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Friday, January 26, 2007

Trade Tricks: Family Snapshot

Create a custom book to capture a slice of your child's early years

TT: Family Snapshot

Unpacking some old boxes in storage, I stumbled on a relic from my childhood: a book by Dr. Seuss entitled My Book About Me. It's intended for young children and attempts to capture all of the little details of the child's daily life. The book lets the child be coauthor, filling in details from his or her height and weight to the number of steps to the nearest mailbox and all kinds of other facts and trivia. I was happy that my parents had helped me make this record, and it was a blast learning that when I was five, I wanted to grow up to be either a fireman or a magician. I guess editor falls somewhere in between.

Enjoying a browse through the book, it occurred to me that this is something any of us can do for our families—made even better with our own images. As the photo enthusiast in the house, you can create such a book for your child or grandchild. Considering the ease of use of digital cameras, you might involve the child in taking the photographs.

The idea is to create a "snapshot" of the child's life. What are his or her favorite foods? What pets are in the home? Who are the family members and friends who play important roles? Inspire the child to think about what he or she wants to include in the book, too.

After amassing your photos, you're ready to start creating your book. Alternatively, software like Apple's iPhoto (www.apple.com) or the free download of BookMaker from MyPublisher.com allow you to create custom books with templates that you can personalize, then you can have those books printed and bound for an affordable price. AsukaBook.com offers Photoshop-ready templates if you prefer to use your own imaging software to design the layouts. For a total online solution that uses web-based templates, check out the Illuma Memory Books at www.apollo-imagizing.com.


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