Dear Reader, it’s December. It’s DECEMBER. WTF?
There’s only 3 weekends left before Christmas, and you’ve got 17 social engagements on each one. Quick! Panic buy on ebay!!!
But I have a cunning plan: make a Bubs-themed calender and give it to EVERYONE. Actually I’ve had this cunning plan all year, but about a month ago I somehow managed to get Snapfish to give me £40 to make a few. Suckers. (not really Snapfish, thank you very much, please, thank you). This weekend I suddenly realised I need to design these bad boys in time for them to printed and delivered because it’s December, like, right now.
So, I got to designing and, to be honest, I wasn’t particularly impressed with the Snapfish site at first. For one thing you can’t design calenders (or anything else for that matter) if you’re on a tablet, which means no sneaky multi-tasking whilst Bubs watches Pingu. I mean, come on people, this is 2014, who use a PC anymore any way???? Well, yes I am using one right now, but I still feel it’s a valid objection.
The I looked at their calender designs and, I’m not gonna, lie, my first thought was “why hasn’t Microsoft noticed that Snapfish stole all of it’s ’90s clipart?” Seriously, there was some cheesemister-general stuff going on.
So I was in a bit of huff. There a plain white background but that looked boring. Why don’t they just do block colour?? Why?? *opens calender making tool and scrolls along* Oh. They do, my bad.
Now to make the bloody thing. I’m planning on giving one to each set of grandparents. I say each set, because in this modern day, second marriage, life-parent culture, Bubs obviously has 6 grandparents. Why wouldn’t he? Some kids a get 8, greedy beggers! I did consider making bespoke ones for each couple; you know, showing their side of the family, their other grand children etc. (Bubs has one cousin and one step-cousin, if that’s even a thing.) Because, you know, who wants a photo of your partner’s ex-husband cuddling their grandson up in their kitchen for a whole month. Weirdsies. It would take a lot long but I could tailor them to each individual. It would be a labour of love.
But the I thought F that S, I’ve got a bloody life to lead! That said, I am ever so slightly obsessive when it comes to these things, so I start thinking, how am I going to work it? Should I have an equal number of photos with each grandparent? Should step-grandparents get less?? What about the cousins? Should they be featured equally alongside Bubs so that I don’t look like some sort of self-important ‘my child’s the best one’ type? But then if I did that my parents would be like, who the hell are these kids on my wall all bloody year?? Then there’s the great grandmother, and the great aunt, and… sigh.
You know, in days gone by I probably would have spent 17 hours on this calender. I would have put multiple photos of every page (see below) and made sure the family pics were evenly distributed. I would have tried to make it quirky and jokey so I didn’t feel too self-conscious about handing over a load of cute photos and calling it a Christmas present. But now, I am a mum. I have about a billion things I’d rather be doing, so I decided, one photo of Bubs for each month. Keep it simple. Plus, I decided to just embrace the cheese. It’s loads of cute pics of a baby, what else was it going to be?? My one nod to irony was to entitle it ‘the official calender’ because, you know, HMV will be selling loads of knock off ‘unofficial’ ones. He’s that popular. (is HMV still a thing? Are unofficial calenders still a thing??)
I think my favourite month is defo March though, both because it actually has a seasonal theme and Bubs seems totally entranced by daffodils!
I didn’t want to completely leave out every other family member, though, and this is where I really started to warm to Snapfish. With their software you can add photos to special dates: bloody genius! So on every grandparent’s/cousin’s/aunty’s birthday I put in a photo of them, usually with Isaac. Like so:
I also did pages with multiple photos on the months of the cousin’s birthdays and stuck a few of them in. Because, you know, everyone likes photos of babies. (If you don’t like photos of babies then I’m not quite sure why you’ve continued reading for so long, perhaps it’s just my gripping prose).
SO, I’ve done it! I finally crafted a masterpiece of an inclusive family calender, and then I see this little fella…
Autofill??? There’s a bloody autofill button??? Yes, dear reader, all you actually have to do is upload all of the photos you want into the same album and click this button. So, you know, not the whole massive graphic design project I just embarked on. Bums.
I decided I’d do another little calender (a kitchen calender it’s called, just smaller and narrow basically), just to give the ‘autofill’ a go. And also because I thought I’d make one for the aunties on my side of the family, because they’d like that. So I did it, just put twelve photos in one album, chose my calender theme and clicked ‘autofill’. It were bloody brilliant! And it’s really easy to change the order of the pictures if, like me, you have sad thoughts such as ‘ooh, that looks more like a summer shot’… Any way, autofill, who knew?
I am very happy with the final look of both calenders, and I’ll post some photos of the finished product when it arrives in the post. Huzzah!
So, Snapfish, what do I think? Well, I’ve used other photo websites to make calenders before and it was pretty user-friendly in comparison (could have made the autofill button a bit more prominent though, just sayin’) and I’ve already had a moan about some other stuff. But for me the whole photo on an individual date thing is SUCH a bloody good idea that all else is forgiven… Except the price. Their biggest calender costs almost £20 and unlike other websites there’s no discounts for multiple purchases of the same designs. Granted, they usually have some offer or something, but I still think it’s pretty steep. Even the desk calenders are a tenner. At the time of writing Snapfish isn’t way more expensive than its competitors but it’s certainly not cheaper.
Anyhoo, actual reviews are dull, feel free to ask more questions in the comment section, but here’s my trademark pros and cons list:
Pretty user friendly.
You can upload photos straight from facebook and flickr.
You can order up 17th December and still get it delivered in time for Chrimbo (though not sure if you have to pay a hefty delivery charge!)
Lots of customising options: different numbers of photos on different pages, multiple backgrounds, add text etc.
There is an AUTOFILL option, where the website will arrange an album of photos you’ve uploaded into your chosen calender: easy peasy!
You can add photos to specific dates for birthdays, anniversaries etc. (I think other sites do this but they charge)
A lot of the calender themes look a bit dated in my humble opinion, but you can find nice ones if you dig.
The Snapfish app only deals with photo prints and you can’t design any products on a tablet or mobile device.
You can add text, but you can’t make it very big, which is a shame.
Cost: They seems a but on the pricey side to me.
No discount for buying the same items multiple times.
So, there you have it! Enjoy scrolling through the 7 million photos you’ve taken of you children and, even more so, the novelty of actually printing some of them out!!