Time seems to pass at light speed these days. Sophie started preschool at the end of August, the girls celebrated their third and first birthdays back in September, and Alice is getting ready to take her first real steps any day now. As we get closer to the holidays and the end of the year, I want to preserve and cherish our family memories and keep them from getting swept away in the daily blur. I’ve been wanting to make an annual family photo book for a while now, so I was thrilled when Mixbook reached out about trying their beautiful new Montage photo books!
Photo books also make beautiful and memorable gifts for the holidays, especially for grandparents and aunts and uncles! We have the hardest time shopping for our parents, and I love the idea of making big annual family photo books each year and gifting a copy to close relatives that are always begging us for more photos of the girls.
Instead of doing a typical family yearbook, I chose to organize our book around the girls’ birthdays. Sophie and Alice’s birthdays are just four days apart, so it made sense to use our book to chronicle Alice’s first year and Sophie’s third year. I just want to stare at these pages forever and sear the images of my girls at this stage into my memory. Our first year with Alice was such a blur; I love looking at photos of her from the very beginning when she was so teeny tiny! I can’t wait to make more books every year and look at the pictures with my girls over and over.
I also wanted to include both professional photos taken during the year along with the candid photos from our phones and Instagram accounts. I loved how easy it was to create our Montage book by uploading photos directly from my computer and importing directly from my Instagram account. Montage also works with Facebook, Dropbox, Smugmug, Amazon, and Flickr. Once I was done uploading my photos (more than 250 of them!), the Montage software artfully arranged the photos into an album. Montage calls the process auto-magical, which is a pretty accurate description. The whole entire process was almost effortless – and I definitely didn’t have to spend hours trying to create the perfect book layout. Montage offers the ability to adjust layouts and swap out particular photos, but the original Montage-generated layout was so good that I barely had to make any changes!
The Montage comes in four lay-flat album sizes ranging from 6×6″ to 12×12″ (we chose the 10×10″ size), each with 20 to 100 matte printed pages, and features a gorgeous leather cover. You can even choose from a bunch of different colors and patterns for the interior pages, although I went with the clean and classic Magazine layout in white for my own Montage. I was impressed by the super fast shipping (only 4 to 6 business days!), but the holiday cut off deadline is coming up pretty soon – so get started now if you want to make your own photo book to give as holiday gifts this year!
Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper, and our family photos are by the lovely ladies of Sweet Root Village