SmugMugAfter a recent family trip to Sri Lanka with my family, I came home with over 1,000 pictures. Overwhelmed is an understatement. Ten days of memories and journaling, and I didn’t want to part with any of it. After all, when you snap a picture, there’s a motive behind it. A reason to pick up your camera, shoot and click. I think everyone dreads the sorting out the good from the bad, the keepers from the trashers. And if you journal, like I do, you can feel like you have enough to write a book after ten days. But lets say you get through all that without a hitch (we can pretend). What do you do with them now? All too often I dump the pictures in a folder on my computer, and then wish that I could have them in front of me, in a book…tangible like my grandmother’s photo albums.

First, I needed to figure out how to organize and store the photos somewhere for easy access and preservation. A few years ago, I came across a site called SmugMug. There are many photo storage sites on the web, but I chose this one for the features it offered, including the ability to upload high-resolution photos and a professional photographer account for selling your awesome photos. It’s easy to use, creates beautiful albums, and allows you to leave short or long comments on your photos. I was able to upload all of our Sri Lanka photos to it, as well as leave my journal entries throughout the album for safekeeping. I now have everything on their site for my storage solution. And I made sure, that should something happen to the company, that I would be able to retrieve all of my files.Blurbcom2

SmugMug makes it easy to get top-quality books then printed and sent to you. They teamed up with Blurb.com, turning anything you want, into a book. So, with a click of the button, I was selecting my layouts, color scheme and photos for my memory book. And all those journal entries, yep, they made it in there too! I picked my paper quality and finishing touches, and off it went to print.

Just over 100 pages, I expected it to break the bank. But it was very affordable for such high quality, as was the shipping! I’m overseas, and it was only a difference of a few dollars, literally, to ship it over here versus my home in the States. BIG bonus points there.  And the icing on the cake is that you can purchase your printed book in digital format as well to keep on your iPad or iPod…for only $1 more!  If you really wanted, you could even sell your book to the public, allowing Blurb.com to help you and manage the set-up.

So, next time you’re overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin with your hundreds or thousands of photos and memories, try SmugMug and Blurb!