The magic of storytelling – Photolane review + special offer

‘I’ve got another story mummy, write it down!’

Miss Four races over to me with a sense of urgency, her big brown eyes wide with excitement.

‘Hurry, mummy,’ she says as I drop everything and scramble to find a pen and paper to capture her words as they tumble out of her mouth.

‘There once was a girl, who loved coconuts …’ she starts.

Her words flow thick and fast as she tells me her tale with great animation.

‘Read it, mummy,’ she orders me once she’s done.

Once I’ve read it to her, she takes the piece of paper and folds it carefully into a small square that fits snugly in her hand.

She carries her story with her for the rest of the day, occasionally asking me to read it back to her. Before bed, she takes her stool and balances on top of it as she places her story high up on her bookcase with the rest of her creations, out of reach from her little sister.

She’s been creating stories for the better part of this year now and has quite the collection of tales. It all started when I did a children’s picture book writing course with the Australian Writers Centre in January.

Miss Four loved watching me write stories and test them out on her. Sometimes I would turn my story into a little paper book for her to illustrate.

We have this in common, my little love and I, we love to tell stories, share, and see the reaction on people’s faces when they read our words. There’s something special about it, something that fills our hearts.

We’ve been working on a very special project together lately, that weaves together images and words.

It’s a photo book that we’ve created with the free iPhone app Photolane.

Photolane contacted me recently asking me to review their new app. When they talked about their belief in the magic of storytelling, I knew that I had to test it out.

Photolane allows you to create a photo book; a story; a keepsake of your memories; with your phone in a matter of minutes.

All of the photos I take these days are on my iPhone as my camera broke a couple of years ago and I never replaced it. Being able to take the photos from my phone and turn them into a keepsake sounded too good to be true.

It seemed like the perfect opportunity to take the happy snaps from our first ever visit to a zoo (Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary) and turn them into a special book, which the girls could treasure forever.

As far as the average Joe goes, I’m pretty darn technologically challenged, but I found the Photolane app super easy to use and intuitive.

photolane

When you open the app, all you need to do is click on ‘Create Now’ to get started. The camera roll from you phone appears and you’re required to select a minimum of 32 photos. (The photo books are 32 pages long, so you can have a photo on each page or a couple on some of the pages).

photolane 2

Once you have selected your images, you can focus on the layout of your images and pages.

On each page you can choose between a number of different layouts and you can also add text to each page. (Please note the themes mentioned on the Photolane website are not yet available and the text is currently offered in black only and a standard font and size.)

photolane3

I decided to turn our photo bookΒ  into a mini storybook using the words out of one of the girls’ favourite books, We’re going on a bear hunt, to help tell the tale of our visit to the koala sanctuary.

photolane4

Within half an hour, I had created and ordered a beautiful photo book. (I think the next one I create will be much quicker as I was um and ahhing about which photos to choose.) I didn’t have to wait long for my masterpiece to arrive. It was with us in just a few days’ time. Miss Four can’t wait to take it to show and tell.

photobook2

The Photolane photo books are beautifully crafted 8 x 8 inch lay-flat books available in hard or soft cover.

They are valued at $20 for soft cover and $50 for hard cover. Standard shipping is free.

Photolane is kindly offering Mummy, Wife, Me readers a special discount offer.

Use the code QBFPU to receive a whopping big 50 per cent off your first order.

This offer is available until midnight on 31 July 2014.

Disclosure: Mummy, Wife, Me will receive a percentage of sales for each book sold. As always, all opinions are my own.

Do you believe in the magic of storytelling? Have you created a photo book before? Do you have a creative child? Do you like telling a good yarn?

Linking up today with Essentially Jess for IBOT.

45 comments on The magic of storytelling – Photolane review + special offer

  1. Ashlea @ Glamour Coastal Living
    July 7, 2015 at 6:39 am (2 years ago)

    Oh that is gorgeous, what a great imagination – and how special you can share it with your little Miss!

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 8, 2015 at 6:22 am (2 years ago)

      Thanks Ashlea. It was a fun activity πŸ™‚

      Reply
  2. Lydia C. Lee
    July 7, 2015 at 7:15 am (2 years ago)

    I really need to do this – I haven’t printed off photos for years!!

