Congratulations to Karen, our Fan of the Month for September! Karen recently created a photo book to commemorate her daughter's first birthday party. Read on to learn more about the inspiration behind her custom chalkboard themed album:
Mixbook: How did you find out about Mixbook? Karen: I've known about Mixbook for a few years now. I think I discovered it shortly after our wedding, and I wanted to put together a photo book to highlight our special day. I came across Mixbook and remember marveling at how easy it was to use, especially because it linked to my Picasa account.
M: What inspired you to start Lily's 1st Birthday Mixbook? K: Lily's first birthday was such a wonderful day for us to remember and cherish. Just like our wedding book, I wanted to put something special together. I asked my long time incredibly talented friend, Joee Wong, to photograph Lily's birthday. He was also the photographer for our wedding! It all came together so incredibly well that I ordered several copies to distribute as gifts.
M: What was the inspiration behind the theme for the birthday party? K: The birthday was really just to celebrate Lily. She is an angel of a baby, and I really wanted it to be sweet like her. I used happy colors like bright pinks and yellows and made sure to include some animals (because she just loves them). I hung pictures of Lily month by month, as well. In lieu of gifts, we received donations to CF Smackdown (a site we started to end CF this decade), because we are raising money for Cystic Fibrosis. Lily was diagnosed with CF at birth from a newborn screening test. It was a shock to us, since neither one of us had any family history. But Lily is perfect, so we wouldn't wish for anything to be different.
M: What was the process like? How did you decide on which layouts to use and how to format the book? K: I really liked the Chalkboard Theme, and it was one of the first ones I noticed. We had a similar theme for her invitations, so it matched well.
M: How long did it take to finish? K: I finished it in one evening – it didn't take very long. I had about 200 photos to choose from – that's what made the process longer.
M: What is your favorite two-page spread in the project? K: Pages 6-7 is a good one. I loved capturing those first moments when she woke up from her nap and the two of us were dressing her in her party dress. Actually, spread 10-11 is even better, because Lily is captured with the people who are closest to her. My mother flew in as a surprise (she flew in from Canada) so I was thrilled about that, and I think Lily was too!
M: Any tips for users? K: Have fun with it! View other people's examples if you need inspiration, and don't be afraid to experiment. Stretch the images to make them larger (if they are high resolution enough). Mix up the layouts to create a more dynamic experience.
M: Anything else you’d like to add? K: These books make amazing gifts. I never get tired of looking through them – they are timeless. I designed one once for someone's wedding and they ended up duplicating about 20 copies to give to family members at Christmas!