Family Yearbooks: How I Make My Yearly Photo Books in 24 Minutes
When it comes to photo printing, I am asked repeatedly about my process. And the fact that this question comes up so much is just a testament to how much everyone values the importance of printing their photos. For this reason, I am more than happy to share my entire process to inspire you to finally get your family images off of your computer and into your hands. Enjoy your memories, instead of ignoring them on a hard drive. And one of the best ways to be intentional about printing your family memories is by creating family yearbooks.
Family yearbooks are like a year in review, spanning from January to December. My family yearbooks all start with their first page in January and the last page is a family Christmas photo. Because of the way I organize my family images in Lightroom, I can easily export my images in chronological order and create a photo book in no time at all. In fact, I timed myself so that I could have an exact answer for you. Once I selected my family images, it took me only 24 minutes to put them into the photo book. Honest to goodness, it’s so easy! And, for the many of you who find annual photo printing to be a daunting task, I am hear to tell you that it has never been easier. I did mine before my girls woke up for the day, while leisurely sipping coffee. If you are dreading the task of photo book printing, here are some actionable things you can do to make it so easy!
For a complete guide on how I photograph my baby girl’s first year, be sure to read The First Twelve. And to learn how I document our everyday moments between milestones, be sure to read The Everyday Photograph.
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Family Yearbooks: How I Make My Yearly Photo Books in 24 Minutes
I collaborated with the wonderful Artifact Uprising to bring you this tutorial about photo book creation.
Only Export the Number of Images You Need
Trust me, this will make photo book making so much faster. Once you decide on a photo book and the number of pages you want, only export enough images to fit the book. I tell you this because if you export twice as many images as you need, then you are going to slow down your book making as you try to decide which images to use and which to cut. Do the culling once and decide once! For example, for my family yearbooks I decided to have 50 pages that contained a photo on each page. This means I only needed 50 images. As I was exporting in Lightroom, I made sure to only choose 50 images so that, once exported, all I had to do was put the images in the book and click Order! For culling the 50 images, it probably took me about 25 minutes. Add that to the 24 minutes it took me to make the photo book and I am still well under an hour in time! Even though 50 images from an entire year doesn’t seem like much, it is surprisingly a lot of photos! A friend once told me that it only takes one photo to take you back to a certain point in time, so I remember her wise words when I am culling my images for printing.
The reason why I chose this photo album was because I love how you can place the year in gold foil on the binding of each book. When displayed, they look so beautiful and clean. On the front of each album is our family name, which I find to be simple and classic.
If you are having trouble culling your images, the faster the better. As you go through your images, try to be quick about it and go with the images that immediately bring you joy or taking you back to a moment you really want to remember. While I take a lot of photos of my girls (totaling over 1,000+ final images a year), there are always images that I love more than others. For me, if I allow myself to overthink each photo…it can take me too long to cull. Instead, I go through my Lightroom catalog fairly quickly and it helps me choose images with my heart.
Hide Used Photos
Once you have uploaded your images and are making your family yearbook in Artifact Uprising, be sure to click “Hide Used Photos” in the bottom portion of the Editor screen. Just check that box and I promise you it will save you so much time! What this does is it removes images from your view once you have used them. For me, working this way helps me to only focus on the images I still need to place in the book. Instead of wasting time scrolling through what images I have and haven’t used, I am only looking at images that I still need to put into my family yearbook.
Okay, here is the truth! Making sure your images are in chronological order and hiding used photos are the two secrets to making a photo book in 24 minutes. In the image above, make sure that the filter “Date taken, oldest first” is selected so that your images are in order. For me, this means that my images start in January and end in December. And just like that, you have taken all of the guess work and stress out of photo book making. Because I like my family yearbooks to be in date order from the beginning of the year to the end, I simply start placing images into the book without having to guess which images go first. Seriously, it’s a game changer. And to be honest, I didn’t have to click this filter…it was already selected!
Just Do It
I have just given you the secrets to creating a family yearbook in minutes, so just do it! You know you’ve been wanting to and are tired of the task nagging at you. And let me tell you, your family will thank you for it! Honest to goodness, my husband is thrilled with our family yearbooks. Our first family yearbook starts in 2016, when I was pregnant with our first and we have them yearly since then. It is such a wonderful keepsake for your family and it is a testament to all of the time you put into photographing and editing your family images.
Please oh please, print your photos. It breaks my heart to think about photos sitting, ignored on hard drives. Your photos deserve so much more and Artifact Uprising not only makes photo book making so easy, but they create photo books that will stand the test of time. I only use them to print my family yearbooks because they are classic and timeless, ensuring that I will love them just as much in 30 years as I do today. And in 30 years, there will be a lot of beautiful photo books on my shelf with their corresponding year on the binding. I can’t hardly wait to browse through years of images one day because I took the time today to preserve our family memories.
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