Paper and Tech – MPS037

StephCreative, Journeys, Podcast0 Comments

Aubree Larsen is a new mom to a one year old, but has been a longtime documenter. She is also an educator/teacher at heart and thought it would be fun to share her different (from mine) process for documenting her life. Aubree has tried a lot of different methods and processes over the years and found something that truly brings her joy. She has found by sticking with what she loves, she is successful in documenting her story. She is sharing her whole process today from digital photo, to print, to album. She is also sharing how she uses technology along the way to help her achieve the end result; a combination of good old paper and new technology. Last, Aubree is telling all about her budget conscious, money saving techniques.

>>>>> Read Full Transcript Right Here <<<<<

Steph:
Hey, everyone. Welcome to Modern Photo Solutions. I'm Steph Clay and I am being joined today by Aubree Larsen who is a photographer and teacher and educator at heart, I believe, right Aubree? Is that how you would describe yourself?

Aubree :
Yeah, that's a good way to describe me, yeah.

Steph:
Yeah. She's been a long-time listener of all of my podcasts, which I appreciate, and she does her documenting, storytelling, memory keeping differently than I do. So the thing is I'm excited that she asked me and sent me this idea and said, "Hey, this is how I do it. Can I share my process?" I'm really excited for her to share her process with us today from photos all the way through getting it done and even saving money, some ideas there. So Aubree can be found Aublar, right, A-U-B-L-A-R on Instagram. She has some really great projects that she's working on and I'm excited for her to be able to share them some time in the future. Hope you don't mind if I kind of throw that sneak in there.

Aubree :
Sounds good.

Steph:
Thank you for joining me today, Aubree.

Aubree :
Oh, I'm so excited to be here.

Steph:
Okay, so you're just going to jump in and go and start sharing because I can't wait for our listeners to hear what you do and I can't wait to hear what you do. I've seen little bits and pieces of it on Instagram and you talked a little bit about it so I'm excited to hear.

Aubree :
Okay, well, I'll just jump right in then.

Steph:
Yeah, take it away.

Aubree :
For my main documenting, I use Project Life which is the pocket scrap booking system by Becky Higgins. I don't do it the way that a lot of people "do Project Life" where they do like the weekly spreads. I just do whatever I feel like, basically. Just whatever photos fit into that process and so I just thought I could talk today about how I get that documenting done and about how I do incorporate technology even though I'm not doing digital scrap booking or Project Life app, I still use technology to do my physical memory keeping.

Steph:
Yes.

Aubree :
So I think the first step that anybody needs to take is to get their photos organized. Of course, you've talked a lot on your show about Google Photos. I still use Lightroom because I do most of my photography with my DSLR rather than my phone camera and so Lightroom works better for me that way and then I just use Google Photos as like a backup or a reference. So I make sure I get all my photos into the Lightroom and including my phone photos. I'll put those in there as well. Then within Lightroom, I make a collection which would be the same as making a ... it's an album, that's what it's called, right? An album in Google Photos.

Steph:
Yeah.

Aubree :
So I make a collection in Lightroom where I put all the photos that I think that I might want to print. I definitely don't print all my photos. That would be excessive because I take a lot, and I don't have to print everything I put into those albums, I just kind of look through and think, Hm, which pictures tell all the story the best, which are my favorites, which ones are the prettiest, right? And put those into the collection. Then when I have all the photos together I get all my page protectors out, I use quite a variety of different sizes and dimensions for people who don't know the Project Life-

Steph:
The physical.

Aubree :
-Plastic page protectors, yeah. They come in a whole bunch of different dimensions just like the layouts do in the Project Life app and so this is probably the most complicated part of my process, but I look at my photos and try to think what do they have in common. Are there a lot of tall pictures? Should I pick a plastic that has vertical pictures? Do I pick one that has more horizontal? And look through that and then you have to think about front and back which is something you have to consider with the physical memory keeping, and so I'll look and say, "Okay, this is gonna go on the front side and these pictures are gonna go on the back. What do they have in common?" as far as me picking which page protector. Does that make sense?

Steph:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Aubree :
Then what I do, which is I don't know probably silly, but I actually take a notebook and I sketch a really small little thumbnail of what the page protector looks like and put a keyword of what photo goes in that pocket. So if it's of my daughter, her name starts with the letter V so I just write V, I don't write like a lot of details or if it's my whole family I just write us three, just quick little notes so that when I get my photos back from the printer I remember what goes in those pockets.

Steph:
Okay.

