever!

9) Chose a photo for the cover (and if you have the option, the back cover as well), include the date either on the cover or on the title page inside. I prefer scenery shots for covers - family photos can be enlarged inside, but my preference is for a beautiful landscape or a close up of something instead of people on the cover.

10) Spell check your book and have someone else read through it as well. I missed a mistake in our book because I knew what it was suppose to say and that's what my brain saw.

It goes without saying that you want to enjoy your vacation and not have to worry about documenting every last moment. BE in the moment as much as you can! I take a bunch of photos when we first arrive to get my detail shots and then I put my DSLR down. We spent two days at the waterpark, but I only took pictures on the first day and spread them out between both days in the book. I try not to ask my kids to look at the camera any more than I 'need' to. Documentary style is much more relaxed, but when my kids get in the mood to be in front of the camera and ask me to take their picture - I rarely turn them down!

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  1. Im sure you had fun taking photos of nature

    I love your header.

    Hope you can visit My M&M Entry

  2. Darn! I could only see two pages of pictures. the rest were blank. Must of have been my computer. Oh well. neat concept!

  3. Wow. What a great trip. So glad you were in it.

    And, thanks for the reminder that I have a photo book to do by the end of the month!


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