The 2011 Photo Book

By this, our fifth photo book, I pretty much have the process down to a science. The code I wrote in 2007 and revised in 2009 still works, Viovio still exists and accepts custom PDFs. But that didn’t make the process any easier, considering that 2011 encapsulated the bulk of our travels—pretty much everywhere we went except New Zealand and Bali.

photo book 2011 cover
The front cover of our 2011 photo book is a photo from Varanasi

Somehow I managed to go through the more than 11,000 photos we took this year, and distill them to a mere 96. My blog was a lifesaver—keeping it updated forced me to filter through the photos as we traveled. Since returning to San Francisco, we’ve been too preoccupied with new jobs and home-buying to engage in any particularly photogenic extracurricular activities.

2011 Photo Book sample layout
Sample layout with photos from the Philippines

For the geeks reading: I decided to put the code I wrote to generate the photo books up on GitHub. Not because it’s the most awesome code I’ve ever written, I just wanted an excuse to play with GitHub. And who knows, it might help someone out there working on a similar project. Maybe I’ll generalize it next year.

photo book 2011 inside
A quick peek inside with photos from Corsica



I love this “simple” style of your books – the really hard thing is to choose photos from all the year. I managed only ONE :-// book (2007). And all my photos waste on my computer. Thank you for showing me. I think this small picturebook is realy enough for one year to flip through in later times. We have no children – nobody would be interestet on all this pictures we have taken. Everything of traveling is on my mind – when i am old – this small books should be enough to help “kick-starting” my memories. My next try will be -to make the same as you ;-))…not one of these “big books” i want to create past times. Greatings from rainy Germany ! Geli


check out for Ryan’s coding experiments. he starts work tomorrow at

Geli, you’re right, their value definitely increases as the years go by. If you have an Apple computer, many people recommend iPhoto’s feature that allows you to easily create a published book of photos. And there are many other websites that will make it easier than my home-grown process. But if you like the size and format of my books, check out Viovio—they have an online book builder tool that should make it pretty easy to lay out your photos.

Jackie, I’ll take a look. I’m still a Github newbie, though starting to use it for my new gig. Wish Ryan luck.


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