June’s First Year

May 17, 2011

I’m working with Shutterfly to make a photobook of June’s First Year. Would you like a peek?

I’m really pleased with how it’s turning out. I decided to go with a cloth, hardbound cover in brown linen and I’m keeping the backgrounds plain and white — which maybe is boring, but totally appeals to the graphic designer part of me. Simple, clean, lots of white space.

The trickiest part is definitely deciding which photos to use! I’m planning to show photos from birth through her first birthday party. I want to make sure I include a few shots of all the kids together. And a few photos of just June + Dad and June + Mom. Do you think I should include a photo of me in labor? Is that weird?

Have you ever made a photo book before? What would you include in a photo record of your baby’s first year?


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{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Connie May 17, 2011 at 9:46 am

I LOVE making photobooks. I’ve made them as gifts for other folks (from birthday parties, documentation of get-togethers, etc.), and the most in-depth one I made was one from our wedding-weekend. The formal album we made with our photographer is beautiful, but the photo book captures those moments that she wasn’t around for. So looking through both hers and mine really makes that memory come back to life. (But isn’t that the beauty of the photo book?)
Shutterfly really is the most personalized program I’ve found to make them-not to mention how gorgeous the quality of their books are! They’re a little expensive, but if you wait for a coupon code, that helps a lot.
June’s adorable, so it should be really tough to pick images that ‘make the cut’!


2 NolaLeBlanc May 17, 2011 at 10:48 am

I love making Shutterfly books! I have found that they have the easiest sight to use. The best part is that I can order multiple copies of each book, so that later in life each of my children will have our family memories instead of having to be divided up like traditional scrapbooks. I make at least 3 or 4 books a year for specific vacations, holidays, or birthdays. I am eventually going to make a book to cover snipets from the entire year. I just cannot say enough about how much my family enjoys these books.


3 Jessie rivers May 17, 2011 at 10:52 am

I’ve made a couple of books with shutter fly! I agree with keeping it simple, it looks timeless. With my son’s book, i added a few quotes from Brian andreas’s the story people.


4 Ari May 17, 2011 at 11:14 am

I use shutterfly to make photo books all the time. They make great gifts and the best way to build memories. I have been working on these for my son who is now 3, one for every year. I also have 2 printed of each book: one for me and one to give him when he gets older and has his own family.
June is adorable.


5 Rachel May 17, 2011 at 11:17 am

I made a photo book for my baby’s first year on another photosharing website (won’t mention it so as not to take the glory away from Shutterfly–and it is deserved).
I actually did this project as the year went on. After the initial photo layouts of the newborn Vivi, I sent up a pattern for the book. I had one page that was a super cute pic from the “One month old” “Two months old” pile, and on that page I included a few pieces of info (weight, height, first er visit, you know), and on the facing page I put a 12 or 16 pic grid of some highlights (including the siblings, etc). The result was still a pretty long book, but it’s adorable–just like my girl.


6 Emily Camp May 17, 2011 at 11:19 am

My son is only three months and I’m already thinking about his 1 year photo book (that’s the graphic designer in ME) and it is sure to have tons of white space as well! I’ve decided that I want to create a photo book of each year (or maybe every couple of years) of my child’s life since I’m not really fond of scrap booking (we’ll see if I actually pull it off).


7 Tina May 17, 2011 at 11:27 am

I make a shutterfly book for the tot’s grandparents as their Christmas gift every year. They love it. I also make one for him that is a memory book for the year. I use the photo cover opening for his yearly “papa’s shirt photo”. (Every year on his birthday he takes a picture in one of my husband’s dress shirts). I figure he will love his little collection as an adult.
I can’t believe baby June is turning 1!


8 Kristina Doss May 17, 2011 at 11:45 am

Beautiful! I keep telling myself that I should make a photo book of my daughter’s first year, but never seem to have time. How long is it taking you to put the photo book of June together?


9 Erin May 17, 2011 at 11:47 am

I would have to vote no for the labor picture if it shows you in pain! It’s an important step in the process of June’s arrival and definitely worth saving and showing her later, but it’s uncomfortable to look at pictures of people suffering and I don’t know if it would go with the overall celebratory theme of the book. However, if it’s a happy, early stage of labor picture, I think that would be fine.

