They loved it.
This post was written nearly immediately following order submission of my latest secret project. I even interrupted my other post-writing as regards how I'm finding out that who I am and pursuing a course tailored to me is okay to make this announcement, instead.
I'd taken a bunch of pictures documenting Thanksgiving preparation. Normally, pics like this languish on the hard drive of my family's main PC. (I still had pics from 2006 on there) One day, I say...I'll order prints and frame them or but them in a book...or one of the boxes/bags that hold all the pics we took with our film cameras before joining the digital era. (It took us a while.)
Through diligence, patience, prayer, this tutorial, this book, some dozens of tweets of encouragement (tweetpals) and frustration (me), a strange thumbnail caching issue, several lists, careful font selection, and many late late nights, I made a photo book.
What started as 625 pics (purely overwhelming, I got down to down to 200+. That was reduced to 100 or so, hi-res PSDs and JPGs further edited in various ways to correct color and brightness. Along the way discovering things about photography's post-processing mini-me Photoshop Elements. Like secret project 1, which also involved a beasty amount of photos, I learned a lot...about myself and about the process of creating something big like this. (and that I really really suck at project deadline estimation)
I also gained a new appreciation/admiration for people who create photo books or put together portfolios for a living. It's so tricky to tell a story with no/few words, just bold images. Layout helps. But does layout determine photo choice or should photos determine layout? (I found a balance worked. Pick a layout you think will work, then tweak it when you've chosen and edited the photos.) Then there's the pesky issue of captioning (or not), and order, and getting all bound and determined that a certain photo had to be on the facing page only to find another pic that created the PERFECT ending...but when added, threw off the entire layout by making extra pages necessary.
This is a very late Christmas gift to the family. I ordered it tonight. I squee'd when I previewed it. I hope it prints as nicely (or close to) as it looks on the monitor. I hope they like it.