Project Life: the process so far with photos

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Project Life has been so fun so far … What am I on? week 6 I think?

While I finish up the recent weeks for a bigger post, I thought I’d break down my process some … first up: Photos!


I’ve been using both my ‘big’ camera (Canon 5D w/ assorted lenses) and my iPhone for taking photos. But my iPhone is OLD so the photos are just OK. I really just carry my Canon around all the time. Just in case. It works out, since I want to take photos of our house progress anyway….

(note to self: I need to do a real photo-gear post)

I also have my Instax mini camera (only used 1x so far) and all of my other ‘toy’ cameras, but I haven’t actually used them yet. I might still in the future. We’ll see.

Luckily for me, Andrew (bless his heart) is more than willing to take photos for me when we’re not together. He’s been posting photos to Instagram so I can just download them to my computer. He takes photos of his recording sessions, in particular, which I think is such a fun part of our Project Life week.

Ex: In this image below, the photo in the middle on the right (of the building) is one of Andrew’s iPhone photos when he was at the studio early early in the morning.
Week 2 - right


I don’t actually own Photoshop.

Thankfully, Kam reminded me that there’s such a thing as Picasa (a free software from Google that has *just* enough photo editing options for me).

I do all of my actual PHOTO editing (color balance, changing the levels, etc) in Apple Aperture, and then in Picasa I add text and make photo collages specifically for Project Life.

For example: In this page below, I added the text to the 3×4 photos … and then I put2 3×4 images in one 4×6 canvas to be printed.

Week 1 - left

In the case of the library card image in the bottom left, I just left both images in 1 4×6 photo. Or, I cut them apart for the 3×4 pockets.

Or, for example, the green-painting photo on the bottom right … the image of the paint can is about 1/3 of the 4×6 canvas.

Here’s a screenshot of what all my collages look like in Picasa ….

ETA: Here is an actual collage-tutorial for Picasa

I am really loving having the option to create photo collages and include more than 1 image in a 4×6 photo. Otherwise I have no idea how I could edit down all the photos to just this 2page spread.


I was trying to figure out the best way to get actual photo prints made – not at home, preferably not by mail (due to the cost of shipping) – and finally realized my best bet for photo printing would be Costco.

I love Costco. I’ve been getting my film developed there since I got my first camera (when I was 12 or so). And now, *cough*cough* years later, I can upload the photos to their site, and my current job schedule has me driving by our local Costco (with just a slight detour). I’ve used their photo printing A LOT, and am confident in the quality.

The only problem was I no longer had a Costco card! As soon as I turned 18, my mom made me the 2nd cardholder on her account (so I could go pick up my photos, coincidentally) – and it’s only in the last month (literally) that she’s taken me off. But that’s a separate story entirely :)

SO – I went on and signed up Andrew and I for a Costco membership. ….. And I’ve ordered photos for Project Life every week now. If I really need the images soon I can go pick them up in an hour after ordering ….  OR they don’t charge shipping, so with gas prices the way they are I’m actually saving a little bit of money, just by waiting an extra couple days to get the photos.


What about you? What do you use for your Project Life photos?

Do you have other Project Life questions for me? Ask away!

P.S. Also fun? I showed the slideshow and products to my sister-in-law…. and based on her excitement, I’ll be getting her a whole set of Project Life goodies for her baby’s first year album! Can’t wait!!!

Project Life, created by Becky Higgins, is a flexible, easy-to-use, highly customizable way to preserve your memories and record your stories in an easy way. Learn more about getting started with Project Life or check out all my Project Life posts.

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  • Maggie May 9, 2012 at 11:26 pm edit

    Hey lady, since you’re a pro photog you should use a pro printer. I use WHCC. There’s no charge for shipping, and you usually get prints in a day or two via UPS. There’s just a $12 min so you need to wait until you need enough prints to get to the min (or they’ll just charge you to make up the difference).

  • Amy May 10, 2012 at 9:47 am edit

    speed and price are more of a priority for me for this project … Thanks, though!

  • kIM September 18, 2012 at 4:37 pm edit

    Going back in time to read this. Thank you btw. I bought my project life months ago but have so intimidated by arranging and printing photos that I haven’t started it yet. I’m going to try my hand at Picassa. You don’t, by chance, have a tutorial on putting multiple images into one 4×6 pocket, do you? :)

  • Shirsha November 29, 2012 at 9:48 pm edit

    I am looking to start PL in 2013 and am still trying to figure out how to tackle the photo printing bit. Don’t own a printer currently but exploring that option. I think it would be a great flexibility to have. And given how my working hours are otherwise, I know I will get caught up with stuff and never really get around to ordering and collecting the photo prints from the store. And I am super lazy to boot! I think buying a printer may be the way to go for me. :)

  • marcie December 12, 2012 at 12:41 pm edit

    I’ve enjoyed reading about your PL perspective! I’d like to start PL and use Picasa. Can you tell me what else I need in order to get started? Would Digital Project Life in Photoshop (Jessica Sprague) be relevant?

    I currently make 12 x 12 layouts using Picasa. . .

  • Cee October 14, 2013 at 9:38 am edit

    Please tell me which font (style) and size that you use from Picasa.

    Great PL layouts!


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