I guess it depends on what feelings you’re trying to evoke from the book, though. Is it more of a real-life documentary(in which it might be interesting to show the juxtaposition of you in the agony of labor along with you smiling, full of joy, and holding your brand new baby)? Or is it more like a feel-good movie that will make you smile or laugh at each page?


10 Melissa May 17, 2011 at 11:57 am

We do a Shutterfly calendar every Christmas for my parents. The past years’ calendars sit right next to our photo albums, and are such a sweet keepsake. We started with just one grandbaby and have quickly moved up to four!


11 Michelle May 17, 2011 at 12:20 pm

I made a MyPublisher photobook for my Lily’s 1st birthday in February. She’s my first, so I included belly shots of my pregnancy and pictures of her hospital bracelet, footprints, and crib card. I did not have my husband or any one else take labor photos of me though, so I don’t have any of those. I am not sure I would have wanted to see what I looked like then. : /


12 katie May 17, 2011 at 12:53 pm

Right now I’m working on my fourth photobook. I give one to my husband every year for our anniversary. We’ve been married 4 years, so our entire married life is pretty decently captured.

They turn out so amazing that we keep them on the coffee table for friends to flip through when the come to visit.

They are so precious to me that when our house was robbed last month they were the first thing I rush to make sure were ok.


13 Amanda May 17, 2011 at 1:13 pm

I made a first year book for my daughter. I started it in November (her first b-day was 12/24/09) and I didn’t finish it until February. I had so many photographs – the book ended up being about 200 pages but I also included stories from the first year in with the photographs.

I gave each set of grandparents a copy for Christmas (they got it late, obviously) and while I wanted to make her one for each year through 18 I’m not sure that given the time it took me to edit, design and layout the book that I could do that AND keep up with freelance AND keep up with a new baby (to arrive 11/11!) So I think that maybe I’ll do first year books for our babies and then do larger family books each year for all other photos.


14 Michelle May 17, 2011 at 1:20 pm

If you don’t think it’s weird to put in a labor picture, then don’t worry about what other people think! I love photobooks. They always turn out bigger than i planned because I have a hard time selecting pictures. It will be a fun memory for you and June.


15 MikeyAngel May 17, 2011 at 1:55 pm

My daughter was born in September 10 and I made one on New Year’s Day. I plan to make one for every calendar year. I did include one pic of me pregnant (at the end) because I think kids like seeing what mom looked like all big and huge. :) Definitely a personal call there.


16 rachel May 17, 2011 at 2:00 pm

i make an annual photobook every august for our anniversary :) instead of a scrapbook! so much easier.


17 Alysa May 17, 2011 at 3:23 pm

I don’t think a labor photo is strange at all if you feel it belongs. Bringing babies into this world is a beautiful thing :) (That said, I’m pretty sure no pics of my 48-hour labor will be making it into my daughter’s book!)

I have my photos stored on Picasa. Any thoughts on Picasa vs. other services for ease of using Shutterfly, posting onto blogs, etc?


18 Maddy May 17, 2011 at 3:46 pm

I just started doing yearly books for my 2 kids. My daughter loved it (she’s 2). And I loved it too, the hard part is narrowing it down! I used iphoto for hers, it was the most convenient and easy form our mac. For my son whose turning 1 next month I’m trying shutterfly. They have a few more design options. We’ll see which one I like better! I am putting a big belly pic in, I don’t have a labor pic…


19 Elise May 17, 2011 at 3:49 pm

I like making small books (8×8) every few months and I already have quite the little library of them. Shutterfly has been great for me.


20 Heather May 17, 2011 at 4:32 pm

I think a labor pic is ok if you want to cover birth to 1 year. I love your choice of the brown linen and white space. My first book from shutterfly covering my son’s first year is full of those cheesey graphic pages of “baby blues” patterns. I am so glad that shutterfly has clean designs now to choose from. I will be making a book from shutterfly to cover my daughter’s first year! (sniff)


21 Catherine May 17, 2011 at 6:16 pm

What a great idea! I have so many photos of my son (mostly on my laptop), and this would be a lovely way to display the most meaningful shots.