Aubree :
So I sketch it all out. A friend of mine, Sydney, has a process that's actually easier and I don't know why I don't just adopt hers, but this is my habit I guess. She just gets the plastics out and puts them right into her album and then uses small sticky notes to just kind of write some notes about what photos go in what pocket. So that I think is probably faster than what I do, so I don't know why I don't switch but that's what I do.

Then I just export all the photos to my desktop and then within the different page protectors there are like, there's four by six pockets and then the smaller pockets which are ... are those two by three?

Steph:
Yes.

Aubree :
Three by-

Steph:
Three by four, sorry.

Aubree :
Three by four, yeah. They're three by four. So I do plan to put photos in those three by four pockets when I'm sketching out my designs or my layouts and so I just take those photos into ... you could use any collage app but since I'm doing it all in my computer I just do it in Photo Shop. So I just take those photos and crop them to a three by four and then put two photos side by side on a four by six canvas and then send them off to the printer and I'll get back one four by six photo that I then cut in half and then it fits perfectly in those pockets.

Steph:
Perfect.

Aubree :
So that's my next step and that is everything that I do to get my photos ready. I try to keep up with this like every month, maybe I'll go two months depending on what's going on, but of course the more often you do it the less time it takes. So it does take a little bit of time to go through and do that, especially if I'm making a lot of collages, but I enjoy doing it so that's all right. Sorry, I have to take a drink really quick.

Steph:
No, you're fine. Yeah, so you told me when we were getting ready to record that you know that this takes you a little bit longer, you're assuming that it might take you a little bit longer than doing the app pages, but there's a reasons that you stick with it.

Aubree :
Yeah, I just love. There's something about ... I was talking to a friend of mine who also does this the other day and she said the same thing, like the app looks awesome and I'm planning on using it to make my daughter's baby book and hopefully one day like a history of my mom's life so that I'll have multiple copies and anyway. But this is just what I love, I love the tangible of getting my photo prints back and holding them in my hand and then like slipping them in the pockets. I just love. I don't know, it's just the best, so.

Steph:
Yeah, and that's one of the things that I always tell people is that you need to do what makes you most happy. I know that trends come and go and people get super excited about the latest and greatest most shiny thing that's out there and it's easy to jump on that bandwagon, I can't talk. The bandwagon and then get frustrated and discouraged and then just stop everything altogether. So that's one of the things that I'm really proud about you is that you know, you've figured it out, what works for you and you're doing it.

Aubree :
Yeah and I've been doing it this way since 2013, the end of the year. So it's been about four years now and I still love it just as much as I did back when I first started. I tried like traditional paper scrap bookings in the early 2000s but I just never found anything more than just printing my photos and putting them in an album and then when I discovered this I just love it so I just do it and I spend the time on it because it's important to me.

Steph:
There you go, perfect. Thank you. Okay, go ahead with your process.

Aubree :
All right, so after I get my photo prints back I put my albums together in the way that Becky Higgins, the creator of Project Life, has taught and she had a creative live class back in 2013 and she taught how to do batch processing and I have found that that works so well for me. So what that is is that you first do all the photos, so I've done two months worth of photos, I sit down, get all my page protectors out, and I put just the photos in without worrying about anything else. So just put all the photos on one page, turn the page, put the photos in, et cetera. That way my brain is in like photo mode, right? And I'm cutting my little collages in half and I'm really focused on that.

Then the next step would be to choose the journaling cards or the decorative cards and then I flip back to the front and then I do all the cards at once, which is actually really helpful because you have just seen the photos and so as I'm going through and looking through my cards for the first page I might see one that I think, "Oh, that's actually gonna go great with out zoo trip that's a few pages away," so I'll set that one aside. Or as I get to page four I might think, "Oh, I like this card better for page one," and then I can flip back and switch it out. So I just choose all the cards at once and then you have that mess out all at once and that's just the mode that my brain is in and it goes a lot faster.

Steph:
Yeah.

Aubree :
I've been fortunate to convert a few friends over the years to doing this and so I'll be able to get together with them and putting in photos and choosing journaling cards is something you can do easily with other people because it doesn't take that much brain power. So it's nice to get together with friends but also get something accomplished and bring something home to my family that benefits them.

Then after the photos are in and the journaling cards are in then it's time to actually do the journaling. For me that is the hardest part, probably, like to get motivated to do it because it's the most time consuming. Over the years I have learned personally just to let it go, if I make a mistake I scribble it out and keep going because done is better than -

Steph:
Than perfect.

Aubree :
Yeah, than wanting it to be perfect and never getting it done.

Steph:
Totally agree.

