Big Trip? Make a Calendar!

One of my favorite things to do after a big trip is make a calendar for my family and friends. This is a great idea for gift giving, or just to hang in your office to remind you of the beautiful places you’ve visited. In this post, I’d like to share with you the process of making my 2017 photo calendar.

In the winter of 2016, I traveled through the UK on 14 day business trip. I was out on a book tour traveling with part of the team of authors who co-wrote the book “Becoming a Belly Dancer: From Student to Stage.Sara Shrapnell booked two promotional engagements. The first was “Celebrating Dance” in Torquay and the second was a dance workshop series on the Isle of Wight. Between these two weekend events, Alisha Westerfeld and I had a week to explore the area around Bristol.

Stained Glass at Bristol Cathedral

During our trip we shot a lot of photos. Boy, remember the days when you had to carefully moderate the use of film? These days, we’re only limited by our digital storage and battery life. No editing or culling was necessary. Our philosophy was “Shoot Now – Edit Later!”

Shoot Now – Edit Later

We visited museums and churches, went on day trip tours and ate at some fabulous restaurants. We were taking hundreds of photos a day, leading to a massive amount of images!

Lets Make a Calendar

When we returned home, I proposed making a calendar to share our adventure using some of our favorite photos. Our trip was in late October/early November, so it was perfect timing for using as holiday gifts.

From 10,000 to 5,000

Alisha’s photos are stunning, and the most difficult part of this project was deciding which images to choose. So the first step in our calendar magazine development was to narrow down our vast choice of images. Since she was shooting images on a camera, and I was simply using my iPhone, the first cull was to remove my photos from the mix.

From 5000 – 500

Our next step was to go through Alisha’s photos and select three or four images from each of the places we visited. Over the course of our trip we visited no-less than 10 cities and a couple of significant historical sites like Stonehenge above.

From 500 – 50

Next we went through this edited collection and choose the places that we were most interested in including in the calendar from a story-telling point of view. We decided, for instance, not to use any of the images from our work events. Editing down to the spaces that were most meaningful to us reduced the pull of photos down to about 50.

From 50 to 26

After we narrowed our images down to about 50, it was time to think strategically about which twelve were the most outstanding. When there are two people working on a project, you might expect us to narrow down the pool to 26, but we found that we had naturally agreed on a few images and that made it a bit easier.

From 26 to 13

Our next cut was the hardest. Alisha and I put our photos into a file and had a chat about which ones were the best. For our calendar, we settled on using 13 images, putting a unique image on the cover. Axing that last 10 was rough, but in the end we found that we had a collection of images that best represented our adventure.

Matching Images to Months

Once the cutting was done, it was time to arrange them by months. Some months had obvious pairings. The image above, for instance, looked like fall and was the perfect choice for October. But since all of these images come from the same 10 day period, it was a bit difficult to find images that represented the summer months. Some photos were naturally “season-less” like the photo from Burnham on Sea below.

Image Preparation

The last step was to crop the images and add the locations. I made a few photoshop adjustments to several of the images, boosting the contrast in several to bring out more detail. After we had our collection of 13 images prepped and ready to go, we sent them off to a calendar printing service. If you decided to create a calendar, shop around for the best price and quality. We looked at office stores, pharmacies, internet printers, and wound up going to a local printer. There are so many options, pick the one that works best for you.

See some of my photos from this trip here and here.

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