Reverse engineer. Blogger.

The invitation

For our 10th anniversary, which was on the 27th of August, we received an incredible gift from Eliza’s mother Carla – an anniversary party in our favor. Since she told us many months in advance that she was going to throw us this party we were able to help with some of the planning and, something I thoroughly enjoyed doing, the invitations.

Since we were planning on inviting a few hundred people I knew that we couldn’t do anything like the LOST invitations (since they took a long time to do) and certainly nothing hand-drawn like the thank you card that I had done in the past. This had to be something digital, printable, personal, fun, and reflect our personalities.

Colin and Eliza in film strip

My favorite set of photos of Eliza and I are ones that we took in a photo booth. To be honest I don’t even know where we were when we took these photos (I’m sure Eliza will leave a comment below answering this) but I just know that these were some of my favorite photos of us. I decided to extend that idea into the invitation and started to browse around online for inspiration.

I ended up finding several examples of people that had taken photo booth generated photos to use them in “film strips” as ways to create things like invitations and other fun projects. Once I had the idea in mind, I opened Photoshop and got to work.

The idea and execution is amazingly simple. Take a single film strip, duplicate it as many times as you want, move them around to make them look like they are sitting on a table, and pop in some photos. But we had a problem. We knew we needed to have text on the invitation for things like the date and time, location, and RSVP information. So Eliza had the idea that we’d hold up blank sheets of paper and I’d then be able to add the text later. This worked out really well since we were able to position the information anyway that we wanted it and spread it out over the invitation as we thought would look neat.

So Eliza and I fired up Photo Booth, an application that comes with all Macintoshes, took a few hundred random photos of us doing silly faces, normal faces, holding up wine, cats, and blank sheets of paper. Then, I slowly placed us into all of the film strips and rotated them until we were happy. Then we saved the file and sent it off to Overnight Prints – a simple and inexpensive printery that we’ve used in the past.

The invitations turned out to be a pretty big hit and now I’m looking forward to putting something together for the thank you cards that we’ll be sending everyone.