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  • shannanmanton

USA2017 Travel Book

I finally have this book in my hands and I love it so much. We travelled to the USA in September/October 2017 for a month. Las Vegas, New York, Orlando, New Orleans and Honolulu.

For some of the time we were with friends and family, other places it was just the four of us. We had an amazing time and loved every minute. Of course we took thousands of photos (almost 5,000!)

On our first day home, I dowloaded all of our photos to my computer because I had a fear of losing my iPhone (even though I had backed some of them up to Dropbox while traveling). Photos from my phone, my husband's phone and our DSLR. The next day, I started a photobook.

I finally finished it one year and one month later. A marathon not a sprint. Travel books are wonderful but they are time consuming. Because we visited so many cities/states, I tried to work on each in a block then have a break for a few weeks/months before moving on to the next. Facing all those photos is daunting.

I had made a similar book back in 2014 when my husband and I visited New York, Las Vegas and LA so I already had a design plan and templates ready to go.

My idea of a travel book is very different to my everyday scrapbooking - very photo-heavy, a few captions/titles and not much journaling. I am all for telling the longer, more in-depth stories of our adventures, so I have also made (and will continue to make) regular scrapbook pages for our everyday 6x8 album about our trip. If I end up with enough of those, they will will go into their own binder.

I made a title page for each day which listed the date and where we went or what we did and used a map of that city as the background. The photo pages are very minimal with just a few different templates that I made mixed up throughout the book. Choosing photos is the thing that takes the most time.

I made my pages in Photoshop Elements at 8x10 size - knowing that I wanted to print a Blurb book that size (as I have done previously). That way, I could just set my Blurb book's template as full page photos and easily drag my fully-finished pages in. I also named the layouts by number as I worked so they would come into Blurb in the correct order.

While working, I used the Harry Potter moleskine that I took on the trip and wrote in every night just to remind me of dates and activities. As I reached the end of the book, I thought it was a waste not to use my notes somewhere so I decided to make a journaling page for every day and transcribed my nightly notes. These would have messed up my photobook design so I put them at the end with their own title page and I'm glad they are in there now.

As I built the book in Blurb, I realised that I had way too many pages for the premium paper I had used previously so I made peace with a cheaper paper to have just one book rather than split it up. I am OK with that. I can tell the paper is lower quality than my last book but it is fine and I am glad I kept it to one book.

On the last week of November I promised myself that I would get this book finished and uploaded to Blurb by the end of the weekend. There was even a Black Friday coupon code for half off that weekend by coincidence. I did have trouble uploading (I think my computer's energy saving and sleep settings were interrupting such a long upload (almost 400 pages) but it finally worked and now we have this book to look through. Planning to wrap it up and put it under the tree for Christmas day.

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