A Year in Photos

My daughter turns two next month so I figured it was high time to finish her first year photo book. I hadn’t been putting it off exactly; it was just an enormous project. Mammoth. I started months ago and it quickly expanded to fill every second of my available time, not to mention a whole lot of my unavailable time. I haven’t pulled so many all-nighters since college.

My husband was deployed when our daughter was born and didn’t come home until she was nearly 10 months old. I hated that he was missing out on those early days so I sent him daily photos and email updates.

I didn’t set out to take a photo a day. It started with the flurry of photos in those first few days—in the hospital, leaving the hospital, in the car, arriving home, etc. I knew how much my husband enjoyed the photos and, after the first week or so, I hated to skip a day. The days grew into weeks, and the weeks into months, and at some point I felt like I couldn’t stop. I didn’t want to stop.

Well, sometimes I wanted to stop. Coming up with new and interesting ways to photograph my baby was always a challenge. On dark, dreary days it was a downright chore. I’ll admit, the day after my husband came home I promptly fell off the wagon. I sometimes went a week or more without breaking out my camera. Yet I found I couldn’t let go, and so, the wagon dragged me around for the last two months of the year.

When I sat down to start this project I had thousands of photos to sort through and 120-some pages of text, all emails to my husband about our daughter. Four hundred and twelve pages later, the book is finished.

I wanted to share a few of my favorite photos and a link to the completed book. I absolutely love it. It was delivered two days too late for my mom’s birthday, but just in time for father’s day.

first year photos
By Cynthia Roelle
Photo book

I used BookSmart by Blurb.com to create this book. Blurb offers free online book making tools that allow you to create your own photo books, as well as bookstore-quality printing and binding. The software is fairly user-friendly, though a little clunky, particularly when you insert and format text lengthier than a caption.

Blurb.com automatically lists a price for any book that is available to be viewed publicly. The pricing is quite reasonable, until you get up to hundreds of pages like I did.

Gaby - June 18, 2012 - 12:44 am

The photos are beautiful! GiGi is so pretty and she has the most expressive and beautiful eyes. Thanks for sharing!

Linda - June 23, 2012 - 6:23 pm

Loved the book! I looked through the whole thing and relived the year of e-mails and your visit to Asheville when we got to see GiGi in person. She is just precious!

Tricia - June 29, 2012 - 3:45 am

Cynthia, how fun to peruse your beautiful captures of GiGi! Though I haven’t yet met her, I now sort of feel as if I have. What a talented mother you are!

Kelly - July 9, 2012 - 6:49 pm

Thanks for sharing your blog with me, Cindy. You are a talented photographer! The book you made of Gigi’s first year is truly special and beautiful!

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