Looking back, 2016 was a rough one for a lot of people. No matter what side of the political spectrum you were on, things got heated. And chances are, if there are celebrities whose works you’ve enjoyed, at least one of them didn’t make it all the way to December 31.
But there was good stuff in 2016 too! My kids practiced hard and entertained us with orchestra concerts, school plays, and dance recitals. There were birthday trips to Epcot with close friends, beach vacations with extended family, and the conquering of some nerdy, gnarly road races.
So how do you ensure that the good memories outweigh the bad? What’s worked for me (when I remember to make them) is a physical book of the best photos of the past year.
I’ve lauded Artifact Uprising previously for good reason—they consistently produce quality, professional prints and their books are no exception to that rule. You can download their app and create a 5×5 softcover book from your photo library (previous versions of the app had issues with large libraries like mine, thankfully that’s no longer the case) or your Instagram pics for just $18 (plus shipping). But for something that’s truly archival, you’ll have to head to the desktop.
Honestly, as convenient as the app is, I prefer crafting big projects like this on the desktop. It’s easier to comb through large swaths of pictures and it’s simpler to manipulate the layout of the book through the web interface. You also get access to the more hearty (and expensive) Artifact Uprising book options. You can choose from a square 8.25 x 8.25″ hardcover, scaling all the way up to 11″ x 8.25″. A 50-page book starts at $69, with each additional page costing $1 (added two at a time). You can even get lay-flat albums with a foil-embossed cover and spine. I went right for the 100-page book because, well, I’ve got over 10k pictures from this year alone, there was no way I was going to be able to whittle them down to 50 pages!
You can arrange them however you want—into subsections, like Kids’ Activities and Vacations, or chronologically or by place or person or whatever feels right to you! There’s no wrong way to organize (except for subsections with reverse chronology…you weirdo). Me? I’m a chronological kind of guy. So I grabbed a handful of pics from something that happened each month, set the title of the sections to correspond, and dropped the pictures into the book. You can select from a wide variety of layouts for every page, from up to four images per page, to a two-page single image spread. I really love the splash pages – we get amazing sunsets sometime here in Sarasota, and it pains me to confine those images to a quadrant of a page. After you add text, move pages around, and preview it, you’re all set. Printing and shipping takes around a week.
It’s a fantastic way to help preserve the happiness from a year where it seemed to be in short supply. Head over to Artifact Uprising, upload your pics and in a little over a week, you’ll have a professionally-printed book commemorating all the best parts of your 2016.