how to photojournal your summer

My time with my boys is so very precious and they’re always doing funny things or wonderful things that I wish I could remember forever. I do journal (the traditional way) about them. Mostly the highlights of big days, funny little things they say and those {gasp} “they’re growing up too fast” moments. But I also want to grab and save those crazy smiles too.

So this summer I’m photojournaling our entire summer break. But instead of lugging my DSLR around and spending hours in Photoshop, I’m using my iPhone and some really fun and easy apps.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my DSLR. I use it all the time when there are planned outings or when I really want to get those close-up shots, but it’s not always with me and let’s face it, it’s a bit bulky… not to mention they know when mom is taking pictures when I have it with me. With my iPhone I can be sneaky {giggle} and capture them when they’re not expecting it.

I started this project because of my L-O-V-E for Instagram (you can find me at @thecelebrationshoppe). I’m constantly sharing what we’re up to or peeks at my latest craft projects. And by following and reading others I’ve found these fun frame and text overlay apps.

But you don’t have to be on Instragram. You can just create the collages and save them to your phone or e-mail them to yourself. (TIP: If you e-mail the image/collage to yourself from the  picframe app, it will be a higher resolution than if you save it to your phone and then e-mail it to yourself. Some of mine are as large as 4MB).

So here are the apps that I use and why:

  • Camera + – I never take pictures with my regular camera phone anymore. With Camera + I can take pics and edit or delete them before saving to my phone.
  • Picfx – this app is full of textures. So once I’ve done my basic editing in Camera +, sometimes I go to Picfx to add textures. Light is my favorite texture, but there are over 50 to choose from.
  • PicFrame – I have a few frame apps, some with and without text overlay, but this one is my favorite and the one I used to do all of the collages in this post.  

A few tips to creating great collages AND memories:

  • capture multiple angles,
  • get close up,
  • gain perspective (shoot high and shoot low), and
  • photograph parts of the story (e.g., water balloons) individually. Alone it might not make much sense, but in a collage they make a real impact.

And if you do start a little project like this of your own AND you’re on Instagram, please follow me at @thecelebrationshoppe and comment so I can find you. You can also tag your post with #photojournaling because I’ll be checking. {grin}

As always, I hope you’re inspired!  And I hope you’re enjoying your summer!

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About Kim

Kim Byers, creative director & owner of The Celebration Shoppe. Her work has been featured in Parents, Better Homes and Gardens, All You, Pregnancy, iVillage, Huffington Post and many others. Kim is also a contributing writer for Kellogg's Snackpicks and Parade magazine, as well as craft contributor for JoAnn.

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  1. 1
    Carmen J. says:

    I don’t have time to scrapbook, but I have time for this. Fabulous idea!

  2. 2

    I’ve been following you on Instagram and wondered how you were making these awesome collages! Thanks for sharing!

  3. 3

    Thanks for the tips..I love Instagram too

  4. 4
    Emily B. says:

    I’ve been feeling guilty for only taking “phone pics” of my boys and this post has opened my eyes to all the possibilities. Thank you for sharing!

  5. 5
    laura~eye candy event details says:

    YAY – LOVE this! Great minds think alike as I have been wanting to document this summer a little easier than summers past with my daughter & this is a great idea! Definitely gonna go check out those apps! Thanks so much!

  6. 6
    Emily R says:

    Hi Kim,
    Love your summer collages of your boys! Have you printed any of your collages? If so, how did they look? What printing service did you use and what size paper? I would love to do this if I can get a hard copy, too, not just digital. Thanks for sharing.


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