Aubree :
The great thing about the cards is they're not glued down so you can redo it if you want to or switch it out or whatever but I don't even care anymore. I just get it done. So if I'm doing a couple months at a time it's a little overwhelming to think I have 15 or 20 journaling cards, so I don't usually do that all in one sitting.

What I do is in my planner everyday on my to do list I just write down two journaling cards, and that's like my daily goal. Even if you just do two a day and spend five minutes on it you can get 14 cards done in a week. But I found that when I sit down to do two knowing I only have to do two I think, "Well, I can do a third one." Right? It's really easy, "Oh, I'll just grab a fourth. Well I might as well just do a fifth while I'm sitting here." So I do get them done a lot faster. Occasionally sometimes I really do just do two cards in one day, but my record is 18, I counted once, because I'm like, "Oh, I've been sitting here a long time. How many cards did I do?" So just having that doing a little bit everyday gets it done. You know?

Then my last step is that I do what you've talked about on your show before where I put QR codes in my albums where I link to videos and so I batch process that too. So I just flip through my book and look at which videos I need, go get their links online whether that's from Google Photos or YouTube or some other. I will probably go to your website and get the link for this show and make a QR code and put it in my album, that I was on your show.

Steph:
Yay.

Aubree :
So that's another example of how I can use a QR code. Then I will generate all those, there's a million places to do that. The website that I use, if anyone wants the specific one, I just Googled it, there's probably better ones, but the one that I use is QR-code-generator.com. It's really easy, I just put the QR codes in a pages document on my computer and make them about a half an inch, print that sheet, cut them out, and then just put a little bit of glue stick on the back and glue it to a journaling card or a photo.

Steph:
Perfect.

Aubree :
That's my album.

Steph:
That's perfect.

Aubree :
It's kind of long and maybe overwhelming to somebody who's never done it before, so you could find ways to maybe simplify from there, but I think having a system, whether it's just like mine or one you develop on your own it's going to help you get it done.

Steph:
I totally agree and for someone like me who that does sound overwhelming to me, but I don't love the tangible stuff and so that's why it sounds more overwhelming. A few years ago we did a Project Life Staycation that Becky actually featured on her site where my family over spring break stayed home and we all worked on physical Project Life albums, that was long before the app came out.

Aubree :
I remember that.

Steph:
Yeah, okay. That's exactly how we did, it was this very similar process and we batched everything and it was very, very fast. My daughter got an entire album completed in just a couple of days, really. So it's fast, it's faster than it sounds for sure, so if doing the tangible products is something that you enjoy pr maybe you feel like you've been missing this would be a great way to incorporate it.

Aubree :
Like I said I've got together and done this with a couple different friends over the last few years and so I've watched people do the batching and I've watched them try to do one page at a time and the people who do the batching get more done in less time for sure.

Steph:
Yeah.

Aubree :
It's just the way it is. It just works that way.

Steph:
Yeah, it is.

Aubree :
And I think even if you don't want to do this as your main memory keeping, if you ever want to do a smaller project, like I've done ... So I do like an album per year, just kind of a family album, family scrap book, but I have done a couple of smaller projects. I did a few years ago, I used to teach history in a middle school and I got to go with teachers from this area back East and we went to Boston and Philadelphia and it was just this amazing trip and I had like 800 photos or something from that week, so it needed it's own album and so I just did one of the smaller Project Life albums and I did this exact same process as well except I didn't sketch it out because the pages are a lot smaller. I just spread the photos out over my living room and then stuck them in the page protectors.

The batch processing can work whether it's a big project or a small project or a few spreads at a time. I just think it's really good advice.

Steph:
I totally agree. I do want to make one note about batch processing though, if you're batch processing in the app I've seen lots of people doing that lately and doing lots and lots of pages and getting 50, 100 pages set up in the app ready to go, so they'll put the photos in first and then come back and add cards. What we need to be careful about is that those pages are not backed up anywhere until they're actually exported and you export the editable versions but if something were to happen to your phone there's a real possibility that if you do a restore those pages won't be there.

I know that there are some people that have done a restore and pages ... and I've done it myself, I have gotten a new phone and restored from a backup and my pages all have shown up in there, but unless you have it set up right it doesn't, they don't come back and Becky and the Project Life team it's an unofficial things as far as I know. Maybe they talk about it, I haven't really heard about it that much. I think it's more of an unofficial thing because who wants to be responsible for somebody's data and pages being lost? I wouldn't.

Aubree :
No.

Steph:
So I think you just always you have to be careful and as you're doing it just keep it in mind and know that until those pages are exported that work it's a possibility that it could be lost and maybe do smaller batches, 25 pages at a time, 10, 15 whatever that you can get done in a sitting.

