I’m Kristina - freelance graphic designer, backyard farmer, cookbook reader, project starter, and new mom to a gorgeous little boy.

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December 5, 2013

Tis the season for photo albums and holiday cards

I am usually about two weeks away from dealing with holiday cards at this point in the year. Which means our greetings normally arrive in their intended mailboxes around the second week of January. It’s kind of a problem.

But this year I was determined to plan like a normal person would, and while I was at it, get the family photo albums situation under control. I did it, you guys. Cards are nearly addressed and stamped, photo books have already been designed and delivered. It’s an incredible relief, I have to tell you.

I decided to use Pinhole Press this year because 1) I’ve used them before for various gift projects and 2) their options are simple.

Customization is nice and all but do you know what? Sometimes it just creates more work for me. As a designer I toil over every decision and I’m rarely happy with how things turn out. So this year I shut off the creative direction and just let someone else make those choices for me. I have plenty of decisions to make every day as it is.

Their photo books are gorgeous and somehow managed to make even my own photos of the kids look nearly professional. I’ve so far made one that covers the last 18 months as a family of four (from Forrest’s birth to now) and one of just the photo shoot we did with Jamie last March. We have all of these beautiful family photos from various photo sessions and they’re mostly doomed to life on a DVD in my desk drawer. I’ve started making books of each and it’s really making me feel kind of awesome.

Nevermind that I haven’t started Forrest’s baby book and Dashiell’s is still missing all the milestones. That’s my project after Christmas. Swear!

This next year I have a new plan for keeping photos organized and ready for a book at the end of each year. I can’t take credit for the idea, but I thought I should really share it with all of you busy mamas too.

Each time you dump photos off your camera, do a quick sweep through the roll and pull selects right then and there into a folder for the year. Genius!

That way in December I’m hoping to have all of my favorites from the year ready for a final edit before I make our book. Which I’m totally addicted to, BTW. Making photo books, I mean. I still look at our family albums on occasion when I visit my parents’ house and I want to have those memories ready for my kids when they’re older too.

Just make yours tonight. You won’t be sorry. You can even use the code 100layer to take 20% off your holiday card order!

Doesn’t it already kind of feel like Christmas is here? Eeee!


  1. alison said on December 5, 2013

    totally inspired on that photo book front. i’m so behind, it’s making me crazy. THANK YOU!

  2. Meg said on December 5, 2013

    Better: put them in monthly files. I’m doing that now, and it makes it SO much better, because it keeps things pretty in order. Next year… whatever. Resolutions.

  3. Kristy said on December 6, 2013

    I blog frequently and I seriously appreciate your information.

    This great article has truly peaked my interest. I will take a note of
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  4. allison said on December 9, 2013

    love this idea! i need to take your advise and just let go when trying to design a photo book. i’m a designer as well and i feel like the task of putting one together is always too time consuming. i love the look of this! simple and perfect! did you use the Panoramic Photo Book or the Signature book from Pinhole?

  5. Plum Pretty Sugar said on December 10, 2013

    These are gorgeous ways to capture and organize photos, thank you for sharing these beauties!


  6. Sandy said on December 11, 2013

    Beautiful cards and books (and family!).

    I really appreciate your point about letting go of the customization. I have 3 books to make and I am so overwhelmed by the size of the task that I keep procrastinating (which of course, only makes the problem worse!). This approach is refreshing and I feel inspired to start working on them again!

    Can I ask what size of books you made? Have you made them with other suppliers (such as Shutterfly or Blurb) and how does the quality of Pinhole Press compare? Thanks a bunch.

    Love your blog :)

  7. Kristina said on December 11, 2013

    @Allison and @Sandy – I made one Signature book and one Panoramic book. It seemed like the panoramic was going to be much smaller, based on the dimensions, but it’s really not and I actually ended up liking it better. The binding allows the book to lay flat when it’s open, which is nice. And you can choose the layout of each page to fit the photos you want to use. The layout for all pages on the signature book is fixed, which I found a teeny bit annoying since I was trying to order the photos chronologically through the year.

    As for quality, I think it’s really nice. I’ve never made a Blurb or Shutterfly book, but I’ve seen them and this one does feel a little nicer. Maybe I’m biased. ;)

  8. Sandy said on December 11, 2013

    Appreciate the quick reply! Thank you and Happy Holidays!

  9. lindsey [ourhomegrownspud] said on December 14, 2013

    wow… those are beautiful! I am always looking for a simple photo book that is high quality with out all the extra shit…to really let your photos shine…and yours looks phenomenal. You have motivated me to make one, asap! I should have done it for Cora before Henry came along… but alas I thought I was too busy with one kid? Hilarious.

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