Now, I just need to get organizes and move forward with this idea.


22 Jessica May 17, 2011 at 6:33 pm

Yes! I made a big book for my son’s first year. It was 100 pages and just so worth every penny. I too used Shutterfly. I was and am so happy with it.

Here is a link to the book. Hope it works! http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=9AZMmLZq2bsoa


23 Rossana May 20, 2011 at 10:50 am

I just looked through your book for inspiration and I am in awe. It is so absolutely well done. Bravo and fantastic job!



24 Ann May 17, 2011 at 6:34 pm

I make a lot of photobooks. I usually do the 4×6 softcover snapbooks that Shutterfly offers and my boys love looking at them all the time. I use them to thank people after a visit or a trip so I order a copy for us and a copy for the hosts/usually Grandparents. I did a Father’s Day book for my husband that was hardcover that we all cherish. I need to find some way to store the snapbooks though because my boys never put them back neatly. I should take a picture of our shelf for you. It is a mess of snapbooks!


25 Jan @ Family Bites May 17, 2011 at 6:36 pm

I make photo books through iphoto, and I adore them. I make one for each year, and fill it with our family photos and then I also make one for each family vacation we take. My husband and I went to Paris three years ago for our first “alone” trip ever and our photos are now a lovely coffee table book.


26 Gaby May 17, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Actually I’m working on one for my baby too! I’ll be visiting his grandparents soon so I decided to make one album for each (and one for us!) I’ve been doing it on my Mac, using iPhoto, really cool.


27 jessicamaylords May 17, 2011 at 7:01 pm

I LOVE Shutterfly books. I’ve made a number of them for myself and my husband. This past Christmas I had a coupon code for Snapfish and I made my folks a book using their service… and I was SO disappointed. It wasn’t nearly as great as Shutterfly. LOVE them.


28 jessicamaylords May 17, 2011 at 7:03 pm

Oh, and I think a tasteful labor photo would be awesome. Just don’t put it as the album cover :-)


29 Julie May 17, 2011 at 7:11 pm

I started making Shutterfly books as holiday gifts for the grandparents the year I had my second baby. The grandparents don’t really want any THING, so the books are perfect. We also keep a copy for ourselves, of course, and they get read all the time. We now have four kids, and it’s so great to have a record of what we did each year.


30 Shelley (EvenAndy) May 17, 2011 at 7:13 pm

I want to do a photo book for my 2 to highlight their first year. I need to look into Shutterfly. Your pictures are looking great so far.


31 robyn May 17, 2011 at 7:25 pm

I took photos of my son every month for his first year (all with him wearing a white onesie and sitting in the same chair) with the intent of making a book like this, but I never got around to it.


32 Jen May 17, 2011 at 7:33 pm

I did this for my now 11 yo and 7 yo, but it was well-planned in advance. I called it a “weeks” book — as in week by week development. It happens they were both born on a Tuesday, so I took photos of every Tuesday for a year, plus one each at 3 months, 6 months, 9 months and on the first birthday. We really treasure these photo collections; I wish I’d thought/known to do this for my now 15 yo.

Oh, and although I had good experiences with Shutterfly, I now am loyal to Blurb for all our family photo books (I make them after our yearly vacations — hardcover or imagewrap for the coffee table, three paperback for the kids’ treasure boxes).


33 Anne Evans May 17, 2011 at 7:34 pm

I love the books too. I have done one of my first son’s birthday, he and his sister love looking at that. I’m going to do her first birthday too. I did one of both of them when she was born. And I made some as gifts. They are great! And I don’t feel awful if they get well-read (meaning torn) because they aren’t my real scrapbooks.


34 Momma Finally May 17, 2011 at 7:56 pm

This is such a nice idea. I will surely make one too when my baby turns 1 :)


35 emily May 17, 2011 at 8:09 pm

I’d leave the labor one out but I think you should put some of the maternity shots you had done.


36 Christy May 17, 2011 at 8:23 pm

I adore Shutterfly! I made a book for my 5th child, Ella, several days after her birth. I found a coupon online and simple loved making it. I feel like she is my last…so I included pictures of everyone who visited me at the hospital and held her…family and friends. I dedicated it to her and look back through it now and then, especially since she turned one in January.

