Tackling a Massive Project: The Family Photo Book

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howtodoafamilyphotobook

Confession.

The last family photo book I did was 2010. My 2nd born’s baby book goes up to her 5th month. It has plagued me with guilt!

My lack of being able to manage my family photos and create books where my kids can actually enjoy the photos has at times, kept me up at night. Ridiculous? Yes. True? Yes!

I loved looking through my mom’s albums she did for our family when I was young. And although we now have the cool factor of being able to create some amazing books on our computer, I truly think it was way easier to do albums back then!  You printed your photos, glued the best ones in an album and you were done!

Now I have thousands and thousands of photos, many of which are 10 shots of the SAME thing, so to organize them and put them into a book is a massive project if you get behind. But mamas, I tackled the family photo book project this month, and I am 3/4 done! Can I get a Hallelujah?!  Not done with the past 6 years, but 3/4 done with ONE year, which was my goal.

How to Make a Family Photo Book  

If you are plagued with the same lack of photo album guilt and the massive project that ensues, here’s how I made it into a manageable project.

1. Start Now and Work Backwards

The thought of going back to 2011 and working up was overwhelming, so I decided I am going to do ONE year, 2015, from January – New Years Eve, and make a book for both of my girls individually.

2. Give Yourself a Deadline 

I have been unsuccessful in the past because it has not been a priority and there was no deadline to get it done.  I decided starting this year, I am going to make a book of the previous year for both my girls, and give it to them on Valentine’s Day.

3. Work in Small Chunks of Time to Edit and Create 

I have found working on the project in chunks of time has helped.  For example, when I sit down, I will decide to do a month or two at once, like Valentine’s to Easter, that sort of thing. Makes it easier to get my head around a small block of time.

4. Edit, Delete and Organize 

To start, go through all your photos in that time period and edit. Delete all of the shots of the same thing, with the exception of the best one, etc. so you can pare down the number of images.  Your computer storage will also thank you.

I then created two folders for both girls and then dragged the images I wanted to use in their books into their individual folders. This made it easy to upload since they were all in one place.

5. Pick Your Photo Book Site and Create Your Project

I went with Shutterfly (affiliate link) because I am familiar with the site and it is pretty user-friendly. But there are a ton of sites you can choose from. Once you pick a company, select the photo book you want, and create your project.  Then upload the photos from the chunk of time you are working on and start designing.

I find that it is good to mix up the editing and organizing with the creating, because it gives you a break and avoids project burn out. Going through a year’s worth of photos to edit at one time is a nightmare, but doing a couple months of editing, and then putting your favorites from that block of time into a book and getting to create is a nice balance. Then, back to editing the next chunk of time.

6. Schedule Time Each Day to Work on It 

Schedule little bits of time each day to chip away at the project has helped. Once you get on a roll, it’s easy to keep up with momentum.

7. Stay on Top of it Throughout the Year

Doing one year for two girls at one time has been a LOT of work.  Once 2015 is done, starting next month I am going to try to stay on top of it and do the project throughout the year so I can be working on the book as the year goes on.

Maybe then I will have some time to go back and tackle 2011. Ugh. And my videos. Hold me.

Hope this helps! If anyone else has any tips on how to create family photo books I would love to hear your advice!

7 Comments

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7
  1. 1
    Jenny Chan says:

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one who has this problem! I’ve been trying to tackle this project for many years now and it’s so overwhelming and time consuming! Great suggestions!

    • 2
      jen says:

      It is overwhelming!!!! I have found starting with one project is the way to go – then it gets you on a roll to work on it!!! Good luck!

  2. 3
    Suzanne says:

    Love these!! And videos?! Is there a service out there where I can pay someone to edit footage for me?! I can’t even handle it…

    • 4
      jen says:

      What To do with my videos gives me anxiety.

  3. 5
    LaNi says:

    This is great info. I was just thinking about this as I saw a cool ad for moleskine + milk. It made me think to myself that I wish I could get my photo books done and then I saw your blog email. Good timing 🙂

  4. 6

    Hi Jen,
    You have shared really a good idea for kids. Valentine’s is approaching and it’s a fabulous idea to cover up. Kids can make photo album crafts and can gifts it to their parents. It will make them understand the importance of the day and increase their creativity and affection as a human.

  5. 7
    Renee Hudson says:

    These are some great ideas!

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