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 8, 2015 at 6:23 am (2 years ago)

      Oh I know! I’m terrible at it. This is such a great way to present the photos and super quick too!

      Reply
  3. JodiGibson (@JFGibsonWriter)
    July 7, 2015 at 7:36 am (2 years ago)

    Lovely idea. Miss 7 said to me the other day she was going to write children’s books when she grows up – and get her big sister to illustrate them. Heart swell. x

    Reply
  4. Nicole@ The Builders Wife
    July 7, 2015 at 9:06 am (2 years ago)

    This is one of the best app’s I’ve seen. I love it, I will most definitely have to check it out. xx

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 8, 2015 at 6:24 am (2 years ago)

      Great! Thanks Nicole. I’m glad you like the look of it. x

      Reply
  5. Pinky Poinker
    July 7, 2015 at 9:12 am (2 years ago)

    What a fabulous idea. I wish these had been around when my kids were little πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 8, 2015 at 6:25 am (2 years ago)

      They’re a great way to capture any holiday snaps too, Pinky.

      Reply
  6. Toni @ Finding Myself Young
    July 7, 2015 at 9:16 am (2 years ago)

    Its so cool that you can create it straight from your phone. If only I had an iphone! I love photo books and really love the way you’ve turned yours into a story.

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 8, 2015 at 6:25 am (2 years ago)

      Thanks Toni. Hopefully an android version is coming soon πŸ™‚

      Reply
  7. Amy @ HandbagMafia
    July 7, 2015 at 10:42 am (2 years ago)

    This looks wonderful! I had no idea you could do this with an app- I’ll be checking it out for sure!

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 8, 2015 at 6:26 am (2 years ago)

      Great, Amy! Yes, it’s a little bit clever πŸ™‚

      Reply
  8. Raychael aka Mystery Case
    July 7, 2015 at 11:25 am (2 years ago)

    How gorgeous. I wish we’d done something similar for our girls. Although they were more into creative drawing and painting than story telling.

    I’m definitely going to look at having a book made up for each girl and possibly a joint thing from the girls to their grandmother. Looks fantastic.

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 8, 2015 at 6:27 am (2 years ago)

      That sounds like a beautiful idea, Raychael x

      Reply
  9. Mumma McD
    July 7, 2015 at 12:11 pm (2 years ago)

    My miss 3.5 has started storytelling and I try to capture as many as possible. This week’s is about a dog who climbs trees and eats monkeys (yes, eats them!) abd helps her clean her room πŸ™‚
    Amazing imaginations they have!!

    Reply
  10. Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me
    July 7, 2015 at 12:52 pm (2 years ago)

    Now I must get on to this and send to relatives – thanks for this Renee, what a fabulous app. x

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 8, 2015 at 8:31 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks Em. I’m glad you like the look of it x

      Reply
  11. Ingrid @ Fabulous and Fun Life
    July 7, 2015 at 1:50 pm (2 years ago)

    I love the idea of creating photobooks as lasting memory keepsakes. They are especially wonderful for special holidays away.

    I also love the enthusiasm of your daughter with the words bubbling out of her ready for you to capture on paper. Slightly off the photobook topic but you could make a wonderful keepsake book of her stories for her to enjoy when older as well!

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 8, 2015 at 8:32 pm (2 years ago)

      Yes, that’s a brilliant idea, Ingrid. Thank you. I’m definitely going to do that x

      Reply
  12. EssentiallyJess
    July 7, 2015 at 2:44 pm (2 years ago)

    What a great idea. I have wanted to do something like this for a while, but never get around to it. I’ve got a child who loves to tell stories. I would love to make a book like this for him as a gift.

    Reply
  13. Bec @ The Plumbette
    July 7, 2015 at 3:15 pm (2 years ago)

    I’ve been meaning to get Phoebe’s birth photos off my phone and into a book. I have until the 31st of July to get started!