I wish I had would have thought about doing this with Ella on her first birthday… since it was quite chilly in January, I had a craft station, where everyone, children and adults, painted or colored a 12×12 sheet that went in a scrapbook of her 1st birthday.

I have never thought of making one of these for my other children on their birthdays, which is a brillant idea… especially my oldest (13)…it could show pictures of her as she has grown and changed.

Your blog is always a breath of fresh air and gets my creative juices flowing! Thanks for sharing June’s book.



37 Alexis May 17, 2011 at 8:34 pm

I love the clean white! Also, you should totally include some labor photos. One day it will be a great conversation topic. My kid loves to look at his baby book and point to my pregnant belly pictures and say “me!”


38 julia @ Simpletruths May 17, 2011 at 8:35 pm

I love photo books but I haven’t made one in so long. Now that little Miss was born, photo books might will make great presents this year.


39 Julie May 17, 2011 at 8:40 pm

If I remember correctly, your labor pictures were beautiful. I would include one or more.

I made a book with the candid shots from our wedding weekend. Now, I make one for each year of our daughter’s life and always order two copies – one for us and one for our her. I include most of the best photos from the year, even though it makes the book around 80 pages. Now that we have a new baby, I will do the same for her. Other than photos that we print for frames, the only printed pictures we really have these days are the ones in the books. Now that we have a new baby, I will do the same for her.

If you’re looking to make the book using a graphic design program and have it printed by Shutterfly, consider checking out Kelle Hampton’s blog (Enjoying the Small Things). I think that’s how she does her daughters’ books.


40 Shelley May 17, 2011 at 9:05 pm

If you love your birthing pictures (or immediately thereafter) definitely include them. I did a book for my daughter’s first year that started with shots of my increasingly large belly, sonogram, etc.

Enjoy! It’s a wonderful project. I’ve been making a family album each year (through Blurb.com) with all of the best photos of all of us (though they tend to be mostly of my daughter at this point). It’s great to be able to order multiple copies for family and for her.


41 Michelle May 17, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Photobooks make the best gifts. This is priceless, June is such a darling baby.


42 Astrid May 17, 2011 at 10:01 pm

How funny! I’m just deciding which photos to put in my daughter Tilly’s one year shutterfly book! It’s hard. I struggle with deciding between squeezing four smallish shots onto a page, or doing one single fabulous one. We have a lovely tradition of taking one photo a week, on Tilly Tuesdays, and putting them all into a separate hand-bound book, so that relieves the pressure of the shutterfly book a little. Main events, smiling photos, and any taken with my Mum’s 50mm are the prime candidates!


43 Design Mom May 18, 2011 at 9:12 am

So true! Deciding on pictures is the hardest part. : )


44 the emily May 17, 2011 at 10:11 pm

I’m the youngest of 6 and I would LOVE something like this, especially a picture of my mom in labor. There are only 1 or 2 pictures of me as a baby at all but an entire book? Good for you. I would love to see the finished product.


45 Design Mom May 18, 2011 at 9:11 am

I will definitely share the finished book!


46 Heidi May 17, 2011 at 10:26 pm

My daughter sucks her fingers just like June, with one finger (down, now, that she’s older) out. SO CUTE! I think a photobook is a great idea, and if you don’t include a labor picture, at least one of your lovely pregnancy photos.


47 Dariela May 18, 2011 at 12:21 am

I made one for my MIL once and it was great. They always take longer than I think to decide which pictures, what arrangement, and now with a custom path I see myself deciding for hours and hours! I like the clean you are choosing, I wish i could do that, but I instantly feel it’s too white. I think that when I make one I will do clean spaces but add vibrant colors, I think I can’t do without bold colors somewhere when designing!


48 Design Mom May 18, 2011 at 9:08 am

Me too! They take longer than I expect. I think it’s the perfectionist in me. : )


49 gina vide May 18, 2011 at 4:27 am

As a mother, I love to see how you seem to encourage your children towards showing their own voices and expressing their uniqueness — finding this within: a quality for life. I love the book; “favorite things” is a stand out. (Of course , the baby-June keepsake will always be a treasure) Living in Sweden and looking out, this is a wonderful quality I see from “home:” recognizing our differences and embracing one’s own uniqueness — as simple as capturing an favorite everyday image.


