July and August are all about family time around here, with a little work tucked in around the edges. 

It will be quiet around here as I enjoy the long days with my people, but keep an eye out for an updated website this fall!

A frequently asked question from last month’s Travel Series was how to create itinerary maps to include in a photo book. Read on to discover my favorite way…

Tutorial: Add Travel Map to Your Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.com

  1.  Visit TravellersPoint and sign up for a free account to “effortlessly create a beautiful visualization of your trip.”
  2.  Click on “Map” from menu bar and select “Add a New Trip”.  Begin plotting your itinerary!  Some cities include basic information you might find useful to include in your book (see below).
  3.  Take a screenshot of completed map with all of your stops.  Convert to JPEG if your photo book software will not accept .png files.

And that is it!  Easy peasy and you have given your reader some context about where the story you are telling takes place.

Tutorial: Add Travel Map to Your Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.com

Happy mapping!

Final stop in this month’s travel series is the idyllic country of Switzerland.Document Your Travels | Switzerland Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.com

I count myself extremely lucky that my parents and my husband’s parents genuinely like each other and we all enjoy traveling together. Last summer we all travelled to Switzerland in honor of both couples 50th wedding anniversaries. Rather than throwing a big party, they preferred spending time as a family and we were happy to oblige!Document Your Travels | Switzerland Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.com

Although this book was printed by the same company as my Patagonia & Sweden/Norway books, I mixed up the design just a bit. Daily intro text was flipped to the left page and I took out the 4 images at the bottom for a cleaner look.Document Your Travels | Switzerland Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.com

Our itinerary included visiting six different towns (Zurich, Lucerne, Bern, Murren, Zermatt, Lausanne) in ten days, all accessed via public transportation, so we were on the go quite a bit. When people ask me what my favorite part of the trip was I find myself answering it was all of the in between moments, such as playing telephone and other games on the train, that I cherish the most. The chance for us all to connect and be present with each other.Document Your Travels | Switzerland Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.com

Beautiful hotels will always earn a layout or two or three in my books…Document Your Travels | Switzerland Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.comDocument Your Travels | Switzerland Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.com

Someone asked me how I choose the image for my daily intro layout and the answer is that I like a strong representative image that will remind me of the big picture of that day. It is not always the first thing we did that day. Sometimes it is an “only” image, i.e. one that does not have other complementary images that would tell a compelling story in a double page spread.  It usually is an image that makes me happy.Document Your Travels | Switzerland Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.comDocument Your Travels | Switzerland Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.comDocument Your Travels | Switzerland Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.com

Speaking of things that make me happy, these Swiss cows with their sweet jangling bells will forever have my heart.Document Your Travels | Switzerland Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.com

As will solo sunrise photo walks that allow me to capture the beauty and quiet of a place at my own pace…Document Your Travels | Switzerland Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.comDocument Your Travels | Switzerland Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.com

Last week I mentioned my kids know I like to take a picture of a hotel room right when we arrive, before it is full of bags and messy beds. On this trip they made my day when they told me they had resisted eating the delightful snack left for them upon arrival at our final hotel because they knew I would want to take a picture of it 🙂Document Your Travels | Switzerland Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.com

Our final afternoon of vacation was spent exploring Lake Geneva – this is also the name of my hometown in Wisconsin so it was a special outing on many levels.  The time we spent on this little boat reminded me so much of my favorite marketing campaign and after taking a few representative photos I put away my camera and made the most of this precious time with these most precious people in my life.Document Your Travels | Switzerland Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.com

This book was made for the four grandparents as Christmas gifts so I ended it with a love note to them all.Document Your Travels | Switzerland Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.com

Thanks for following along with our family travel stories this month!

Document Your Travels | Sweden & Norway Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.com

This week we are traveling to Europe, lingering for a while in Sweden & Norway.

When friends were about to leave their expat post in Stockholm, we knew it was time to make our way over for a visit.Document Your Travels | Sweden & Norway Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.com

Since we stayed in multiple locations during our travels, this page highlighting our different hotels along the way serves as a quick visual timeline of our trip.Document Your Travels | Sweden & Norway Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.com

This iconic landscape harbor shot of Stockholm was under consideration for the book cover – ultimately I’m very happy I picked the less traditional choice of the fun clogs!Document Your Travels | Sweden & Norway Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.com

You may notice this book follows a similar design pattern to the Patagonia book I made just before this one.  If something is working for me, I have no problem repeating a design to keep things simple.Document Your Travels | Sweden & Norway Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.comOn Documenting Your Travels | A Blog Post by Suzanne O

Keeping the text for each day consolidated on one page, versus adding a bit on each page, reduces the amount of moving parts in the layout design and that is always a good thing.Document Your Travels | Sweden & Norway Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.com

This is one of my favorite layouts from the book as it immediately takes me back to the few hours I wandered around Stockholm by myself capturing the happy colors and people of the city.Document Your Travels | Sweden & Norway Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.com

