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How to create a Photo Book

I really do love Photo Books! – they are a great addition to a bookcase or a coffee table in your home and they allow access to your photos that could have long since been forgotten on your computer – so I thought it was about time I showed you how to create a Photo Book (or at least how I create my photobook!) so that you can see what’s involved.

How to create a photobook - a great way to produce a yearbook for the family - take artwork, cards and photos and create a memory

One of the first photo books I received was nearly 7 years ago.

When my daughter was born we created a folder on DropBox that we shared with family and close friends so that they could see photos of her. This was a great idea as it meant we didn’t have to email everyone individual photos and take up lots of space etc….

It had another advantage that we had no idea about – and that was that my best friend decided to use some of the photos to create a baby photo album for us showing our daughters first few days – and it was the best baby present we received. After all – we were in no way ready to create anything like this ourselves, and it was a really unique and precious gift.

It got me thinking about Photo Books as a way of preserving memories ever since – and in 2010 I started to create a yearly photo book with all the highlights (and sometimes low lights!) of the year.

It’s a way we can easily look back over all we did – and have accessible on our bookcase to show others should they wish to see! – and I think they will be great for my daughter to look at in years to come as a great keepsake that won’t take up too much room!)

I love the tradition of spending some time just after the new year starts, looking back over the year just gone and creating a lasting memory of that year – warts and all!

So, in case you are thinking of creating this tradition in your own home, or creating a photo book for any other reason, here is how I do it:-

 

STEP ONE – PREPARATION IS KEY

As with everything in life – putting in a little bit of effort in prep can make all the difference, and nothing more so in my opinion than with a year book.

Trying to collate everything from the previous year together at the end of the year can be torture – so my way of doing things breaks it down into much more manageable chunks – and that is to tackle it at the end of each month while things are still fresh in your mind.

There are 2 ways of collecting everything together – digital photos and physical paper items (certificates, artwork, mementos etc…) – so here’s what I do with both:-

 

Digital Photos

Every year I start a new folder in DropBox labelled with that year – and then under it I create a folder for each of the months.

Each month I then put all digital photos from that month into the right folder.

These can be photos taken on a camera, on your phone etc… – just get everything together in one place.

TIP – It’s also worth naming each photo (or set of photos) something that will remind you of the event that they were taken at.

489. file format for storing photos ready for the photobook

Paperwork

Again, at the end of each month I take anything I have kept for that month together, and scan it into my computer so that I have a digital copy.

I then add to the same file as the digital photos, and either recycle/shred/keep the physical items depending on their importance (usually this is a great way to get rid of paper clutter, as the scanned copy is just as good a memento).

TIP – if you don’t have a scanner, or if you prefer, you could simply take a photo of each item of paperwork – this works well too

I do this for items such as:-

  • Certificates from swimming/school/clubs etc….
  • Greetings cards for special events
  • Artwork from my daughter
  • Writing my daughter has done that we want to keep
  • Letters
  • Items we want to keep photos of (special outfits or toys etc…)

 

Creating a set of pictures for the Photo Book

Once I have everything in a folder for that month, I now have my MASTER set of photos that we simply keep safe and secure in DropBox.

You could easily stop here and wait until the end of the year to pick your photos for your yearbook – but as you can imagine this would take a lot of time to go through a years photos in one go – so over the years I have decided that the following step is also needed at the end of the month.

Simply take a full copy of your monthly set of photos and add to another folder in that years file called YEARBOOK PICS (you can see this at the bottom of the picture above).

 

Taking a copy means that you can simply go through your pictures in your YEARBOOK PICS folder and delete any photos that don’t make the grade for your yearbook, and just keep the ones that do.

That way, each month I create a full set of photos, and have an edited set within my YEARBOOK PICS file ready to create my photobook at the end of the year.

Simple!

Honestly – I know this sounds like a lot of work – and really it is – but you will always be organised with your photos, you will know where to go to look at any photos you need at any time, and you will be ready to create a fantastic year book with very little stress come the end of the year.

I also love the idea of doing your photos monthly as it makes you more aware of taking photos, so you get more memories, and you do get quick at getting it done once you’ve done it for a couple of months….

 

How to create a photobook - a great way to produce a yearbook for the family - take artwork, cards and photos and create a memory

 

So – you’re all ready, with lots of great photos of the year and scanned items – what next? What happens when the end of year comes around?

Let’s see, shall we!…

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6 Responses to How to create a Photo Book

  1. Janet Barclay Sep 24, 2015 at 4:53 pm #

    Now that my kids are grown up and starting families of their own, I think they might enjoy having a photo book with highlights from their own childhoods. Thank you for the inspiration!

  2. Landi Feb 18, 2015 at 12:37 am #

    Hi Chrissy Thx for sharing. I’ve got about 3 years to catch up on!! Lol I was interested in finding a ‘photo book’ that would allow me to add text and spaces for keepsakes collected over the year. If you hear of anything please share! Thx

    • Chrissy Halton Feb 21, 2015 at 3:33 pm #

      Hi Landi – You could absolutely use a photo book for this as well – just leave blank pages for adding keepsakes (or take photos of the keepsakes), and you can add as much text as you like to some of the page layouts – hope this helps!

  3. Carly Feb 12, 2015 at 3:49 pm #

    Thank you for this. I decided late last year that I wanted to do a photo year book as we had so many events in 2014. I didn’t just want all the pictures to stay on the PC as usual !
    Will definitely be implementing your ideas for this year to make it easier next January!

    • Chrissy Halton Feb 16, 2015 at 10:57 pm #

      Glad it has helped Carly! – Good luck with making yours! x

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