50 Design Mom May 18, 2011 at 9:06 am

Good thoughts, Gina! I love your advice.


51 CeeBee May 18, 2011 at 5:07 am

I love your labor pics (from June’s birth story). You look serene yet determined in your white tank top with a look of focused calm on your face. If it fits with your narrative, I absolutely think it would be nice to include one or a few. As an aside, I just LOVE what you said to June upon seeing her (“I’ve seen you before!” or something similar to that – based on your other kids). So dear!


52 Design Mom May 18, 2011 at 9:05 am

Thanks for this feedback, CeeBee.


53 Tamara May 18, 2011 at 7:26 am

My stepmother made a Shutterfly photo album for our twins’ first birthday and it’s A-mazing. Love June’s book, too. Such a sweet pea:)


54 cheryl burchett May 18, 2011 at 9:37 am

My daughter’s first year scrapbook starts with a page of pictures of me in various stages of being pregnant (including one of me taken on what I know was the night I conceived) so no I don’t think a labor picture is weird. I have a whole spread on baby showers and then on labor (we did it natural and I want her to know why that was important to me.) I have made several photobooks and LOVE that I am not having to glue images to pages and then deal with them coming unglued at some point! PS. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that baby June is holding up exactly ONE finger in the cover photo!!! I know it wasn’t posed or anything but I am sure you noticed! Subtle perfection!


55 Jodi May 18, 2011 at 10:13 am

I keep my digital photos organized by month so when it came time to create Avery’s first year book I made sure that I included photos from throughout the year to show how much she had really grown. I wanted a bright primary color and when with an intense red linen for the cover.

Have fun!


56 Design Mom May 18, 2011 at 1:10 pm

A red cover sounds gorgeous, Jodi!


57 Charlotte May 18, 2011 at 1:20 pm

My son Gijs is only six weeks old and we have already taken over 500 photographs…! We always said we would never become so obsessed with making photos once we became parents but somehow it got completely out of hand ;)
I think it will be very hard to select photos to put in his first photobook


58 bdaiss May 18, 2011 at 3:17 pm

I love photobooks. I really ought to make more. But for right now I rely on my mom for detailed scrapbook pages (which she loves to make) and I’m up to my eyeballs in Becky Higgins Project Life. I love it, but I also put a ton of time into it. I thought my process would get more streamlined, but so far it hasn’t!


59 heather May 18, 2011 at 3:45 pm

I’ve been making a Shutterfly 8×8 book for each month of my son’s first year. There are always promo codes for those size books, and that way I don’t feel as limited when deciding which pictures to use. But I’ll probably start doing one big book for each year after this.

FYI, you can use Pampers Gifts to Grow codes for free Shutterfly books, and I’ve also occasionally seen them through Groupon or when you leave travel reviews on Trip Advisor.


60 Design Mom May 19, 2011 at 1:40 am

Thanks for the discount info, Heather! Always good to know.


61 Randi May 18, 2011 at 5:05 pm

During my twins’ first year, I did a scrapbook layout of their favorite things – lovies, special toys, favorite books – and I love looking back at that. It’s so fun to remember what played a big role in their lives.


62 Bri (like the cheese) May 19, 2011 at 8:19 am

Well, she didn’t just appear out of nowhere! A tasteful labor photo is entirely appropriate.


63 kim May 20, 2011 at 6:57 am

good gracious that cover picture – ridiculously CUTE!!! love this idea. thanks for the reminder that shutterfly albums can look beautiful and not cheesy. labor picture? go for it!


64 Robyn P. May 24, 2011 at 12:16 pm

I love making photo books too. I like the plain white. It feels more professional to me. I always include a 4 generation whimsical family tree that includes brothers and sisters names in each of my kids’ baby books. We also have put in a tiny bit of family history such as who mom and dad are along with wedding photos–It adds a sense of where they came from. The kids love looking at those parts of their baby books too.


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