Lots of favorite pages from our time spent on the small picturesque island of Sandhamn in the Stockholm archipelago…Document Your Travels | Sweden & Norway Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.comDocument Your Travels | Sweden & Norway Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.comOn Documenting Your Travels | A Blog Post by Suzanne O

Oh, the bread. It was always served with the most amazing butter and salt flakes, as if this was of course the only way to enjoy this treat.Document Your Travels | Sweden & Norway Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.comDocument Your Travels | Sweden & Norway Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.com

Our quick jaunt over to Norway for a classic fjord tour included all of the majestic beauty you would imagine. We left eager to return and explore the countryside by car someday.Document Your Travels | Sweden & Norway Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.comDocument Your Travels | Sweden & Norway Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.com

Although my son thought this hotel room was like a “grandma’s house”, I appreciated the charm and story behind the iconic old hotel. My kids are now pretty well-conditioned to let me take a shot of the room when we first arrive before it is full of our belongings…Document Your Travels | Sweden & Norway Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.com

I love how this layout includes my favorite storytelling 3 C’s (context, characters, close-ups) in just two photos. One look at that picture on the right and I’m immediately back at that amazing breakfast buffet, justifying one more trip up to enjoy the homemade rhubarb marmalade…Document Your Travels | Sweden & Norway Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.com

This story was brought to a close with this scene from our final night and a hope that opening this book in the future will be like returning to these destinations all over again…Document Your Travels | Sweden & Norway Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.comDocument Your Travels | Sweden & Norway Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.com

Please click here to enjoy additional travel book inspiration!

  • May 28, 2017 - 4:52 pm

    Sarah - Your travel photo books are a great inspiration! How did you do the personalized map? I want to make one for my recent trip to Scotland.ReplyCancel

Our most epic family trip yet called for an equally epic photo book.Document Your Travels | Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.com

In October of 2014 we made our way to South America, visiting both Argentina and Chile. Our time spent in Patagonia in the national park Torres del Paine was the true highlight of our trip. The beautiful colors and stunning landscapes of this region take center stage in this premium 10×10 layflat album printed on high quality photo paper.Document Your Travels | Patagonia Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.comDocument Your Travels | Patagonia Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.com

I quickly settled into a rhythm while making this book: a favorite photo from the day paired with summarizing words to open each day. Beneath the text, I added four square photos that didn’t find homes in the daily stories that followed.Document Your Travels | Patagonia Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.comDocument Your Travels | Patagonia Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.comDocument Your Travels | Patagonia Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.com

Most nights at dinner I polled everyone for their favorites from the day and then sprinkled those gems throughout the book.  These are the details I will never remember if we don’t document them in the moment.Document Your Travels | Patagonia Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.com

Those cute hats that found their way into many of our photos? They came from this sweet woman we met in El Calafate. We enjoyed her so much we went back to visit her a second time. The people you meet along the way are such an integral part of travel, and while it is not always comfortable to photograph them, I’m always glad when I work up the courage to ask for their permission and do it.Document Your Travels | Patagonia Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.comDocument Your Travels | Patagonia Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.com

When you travel 30 hours to get someplace there are bound to be plenty of “Getting There” shots. Grouping them all onto one page made sense here as well as including a few other pages throughout the book that document our time on the road.Document Your Travels | Patagonia Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.comDocument Your Travels | Patagonia Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.com

The moment we arrived at Hotel Explora in Patagonia I fell in love.  Quite possibly the most beautiful place I have ever seen.  The hotel perfectly reflected the natural beauty surrounding it, and I sprinkled more than a few hotel environment pages into the days covering our time there.Document Your Travels | Patagonia Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.comDocument Your Travels | Patagonia Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.comDocument Your Travels | Patagonia Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.com

From the chaura berries found along all of the trails we hiked, to the guest book farewell notes, detail shots such as these rounded out our travel story and immediately take me back to those amazing family travel memories.Document Your Travels | Patagonia Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.com

And when your completed book arrives in the mail the same week as a Patagonia catalog with a very similar cover, you know there is some special magic wrapped up in the whole experience.Document Your Travels | Patagonia Vacation Photo Book | www.suzanneobrienstudio.com

  • May 12, 2017 - 9:51 pm

    Kristen - This is amazing! What photo book company did you use for this book? I love the lay flat pages.ReplyCancel

  • May 14, 2017 - 8:02 am

    Kristi Boyd - what a fabulous trip!! Beautiful pictures. So i have to ask,is it Artifact Uprising 10×10 flat?ReplyCancel

  • May 15, 2017 - 9:06 am

    Kristen - Hi, I love your blog and have been following for several years. It has been motivational. I just finished 6 photobooks in the last 3 months. So thanks!! What photobook company did you use for this specific project? It seems a nicer quality than the yearbook ones I am doing.
    KristenReplyCancel

    • May 17, 2017 - 10:17 am

      Suzanne - Hi Kristin, thanks for the kind words and congrats on your recent accomplishment! See below for album info…ReplyCancel

  • May 17, 2017 - 10:19 am

    Suzanne - Lots of questions both here and in emails about the album details so here you are: album was designed in inDesign and printed through AdormaPix.ReplyCancel