Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Printing Project Life layouts

{Guest Post from Two Little Owls Photography}

A little about our guest writer:

I live in Sydney, Australia with my British hubby, our 2 boys, Koby (5) and Finn (2), and our Jack Russell dog named Maddie! I love using my passion for photography to document our daily lives, and to capture special memories for others. I have found Project Life to be the perfect compliment to my photography, as it allows me to journal the story behind the pictures I take. I have recently started a photography blog and website, and would love you to check it out []

I first began using Project Life back in 2011. With my eldest son turning one, I wanted a way to combine the (many) photos I had taken over his first year with the milestones and memories I had jotted down. I loved the simplicity of the paper-based Project Life design (buy a kit and album, slot in photos and journaling cards) and how easy it was to complete not only his baby album from his first year, but a 2011 album for our family too.

Fast forward to early 2014: I had completed a family album for 2012 as well as a baby album for my second son...but my 2013 family album was still far from complete! Juggling two children and part-time work meant memory keeping had been pushed onto the back burner. I decided the only way to "catch up" and continue forward was to try my hand at digital Project Life. I was already editing my DSLR photos on my Mac, so it made sense for me to create Project Life layouts digitally (using Photoshop Elements). I enthusiastically completed a few digital layouts, and then life got busy and I realised I was falling behind again. Imagine my excitement when I discovered that a version of Project Life was being released as an iPhone app – surely being able to create layouts on the go would make it even easier to keep up to date. And I’m pleased to report it lived up to my expectations - oh how I love this app!!

In late 2014 our family of four travelled to the UK for a holiday, to spend time with my husband’s family. I knew the sheer volume of photographs I would take on this trip would make our yearly album too full, so before we left I decided that I would create a separate album for this special holiday, created entirely using the Project Life app. During the trip I took photos on my iPhone6 as well as my DSLR, and easily completed all the iPhone6 layouts while we were away - surprisingly our kids slept a fair bit on the plane, giving me plenty of time to do this! Once we were home I edited the DSLR pictures and created additional layouts in the app with those images.

After some research, I decided to print the layouts as a book through Blurb. I found the guide on this website extremely useful in explaining how to do this:

However, in summary:
- I uploaded the layouts from my phone into Lightroom on my Mac
- In the Lightroom Library I selected the layouts that I wanted to include in this book and then clicked on the “Book” tab (top right in navigation panel)
- This automatically created a book however the pages were not in the order I wanted so I cleared the layout and rearranged them in the correct order
- The general settings I had on the right navigation panel were:
            - Book: Blurb
            - Size: Large Square
            - Paper type: Proline Uncoated
            - Logo Page: On
- As per Miss Freddy’s recommendations (above) I changed the padding to 25.
- Once it was ready I clicked the “send book to Blurb” button which exported the book to the Blurb website and I was able to place my order.

I received the book within a couple of weeks and was able to give it to my husband and sons as a special Christmas gift (just over a month after we returned from our holiday). One of the most rewarding aspects was seeing my husband looking through the book several times on Christmas Day, remembering the special moments spent with his family and the fun we had exploring London with our boys.

I am super happy with the quality of the final product, and the total cost was $105 (including shipping) for a 58 page book. Not cheap, but I have certainly spent more on PL products and printing photos in previous years. For me, the benefits of having an album completed so quickly make the cost worthwhile. I’ve also found that Blurb regularly offer discounts, and the first time you order through Lightroom you seem to get a 25% discount. 

I love that once you order the book through Blurb it’s saved to your account, so you can print multiple copies at any time. We have just ordered a second copy of our UK book for my in-laws, whom we visited during our trip. 

And the best part is, I've finished my 2014 family Project Life book and have already ordered it for printing! For this busy stage in our lives, I'll definitely be sticking with the Project Life app to document our family life from year to year.

{Edited to Add}

To create a PL book directly through the Blurb website:
▪️ Upload your PL layouts onto your computer (make sure you save them as 12x12 size in the PL app)
▪️ Go to and login (or create a new account)
▪️ On the main page click the "Get started" box
▪️ Go down to the book-making tools section and click "Online Photo Books"
▪️ Then for the book size choose Large Square (12x12)
▪️ For style choose "Elegant" (classic white background)
▪️ Then upload PL photos from your computer and drag them onto the pages in the order you want

▪️ I'd recommend getting the hardcover, image wrap and Proline paper (either uncoated or pearl- the pearl is more of a flat page texture and the uncoated is more bumpy)


  1. What a great idea! Do you know if there is a similar app for the andriod system? I would love to do this :)

  2. Love the photos! Were you happy with the proline uncoated paper? I readin another blog that it can make the picture quality grainy?

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