Our Annual Family Photo Book

Surprise! Along with crown molding the heck outta a few more rooms, here’s what’s going on around here these days (and there’s a big ol’ post coming your way as soon as it’s cleaned up and we have after photos for ya):

Meanwhile, last year is soooo, well, last year. But we’re currently experiencing a resurgence of 2012 love thanks to the recent arrival of the 2012 Petersik Family Yearbook.

We have an annual tradition of ordering a photobook each January (which we share every year) to encapsulate the previous year’s favorite photos. We were big fans of the first one that we bought back in 2010 from MyPublisher, so we’ve stuck with them each year since so that all of the books look similar (plus, we love the quality). So with the addition of yearbook number three, we’re finally starting to have a nice little collection going.

This year’s book was a bit late in coming because I’m very strategic about ordering from MyPublisher. I like to use up the maximum allowed number of pages (100). But since you pay per page (after the first 35) it usually costs over $100 per book. BUT, I get MyPublisher’s promotional emails every week (maybe I signed up on their site, I don’t remember) and I know that they regularly run a “FREE EXTRA PAGES” discount. So even though I put the finishing touches on our book in early January (I was quite eager this year), I camped out for weeks while I waited for them to run that particular promotion. And I’m so glad I did. Boom, $80 saved.

Just like we did with last year’s book, we opened with a “highlights” page to sort of summarize the year in a few bullet points.

But rather than just re-type them for you guys, we thought we’d share some of the corresponding pages inside. So here goes nothing!

Some of the other bullets were:

One new thing that we did this year was also to include a special Instagram section at the back. Since 2012 was the year that we got started addicted, it was only fitting that we dedicated a few pages at the end of our family yearbook to some of our favorite little candid snapshots.

Now the only bummer is that we’ve gotta wait another ten months or so ’til we get to make the next book in the series. Oh well. I guess in the meantime we’ll just try to take lots of photos. Somehow I don’t think we’ll have an issue with that…

Oh and I think this shot really demonstrates the value of these books as a way to document your life year by year.

Three photo albums wouldn’t be nearly as thin and easily storable or displayable (their pages are thicker and their bindings are huge). But we imagine that even after a decade of yearbook-making we’ll be able to easily store (or display) ten or more of them in a nice little stack, as opposed to a decade’s worth of photo albums, which could easily take up an entire shelf.

And when it comes to cost, hello money in my pocket.

If you do the math, 100 pages of photos with an average of 7 photos per page = 700 photos. Which is a TON of photos for each year, but we’re snap-happy like that. And it usually costs around 15 cents per picture on sites like Target or Shutterfly (that’s their best “bulk” price), so for 700 prints it would be $105! But you’d still need to buy albums if you were doing it the old school way (at Target they’re around $15 for each album, and they typically hold 200 photos, so to store 700 you’d need four albums! So to get a nice custom made book for $45.99 versus spending $165 for traditional prints & albums – well, we’re down.

You can read our original post from 2010 with a little more about why we became photobook converts in the first place along what we put in that album. And if you’ve got another system – or an alternate photo storage trick – we’d love to hear about it. Until then you can find us taking pictures. Lots and lots of pictures…


  1. Kara says

    I do the same thing too, a yearly photobook for my nephew and all the things we do throughout the year. And I’m 100% with you on the “finally, it’s starting to look like a nice little stack of yearbooks.”
    Only difference is that I’m a sucker for Shutterfly’s books. Disclaimer, I haven’t tried MyPublisher yet – but so far, out of Picaboo, Blurb and Shutterfly – I’m liking Shutterfly the best. (I work in the digital printing industry, so I’m kinda picky about this.)

    • Cara says

      Hi there! I’ve been toying with the idea of doing the same thing, and now I’m sold! Question is- what is the difference between Shutterfly and MyPublisher? Quality, cost?

    • says

      We just read reviews and many people prefer the quality of MyPublisher and if you wait for promotions it can be just as affordable as Shutterfly.


    • says

      Thanks for the heads up…I’m halfway thru my 2012 book on Blurb (don’t worry, I realize it’s March and I’m not done yet…) so I’m kind of committed, but I was looking for a good post on which of these services is best. Maybe next year I’ll go with Shutterfly.

  2. says

    The book is great!

    I just ran the idea past my husband and his response was “maybe” but his tone really said, “yes, I’m interested in it.”

    How long would you say it took you to create the book?

    • says

      Aw thanks Wendy! It usually takes a few hours of work over a few days (John will do Jan-April one night on the sofa after dinner and then pick it back up again and do a few more months in another few hours, etc). Hope it helps!


  3. says

    cool!! I recently made a photo book from shutterfly–for FREE!! yep–it was FREE!! well, except for the extra few pages I tacked on. but still, using a coupon from mycokerewards.com I made a 32 page photo book, hardcover, and delivered for like $8! :)
    I never thought of making it an annual tradition–now I’ll have to take more photos!!!

  4. tanyab says

    Ahhh!!!! New lights in the living room? Can’t wait to see what you picked (if I’ve guessed correctly)!

  5. says

    Love the photobook idea. I try to do one every year too.

    I’m sure this is for design purposes but I notice you don’t use a lot of text. After going through a lot of my parent’s and grandparent’s old albums, I am a huge fan of text because I would love to know who all these people are (especially my aunts and uncles all grown up). When I see a photo book I’ve just made, it’s obvious who’s in the pictures, but 10-20 years down the road, it might be hard to decipher. We made a 75 birthday book for my grandma that incited a lot of debate over which cousin is which from pictures from the 1960s! :)

    • says

      Oh yes, we use captions and stuff when we think we might forget something – most of the pages we shared were just pretty explanatory, so those are a bit more bare than some of the others with a big group of people for example :)


  6. Melanie says

    Is that the classic or the deluxe? And do you ever do any of the add ons (glossy, lay flat, etc.)?

    I used MyPublisher for our wedding album and was very happy with the results!

    • says

      We just go with the classic and matte cover. The only thing we really upgrade is to add extra pages and then we wait for the promo that makes them free :)


  7. says

    Aw, this year’s turned out great!

    I love the idea of doing a yearbook… so much so, in fact, that I’ve been working on our first one for a few days now!

    I don’t see any words in your book… are you afraid at all that 25 years from now you might not remember what a particular photo was supposed to be about?

    • says

      We definitely use descriptions for things we think we’ll forget, so we just pictured the most iconic/explanatory pages in this post, but there are many with more words & descriptions :)


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