Creating A Family Photobook | Oh The Memories…
Photographer | Southern Pines and Pinehurst, NC
If you’re anything like me, you have hundreds (or thousands) of digital images on various devices that capture memories in your life – your cell phone, your husband’s cell phone, your child’s kid camera, your pocket camera – and for me, my “good” camera as well. And if you’re like me, you have little time to create a family photobook with hundreds/thousands of images.
If you don’t get them on print, you could lose them (or forget them) – so my advice is to print them. Plus, having a coffee table book filled with family photos is a great conversation piece!
I started creating family photo books when my daughter was born – one for each year, ending with her birthday (after all, she was the center of our world!). My first book took about 3 weeks to make, with up-all-nights and dark circles under my eyes. The second year took about 2 week with a little better organization and planning to avoid the prior year’s dark circles… still some dark circles. Now, on my 5th book, I’ve got it down to a science! That’s good, because now there’s a baby boy to include – and luckily he has the same birthday as my daughter (no, we didn’t plan it that way – and yes, I love having their birthdays on the same day) – so this photobook begins with the birth of my son and ends with their birthdays.
While creating the last few photobooks (which I do through Shutterfly because, well, it’s fast and easy – print quality has vastly improved in recent years), I realized that the first step for me is getting image sizes down to a reasonable size. When I use my “good” camera, my images can be up to 25MB – yikes! Talk about a slow upload time to the online book creator app! I also realized that when placing the photos into the book, I wanted them to be in chronological order by name. Coming from different cameras, I needed to rename the images. I use Lightroom to mass resize/rename and it’s working beautifully!
Here are my steps:
Step 1. Create a new folder on my computer called (e.g.) “2014 Photobook” with subfolder “Final Photobook”
Step 2. Import all images (from all devices) onto my computer (into whichever folder I store my family photos).
Step 3. Hand-select all of the “best/keeper” images and copy/paste them into the Photobook folder (this is the most time-consuming part).
Step 4. Open Lightroom and import all of the images.. (This step may not be necessary for everyone but is imperative for me!)
Step 5. Export all of the photos from Lightroom to the “Final Photobook” folder with a naming convention that places the photos in order by name and month taken (e.g. 1-photobook-January, 2-photobook-January, 3-photobook, February, etc). When exporting, I shrink the images down to 1500 px size, which will allow for quick upload to Shutterfly while still keeping image quality in tact.
Step 6. Go to Shutterfly, import the images to a new album, create a new photobook Project, add the new album to the project and VIOLA! You can have Shutterfly do the work – or you can hand-place them into the album – but it goes so quickly at this point.
Looking back at my 925 “keeper” photos from 2013-2014, it brings back so many great memories!
Where it began…
And another wonderful birthday ending, this time for two…
Happy New Year, Everyone!