Aubree :
I was wondering about that. I think it sounds kind of hard to do the batch processing electronically because you're like opening and closing. I don't know, because I have not yet started on my projects in which I want to use the app, I've used the app, like I've played in it a lot, but I've never really done my memory keeping in it and I think the batch processing sounds harder.

Steph:
Yeah, I don't know. I don't know that it's ... I think a lot of it depends on you and your style and what you like and what you prefer. I think for some of us that prefer the technology solution it's not that big of a deal to go in and out and close stuff and then find it in that incomplete pages section of the app and pull it in and then do the cards.

Aubree :
Where I use Lightroom and I have to transfer all my photos to add an extra step for, but I don't know. I haven't tried it so I can't really speak.

Steph:
Yeah.

Aubree :
But speaking of technology I do use technology and apps in helping me to do my physical book, if you want me to talk about that.

Steph:
Yes.

Aubree :
Probably the one that I use the most is actually just Instagram, I really like sharing and I like writing details in my captions and so I will purposely write a caption for a photo that I know is what I want to write in my Project Life album, but because I might not be actually writing that caption for a month I might forget the details or have a 16 month old and she just changes so fast that I can't remember always what she was doing for month to month, so I write those captions on my Instagram photos knowing that when I am doing my Project Life album I will go back and just sometimes copy those captions word for word into my album or just add in maybe more personal details that I didn't want to post online. I have found that to be a really helpful because it's easy to post on Instagram in the moment.

Steph:
Yeah, for sure.

Aubree :
If you didn't want to do that publicly you could always just write those things in a different kind of app. Sometimes I use the notes app when I want to add more details of things I don't want to post publicly, but that's been really helpful to just kind of keep track of the journaling details, especially things about the baby where she changes fast and I might forget.

Steph:
For sure.

Aubree :
Another app that I use is actually not available in the app store anymore.

Steph:
Oh no.

Aubree :
But there are similar one. It's a journaling app and it's called Hay Day. But I know you recently talked about journal apps on your [inaudible 00:20:39] so there are lots of other ones like Day One.

Steph:
Yes.

Aubree :
Memento. I can't think of any others.

Steph:
Those are the ones that I like the best for sure. I really like Day One, I know that there's been-

Aubree :
PenZoo, yeah PenZoo is another one of those journaling apps.

Steph:
Okay yeah. We've had one other person I know that's in our Google Photos, the Photo Fabulous finishers Facebook group that loves Hay Day and used it for a long time, but it will be going away with the roll out of iOS 11 because it hasn't been updated to the 64 bit, so she's been looking for a substitution and hasn't found anything that does everything that Hay Day did yet. But-

Aubree :
See, I'm glad to know that because I did whatever the directions were, I think in one of your Facebook groups about how you could look up which apps would be going away.

Steph:
Yes.

Aubree :
That one wasn't listed on mine, so I thought it was okay.

Steph:
Really?

Aubree :
Yeah.

Steph:
Oh. I'm gonna go-

Aubree :
Well, I don't really use it a lot but basically my point is is that what I like about this app is that it automatically tracks your location.

Steph:
Yes.

Aubree :
Do the other ones do that?

Steph:
They don't. They don't automatically do it. With Day One you can go in and you can manually have it add your location and then it has that widget that you can add to your screen, you know where you just swipe to get that widget screen and then just tap and that'll add your location as well to Day One, but it doesn't automatically do it.

Aubree :
Okay.

Steph:
There are some other apps that I tested that do automatically track but I didn't really like any of them as much as I like Day One for journaling.

Aubree :
Okay well then what I'm saying probably isn't even that useful, especially if the app is gone and is going away.

Steph:
I'm looking it up.

Aubree :
Okay. What I use it for I don't ... you could do the journaling thing I talked about with Instagram, but I just like it because I can easily think, "Oh, what was I doing on that day?" And I can go back and look at the day and at least have hints, even if I have no photos, have hints of what I did that day based on where I went or if I want to remember what day I went to a specific place then I can search. So it just gives me information for my journaling, that's all I use it for.

Steph:
So you said Hay Day is not available in the app store anymore, is that what you said?

Aubree :
It wasn't when I looked for it.

Steph:
Because I'm looking and I'm not finding it either and I deleted it a long time ago, a few years ago. So I can't even ... Because sometimes if you go in and you see the last time that it was updated, but if it's not in the app store anymore my bet is that they aren't updating it anymore and it'll probably go away.

Aubree :
All right, well I'll have to find something different. But it's kind of cool because I've had it on my phone for years, so I have just got lots of data in there to help me remember different things for my memory keeping.

