Ten friends and a Once Upon book about even more lighthouses

We sat down with Per-Gunnar and Tom for a traditional Swedish “fika” (if you’ve never tried semlor, you just have to do it one day!) to get to know more about their amazing Once Upon book about lighthouses they, and their eight friends, stayed at during the past 15 years. If you want to be inspired and ready to explore the coast of Sweden – keep reading!

A tradition was born

These ten full-of-life-not-planning-on-slowing-down buddies decided one day in 2005 that they wanted to go visit and stay over at a lighthouse. The idea really came from nowhere, none of them were interested in lighthouses before this trip, but they all love being close to the sea so they wanted to try it out – and from there a tradition was born. Fast forward to today, when they’ve stayed at 15 lighthouses together, are part of the Swedish lighthouse companionship, read the lighthouse magazine “Blänket” and – of course –made a Once Upon book.

Memories worth remembering

They came up with the idea to make a photo book when they realized the years, lighthouses and what they did on which trip started to mix together, “ What year was it we went to __?”, “Where was it we met those radio enthusiast?”, “And when was it we had the most amazing seafood dinner?” These are memories we want to discuss in the elderly home together, Per-Gunnar and Tom says laughing, and if it’s already getting hard to remember we decided we have to start documenting it.

Make the process fun

This group sure knows how to make things fun! To get started with their photo book, they didn’t just download the Once Upon app and start adding their photos (which though, all by itself, is pretty awesome). They actually rented a conference room and made a thing of it – with meetings, dinners and a stay at Hotel Lapland. They spent this “photo book conference” organizing their photos, collecting stories from everyone, talking about the purpose of the photo book and delegating different parts of making the book to different people. It was all downhill from there and the book, as you can see, turned out amazing.

Three tips when you make your Once Upon book together:

  • Get together – make a thing around getting the book started together. It’s a lot of fun and you’ll get it done quicker!

  • Collect everyone’s photos in one album, start sorting and selecting which ones will make the album, and then add them to the actual book in the app. Do it in small steps!

  • It’s great to have a structure to lean back on, for the photos but also for the text. For example, we added the name och the lighthouse, the coordinates, a bit about the lighthouse and then our personal note about the trip from one of our friends diaries.