Thursday, March 26, 2015

Family Yearbook Tips

I wasn't going to blog today because I have lots of work to do around the house.

But then our mail man left this on our doorstep and I wanted to share my excitement.

We're expecting lots of deliveries this week, but I was most excited about this one.

It's our 2014 family yearbook!

I got the idea to make a family yearbook months ago from a list on Buzzfeed of meaningful gifts to give your kids.  I thought it was a better gift/keepsake for the family, and I was determined to make one for 2014 early this year.  I finally finished it last week and now here she is!

This one is mostly about Max because he was the greatest, most exciting thing that happened to us in 2014.  I love how it turned out.

It's hard to believe Max was ever that small.  And its' really hard to remember him without teeth!

I encourage you all to start making family yearbooks.  It was super easy to do and it's such a fun way to document your years together. 

I chose to use Shutterfly to make our book because I've used their products before and have been very pleased with them.  Plus I can typically find a 40% off coupon somewhere to bring the price down a bit.  I got lucky and was able to finish our book in time to take advantage of their free photo book deal!

Shutterfly has lots of template options for photo books, or you can design your own.  When you upload your photos, it puts them into chronological order based on date taken, making it easy to put your book together.  You can even choose to have Shutterfly insert the photos for you.  They even suggest different comments or text to include on some pages, or you can edit it to say what you wish.  Since I've only used Shutterfly for this project, I can't speak to the ease of use of other photo project companies, but I do know that there are other options out there if you'd like to use another company.

I will admit, it was a little overwhelming at first, mostly because my photos weren't really organized to make this project easy.  I've started my 2015 photo files a little differently, though, so hopefully when it comes time to make this year's book, it won't be so daunting.  I used a combination of iPhone photos and real camera photos in this book, and while you can notice a difference in the quality of the two types of pictures, the cell phone photos still look great (I was worried they wouldn't).

Being the reflective person that I am--perhaps it's the teacher in me--I have already thought about how to make this easier the next time.  It would be rude of me not to share these tips with you, so here you go:

How to Make a Family Yearbook (or any photobook, really)
  1. Gather and organize your photos.  If you're going to make a book now for 2014, get your photos all organized on your computer before you even begin to put the book together.  If you want to use some cell phone pics but haven't saved them to your computer yet, do that, too (in my experience, it takes some time, depending on how many photos you need to review).  If you want to start the family yearbook tradition for 2015, begin to mindfully organize your photos for the year NOW so you won't have to in early 2016.  I've decided to organize mine by event and month.  The "Max" folder is also organized by month.  My plan is to get my photos off my cell phone monthly and add those pictures to the monthly folders, as well (last year I just had a folder labeled "iPhone pics" and it was bananas!)
  2. Look at the different template, size, and page number options on whichever site you will use.  This will give you an idea of how to choose the photos you want to include and how to organize your book.  You can always add more pages if you need more space for an additional fee.
  3. Upload as many photos as you think you might want to use to the website.  You don't have to use all of them, but it will be good to have them all there at your disposal.
  4. Begin creating your photobook to your liking.  Take your time.  And make use of the "undo" button!  I sure did! 
  5. When you're ready to purchase, Google "[insert company name] promo codes" to hopefully help you save some dough!  I got our book for free, plus shipping!  Saved myself 30 big ones!

Have you ever created a family yearbook?  If not, do you think you might try one this year?

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