Steph:
Yeah, so you need to get all of that exported because if it goes away when you update to iOS 11 it won't be operable anymore.

Aubree :
Yeah, okay well that's good to know. Well, some other apps that are in the app store. Oh go ahead.

Steph:
Most likely they just couldn't make it profitable for them which is a big problem with a lot of apps, unless they move to a subscription or pay as you go or in app purchases there's just not a way to make apps profitable.

Aubree :
Yeah, makes sense. Okay, well the next ones are definitely in the app store because one of them is actually the Project Life app. I mentioned that I like to make collages and Photoshop to do too small photos, but I sometimes do collages when I have a lot of photos of one things but I don't want to take up several pages in my album with those photos or I'll take a ton of pictures of my daughter at once and they're so cute you can't choose between them. You know?

Steph:
Yes.

Aubree :
So I just put all six photos that I love on one four by six collage. So the project life app can make collages really easily. It doesn't have a ton of different layouts but it has some pretty good basic ones and then if I need something that is more photos or more creative layouts the one that I like is Pic Stitch.

Steph:
I like that one too. Yeah, it's my preferred collage.

Aubree :
Yeah it's a great one. When you first go into the app it does look like you have to do square collages, but you can change them to specifics or other different sizes, so I've used that in my memory keeping as well. I go back and forth between how much I embellish in my books. When I first started doing it I really did embellishments on my photos and used the little flair buttons in my albums and stuff and I haven't really been doing a lot of embellishing lately, but when I do the two apps I like to use for that are Rhonna Designs and the Over App, which allow you to place text or art work on top of your photos. Just like, Steph just posted on her Instagram recently how she did ... was it your back to school photos for your kids?

Steph:
Yeah.

Aubree :
With some Rhonna Design art on that and how you can layer that on your photos. So sometimes in my layouts it's hard to make it work, like there's not enough pockets to do a journaling card for every photos, so sometimes I'll just journal on top of the photo. So I can just type the journaling on some empty space in the photo or just put a note just a short phrase on it or use it as sort of a title card for that page, type where we are and what we did on that photo and so those are two great apps to be able to do that to make your photos a little fancier if you would like.

Steph:
I love that look too, the journaling somewhere on the photo.

Aubree :
Yeah, it's cute and there's a lot of different ways to do it but those are two apps that make it really easy to just do on your phone especially for people who don't have Photoshop.

Steph:
Yes.

Aubree :
My current favorite video app to make videos to then make QR codes is the One Second Everyday app.

Steph:
Yeah.

Aubree :
I think you've talked about that on the show before too, but the way that I have been using it so my daughter was born in March of 2016 and so I did a One Second Everyday video everyday of the first year of her life and so I have 365 video clips from her birth day to her first birthday.

Steph:
That is so cool.

Aubree :
It's amazing. It's like the most amazing memory keeping project I've ever done and it's so easy. So that's off topic of doing Project Life, but if scrap booking overwhelms anybody who's listening just make one second everyday videos.

Steph:
Yeah.

Aubree :
Yeah, it's so neat and I-

Steph:
I think you need to send me that so I can post it on the show notes.

Aubree :
I put it on my computer after I was done on the app and put it in iMovie and added some music and made like a custom ... what would you call it? Just at the front of the movie where I made a title that I did some hand lettering and my daughter loves it. We will even turn it on in the car when she's being fussy, when she can't even watch it, and she'll just sit there and listen to the audio because she recognizes that movie.

Steph:
Aww.

Aubree :
It's so fun. So as I was making it every month I would get that month's, like take that out of the app, the chunk of the video and put a QR code in my album so you can watch each month of it throughout the album and then I have the whole video finished at the end. We recently did a weekend, family reunion and I did a One Second Everyday video of that, because it does have a freestyle mode so you don't have to just choose one second from everyday and so I did a ton of different video clips from that family reunion, made a movie that was a minute and a half, was all it was, and sent it to all my family and several people have told me that they really loved it so that was really fun.

Then last December I did one about our Christmas, so I just did one second clips of what we did for Christmas and then I incorporate those into my albums by making the QR codes. So that app is super fun, I had to mention it because I just love it.

Steph:
Yeah.