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 8, 2015 at 8:33 pm (2 years ago)

      A nice first birthday gift for her, perhaps πŸ™‚ x

      Reply
  14. Natalie @ our parallel connection
    July 7, 2015 at 6:28 pm (2 years ago)

    Ash always write stories down and now, in year 9 you should read some of her amazing descriptive writing. Encourage encourage… Such a wonderful talent

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 8, 2015 at 8:34 pm (2 years ago)

      Ahh sounds wonderful, Natalie. I will definitely be encouraging our little one x

      Reply
  15. Hugzilla
    July 7, 2015 at 8:46 pm (2 years ago)

    Oh my god I was swooning with that anecdote about your daughter being a writer like her mummy. Heart. Swelled. I don’t use apps on my phone because I am a bona fide fossil, but this looks like a fab idea.

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 8, 2015 at 8:35 pm (2 years ago)

      Lol! You’d be surprised how easy it is to use πŸ™‚

      Reply
  16. Zanni Louise
    July 7, 2015 at 8:52 pm (2 years ago)

    They sounds great! Elka will love this. Like your little one, this is one of her passions. Tonight she’s made a book about Elsa and Anna from black and white print outs because her mummy doesn’t buy that kind of thing for her. She’s written an original story for it too!

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 8, 2015 at 8:36 pm (2 years ago)

      Oh wow! That sounds amazing, Zanni. I love how creative our munchkins are x

      Reply
  17. Vicki @ Boiled Eggs & Soldiers
    July 7, 2015 at 10:51 pm (2 years ago)

    I love that your daughter tells you stories to write down that’s so lovely. What a great app I’m going to have to check it out. I’ve got 3 years worth of photo’s I’m meant to be making into books but It takes too long – this will be much easier.

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 8, 2015 at 8:37 pm (2 years ago)

      Wow. Yep, that is a lot of photos. There’s never enough time to print and put them all into albums is there, especially if you take as many snaps as I do?!

      Reply
  18. Tash @ Gift Grapevine
    July 8, 2015 at 12:10 am (2 years ago)

    I have so many photos on my phone that I need to put together in something like this (especially the holiday ones) – what a fabulous idea! Might have to take you up on that special offer Renee. And I love how your girl is making up stories just like her Mum – you need to put those together in a book too! xx

    Reply
  19. Elisha
    July 8, 2015 at 8:08 am (2 years ago)

    Awesome App!! Im going to have to trial this one. Thanks

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 8, 2015 at 8:38 pm (2 years ago)

      Great Elisha! I’m glad you like the sound of it πŸ™‚

      Reply
  20. Dannielle
    July 9, 2015 at 2:51 pm (2 years ago)

    What a fantastic App!
    I’ve been thinking of making a photo book for the holiday we had in Fiji last year. I think this would be a great place to start for me. You’re always full of great inspiration Renee, last week it was Frew park and this week it’s a beautiful photo book. Miss Four sounds like she’s following in her Mummy’s footsteps πŸ˜‰
    Have a gorgeous week xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      July 16, 2015 at 9:22 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks Dannielle πŸ™‚ xox

      Reply
  21. Erika @ Ever-changing Life of a Mum
    July 10, 2015 at 8:30 pm (2 years ago)

    I love the sound of that app! It would be perfect to create a beautiful photo book following the birth of my baby girl, I’m definitely going to check it out. My eldest daughter loves to write stories and create books just like I did when I was her age. Writing and reading were always my favourite things to do, and it looks like she she following in her mum’s footsteps πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      July 16, 2015 at 9:23 pm (2 years ago)

      That is so beautiful, Erika. You must be proud πŸ™‚

      Reply
  22. Robyn
    July 16, 2015 at 3:14 pm (2 years ago)

    Awww what a cute app, I’m going to download it right now. My girls love storytelling too. They have books on their ipads where they can record their own voices telling a story. They LOVE it and do them over and over again. xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      July 16, 2015 at 9:24 pm (2 years ago)

      Those apps sound great, Robyn. I’m going to have to check them out. Thanks x

      Reply
  23. Tonia Zemek
    July 17, 2015 at 7:16 pm (2 years ago)

    What a great idea! I love that you and your little one have been writing stories together too; especially when she illustrates them! What a talented family. xx

    Reply

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