Today I want to share with you how I make our annual family photobooks. I have been making a large coffee table book of our yearly photos since way before I started this blog. In 2009 I started making them through Shutterfly.
They are definitely a lot of work but so worth it in the end and today I want to show you how I get it done. I have finally developed a method that works best for me.
2014 was a chaotic year and I wasn’t able to finish my book. I kept pushing the project ahead of myself and vowed that the 2015 book would be different. So after every event or month in 2015 I uploaded photos to Shutterfly and immediately added them to my photobook. This was such a huge help with having it all done by the time New Years rolled around. After that I also pushed myself to finally have the 2014 book done too.
My kiddos love taking them out and looking at all the memories we have made over the years. With all the traveling we do throughout the year and all the photos I love taking this is a perfect way to keep them all organized and displayed.
Look at how much my little girl has grown! Sigh!
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How to Make Annual Family Photobooks
Stay with the same photo printing company
The reason I stay with the same company to print my books is because I have them all in one place and consistent same format as you can see by the below screen shot. They are all there and should one of them or all get ruined one day, I can order them again. I’m always scared of a fire and knowing that they are right here for me to reprint (which I have also done as gifts for my parents) is easing my mind.
- Keep them all in the same format and layout ( mine are 12×12).
- I save copies ahead of time, so I only need to place the photos.
- I love plain pages with not a lot of decor/scrapbook look which makes it easier to add photos again for the next year.
- Keep all your photos organized in yearly photo folders.
- I use the same font for the spines (I started that in 2010).
- Upload photos monthly and add them to the photobook so you don’t get overwhelmed at the end of the year. Believe me it’s happened to me so many times.
- If you have to catch up and do several years worth of books: Try to set photos to upload in bulk while you are cleaning and doing house chores and also dedicate 0.5-1 hours a day for putting the photos into pages. You’d be surprised to see how much you can get done in a week or two!
I wish now that I would have alternated book spine colors between black and white, so the actual display was stripes. That would have been really cool.
In the previous years I have used shiny covers and thin book pages. This year which you can see in the two white books, I chose the matte cover and the thicker flat lying spine and pages. But I do think I will go back to the shiny cover and thinner pages again next year because the shiny cover makes it wipeable and little kiddo finger prints are easy to remove.
My goal now is to still make some childhood books for each kid with photos of them over the years growing up. I’d love to start with our son to make him a book of his first 13 years of his life. It would be so nice to have.
Do you make yearly books? Do they overwhelm you?
I hope my post helped you in any way today.
Have a great week.