Aubree :
Then the last one that I'm planning on using that I learned about from you is the Trello app. I don't use that for the system that I'm talking about here today, but I mentioned that I'm going to do my daughter's baby book in the Project Life app, which was my original plan even before she was born, I thought, "I'm gonna do it in the app so that way I can print two copies, one for me and one for her." But I'm gonna wait until she's turned one so I have everything together and we can pick out themes and whatever. Well she turned one and I looked at that and I'm like, "Oh, too overwhelming. Maybe I'm not gonna do it." But then when I learned about the Trello app from you I've been slowly starting to get that organized, where I can put all of the screen shots of texts messages people sent me the day she was born, I'm collecting all of those in the Trello app and just all the-

Steph:
So smart!

Aubree :
Different places that I use, another app that I use ... Well, it's not an app it's a website, it's call Qeepsake and it's spelled with a Q.

Steph:
Yeah.

Aubree :
Q-E-E-P-S-A-K-E, is that right?

Steph:
Why do they do that?

Aubree :
I don't know. That app pretty much, for anyone who doesn't know, it just sends you a text message with a journaling prompt about your children and this one is specifically just for parents and so I have ... I didn't start doing that until she was six months, but I have all of those so I need to collect all that information and put it together and so I'm starting to use Trello to just merge all of that so that everything about her when she was ... her first month is all together from all the different apps that I have used and all the Instagram captions, things from my Project Life album that I made at the time, screen shots of the baby announcement I made, so that that can all be collected together. So yeah, so that's what I'm gonna use Trello for.

Steph:
Perfect, I love all of your ideas and the direction that you're going.

Aubree :
Well it's fun too, because I really do love technology even though I do physical scrap booking still, so I like being able to blend the both of them together.

Steph:
Yeah, in a way that works for you.

Aubree :
Yeah, so it's a little bit of experimenting to find what works for me but I found it so I'm gonna keep going on it as long as it's still working, but not feel like if it ever isn't working one day that I'll be okay to switch.

Steph:
Perfect, that makes me happy. I'm happy to hear that.

Aubree :
I'd rather do that than get behind, like if I ever have something come up in my life where I just really cannot make the time to do this I'm not opposed to making pages in the app, printing them, and sticking them right in the same album. You know?

Steph:
Yeah.

Aubree :
And if I just print them in 12 by 12 they'll fit right in my albums and then I'll switch back and forth to whatever is going to work for me and how my life is, but this is how it's been working for me for the last few years and I've even done this process to do, I don't know if you wanted me to go into this or how we're doing on time, but I did use this to do a big catch up project as well before my baby was born. I could talk about really briefly if you want.

Steph:
Yeah.

Aubree :
So my husband and I have been married since 2007, we just celebrated out 10th anniversary last week, very exciting.

Steph:
Yeah.

Aubree :
So I did make a traditional paper scrap booking wedding scrap book when we got married that sat undone except for like the three little last details I needed to finish that I didn't finish until like 2015. I didn't start doing Project Life until 2013 and I started it in November of 2013 but I went back, I hadn't printed any photos from that year, so I just went back to January and made the whole year at once.

I had always wanted to go backwards and do from 2007 to 2012 so I at least had like our family, our married life all done, and then when I was pregnant in 2015 I thought, "Well, I don't know how much time I'm gonna have now I better get this done before the baby comes." So I was really motivated and so I did go back and do from August 2007 up until the end of 2012 and I did it in just a couple of weeks.

I did already have the photos printed, which helped a lot, but I just kind of was ruthless, I just picked out the most important photos, I actually threw photos in the garbage because I didn't need them all I felt like. I took scissors to them and just cut them so they would fit in the small pockets and of course my journaling cards are not as detailed because it was so long ago I couldn't remember, but I was able to get caught up and do four and a half years of albums in like a really short amount of time just by plowing in and doing what I knew already worked for me.

I just found a photo album that is January 2007 to August 2007 and so now I'm like, "Oh man, I've just gotta put those in my album," so that's my next project I want to add those to the beginning of that 2007 Project album. So anyway, that's how much I love it.

Steph:
Yeah, it's good, really good. You're getting stuff done and that's what's most important. Okay you had some money saving, budget saving ideas or tips too, do you want to share those?

Aubree :
If you think about you've gotta buy albums and if you do ... Some people do more than one album a year, I keep mine into one. The catch up project I just talked about, those I did three years within one album but you have to buy that, you have to buy the plastic page protectors, you have to buy the cards, and you have to pay to print your photos and I was able to teach a little memory keeping class to some women in my class in June and I got that question, like, "How do you afford all of this?"

And like, First of all I didn't buy everything you see at once. But there are definitely way that you can save money on it and the easiest one, probably the one that people are already familiar with, but I'm gonna mention anyway is using coupons at the big box craft stores, so Hobby Lobby and Michael's you can just go on their website and always 100% of the time you can find a 40% off coupon. So just go in and buy just your album for 40% off then go back the next day and buy one thing or take people with you and have your husband and your children do a transaction as well and you can get every item for 40% off.

Steph:
Yeah.

Aubree :
I'm not as familiar with Hobby Lobby's coupons but Michael's coupons, if you sign up for their email list you will get an email literally every single day of the week, which gets tiresome, but they will send coupons that are even better than that so sometimes you can get 50% off coupons or you can stack their coupons, so you can do 40% off one item plus 20% off your entire purchase, so that's really good.

They also put Project Life and there's other brands too of pocket stuff, but they also put that stuff on clearance sometimes so every time I go into a craft store even if I'm not there to look for scrap booking items I always go check just to see if they have things on clearance. I do all my binders, they're all black and white designs and so when I find black and white ones on clearance I'd buy them even if they sit empty for a year and a half until I'm ready to use them.

You can also use those coupons online if you don't have a Hobby Lobby or a Michael's near you but then I think sometimes you have to pay for shipping, but it still saves money even if you had to pay for shipping.

Steph:
Yeah, I think most people have at least one of those. I mean, I guess there are a lot of rural areas that don't have, and I used to live in one of those rural areas, so just don't even pay attention to me right now. I was like 45 minutes from my nearest craft store and I'm sure there are people that are going, "Oh, that would be great. I'm hours!"

Aubree :
But you can use the coupons, so even if the coupon discounts it so that the price of the shipping makes it's still full price you're still saving money.

Steph:
Yeah.

Aubree :
If you don't want to pay for shipping on beckyhiggins.com if you spend at least $35 you get free shipping and they also have a bundle where if you buy the three main things that the plastics, a big core kit of cards, and an album that you get 20% off, so that's not too bad especially if you don't live somewhere where you can go to a store or the stores don't carry all the products so if the things you like are not in that store, they're only on beckyhiggins.com then you can buy that way and save a little bit of money.

Even on the Becky Higgins website they still have sales and clearance items, sometimes on Amazon you can find good deals. Sometimes on Amazon it's ridiculously expensive.

Steph:
Yes.

Aubree :
But then sometimes it's cheaper.

Steph:
Yes.

Aubree :
So you just have to be really careful about that. I have seen people sell partial kits on websites like Etsy or on yard sale type sites where they just use half of a kit and don't want the rest of it so they'll sell that at a discount so you could buy half of the kit of cards. You know, the big core kits come with over 600 cards?

Steph:
Wow.

Aubree :
That's insane, so another way I've saved money on those is I share them with my friends and so we'll go in together and we'll pick out a kit that we like and then we'll each pay for half of it and then you get 300 cards for half the price and if you use the coupon it's 40% off then you're not paying very much at one time, yet you're getting 300 cards, so that's a tip right there to share.

Then I'm guessing that you have some listeners who are local to Utah, so this tip only applies to them, but there is an American Crafts Warehouse sale that happens in Orem, Utah.

Steph:
Yes.

Aubree :
Where they sell products at a discount, it's currently closed right now and when I was there in the spring they said they were closing over the summer and they would be reopening in the fall, but in a new location. I signed up to be on their email list and before we were recording I was searching to see if there was a place I could send people so they could get on the email list, I couldn't find it, but I'll be sure and post it in your Facebook group when it does open again.

Steph:
Okay perfect.

Aubree :
And I'm sure that once it's open it will be easier to find. So the lady who was working there said it would be open again in fall, which I think is what they normally. Then you can get all sorts of different kinds of American Craft products, not just like Project Life, but a really good price there.

Then my last thing would just be about photos, if you want to save money photos first thing if this is something that's really stopping your from printing your photos is the money then maybe print less photos, because it would be better to have some printed I think than none.

Steph:
Yeah.

Aubree :
One lesson I learned from my bit catch up project where I actually threw photos in the garbage is sometimes I'm like, "Why did I even print this photo? Why did I print three photos that are practically the same thing?" Like seven years later that doesn't mean anything to me, so just try and thing what is like the most meaningful photo that is really gonna mean something to me 10 years down the road rather than just printing everything that you like right now.

Steph:
Yeah.

Aubree :
Then you know I'll shop around and see how much the prints are, not every place is equal. Sometimes the stores that you might think are the cheapest are actually the most expensive and the lowest quality so look in your local area. Because I am in Utah I am one of the lucky people to be located pretty close to Persnickety Prints which is an industry favorite and well deserved because they are great.

I live close enough that I'm never gonna pay shipping, but I live just far enough away that it's like unless I have another errand to run down there I'm not sure I want to drive just to pick up my scrap booking photos. So I do print there sometimes and sometimes I just print at Costco. I print all my nice photos as Persnickety, but Persnickety does sales sometimes. They do sales on their four by six photos and then if you're not even ready to print right then you can buy credits, so you buy photos on sale and then when you're ready you actually upload your photos and so that's a good way to save money and just get on their email list.

This won't be helpful probably by the time this show is out, but even just this morning I got a email from them that they're having a sale. I think it was 15 or was it 20% off everything in their store. So if you watch for the sale that you could send your photos in and they print square photos there which some of the Project Life pockets have squares and then if you just watch for those kinds of sales then you can get your photos printed on sale.

I think what it really comes down to and the last thing I have to say is it's just your priorities. Right? I mean I'm not going to be so bold as to presume what everyone's socioeconomic status is and their income, but I think if it's really that important to you that you'll make it a financial priority as well, that you'll cut back by not buying that pair of shoes or not going out to eat or whatever to get your memories preserved if it's important to you I think that you'll find a way to make it happen.

Steph:
I agree and a lot of times I think that we get stuck on wanting to get a whole bunch printed at one time, but really we can all figure out a way to, just like you said, make sacrifices and do without somethings every single month and that's what I had to eventually start doing with all of the pages that I was getting done was just deciding, okay I'm gonna budget in this amount every single month then work towards getting some stuff knocked out.

Aubree :
Yeah, that's what I like to do too is I just kind of incorporate it sort of into my grocery budget because I do pick them up at Costco a lot. I just kind of think like, okay, I usually spend about 8 to 10 dollars a month printing photos and I just know that and so it's just part of my budget so that I can afford to go do it.

Then I would never pay full price for any of these products when it's so easy to get coupons and just buy a little bit at a time, like when I first started I bought one album, the page protectors that were just the designs I think A and C, what comes in that box, and one core kit and I used that one core kit for a long time before I bought more cards.

Steph:
Yeah and one other things about coupons, I use Hobby Lobby a lot and they do have ... and I use the Hobby Lobby and the Michael's app, they do have coupons in there that you can use as well, and the Hobby Lobby one there's always a 40% off one item in the app, you can use it once a day I believe actually which is a great deal. If the Project Life core kits or any of those supplies you need, if they're not on sale you can go in and I've done the same thing where I've pulled it up on my kids phone too and my mom or whatever.

Aubree :
Had them stand in line.

Steph:
Yes.

Aubree :
And then if you look close you can go back multiple times.

Steph:
Yes.

Aubree :
But if not you can do that and that's their policy so.

Steph:
Yeah and I even felt kind of bad about it one time and so I asked the cashier I'm like, "Is this okay if I have my son check out and I'm still paying but he's using that coupon?" And they're like, "No that's fine." They don't care.

Aubree :
Yeah, it's their policy. It's not like you're cheating them. So yeah it works and sometimes those items actually do go and sale, especially the albums, the three ring binders. Sometimes they'll just put every brand of album on sale so that's a good time to get them too. Like I said, I just buy ahead because I know what colors I want, so I don't just come to January and think like, "Ah, I need a new one. I'll just go grab whatever I can find at full price."

Steph:
Right.

Aubree :
Yeah.

Steph:
Great tips Aubree. Thank you so much.

Aubree :
Yeah, my pleasure. I hope it was helpful.

Steph:
Super helpful, I appreciate it. I'm positive that there are tips that everyone can incorporate no matter what kind of style of documenting and memory keeping they do so thank you so much.

Aubree :
You are welcome.

Steph:
Okay, I think that's all. Let's remind them where they can find you, Aublar on Instagram.

Aubree :
That's where I am. I have a lot of Instagram accounts, but that's probably the best one. That's where I kind of post about this when I do post about it and you can see the captions and the photos I put in my albums on there.

Steph:
Perfect, perfect. You can find me at ModernPhotoSolutions.com and please if you haven't take a few minutes to go into iTunes and leave a review for the podcast if this a podcast you listen to and enjoy and I hope that if you are listening you do enjoy it, so please take a few minutes and leave us a review and then also connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, through email, comments on the show in the show notes, I appreciate that.

You can find the show notes for every episode by going to ModernPhotoSolutions.com and then clicking on podcasts up at the top and that will take you to the show notes for each show. I love hearing from you, I love being able to connect with all of the listeners so thank you, thank you for being here and thank you for spending some of your time with us today and letting us talk about memory keeping. It's so fun.

Aubree :
Thank you so much.

Steph:
Yeah and we'll see you next time on Modern Photo Solutions.