In 2008 I created our first family yearbook. The cover was plain black with a frame where a picture should have been. I had left the space blank unintentionally and the book printed and was sent to me. It wasn't all a fail because through the years I have learned a few things.
I'm excited to be able to share with you how you can create your own family year book. If you are already making a family photo book, perhaps you can still learn a tip or two. I've made a few mistakes and learned a few things through the years!
Through the years I have used several different companies. My favorite books though, all have these black linen covers with a small cutout in them. Most recently I used York Photo and I loved the quality and the ease of ordering and creating. They were actually much more inexpensive than some of the other companies that I have used in the past and side by side, their books are nearly identical. I would most definitely use them again.
1. Be Flexible
While this is called a family yearbook, sometimes it's easier to not get caught up in the process of documenting a years worth of photos. It's been about five years since we had professional family pictures taken, so the most current family photo book is a collection of all of those images.
I have found that sometimes when I create a photo book, I have a huge amount of pictures that I want to use from family vacations. It's OK to create a photo book with just those images from your family vacation in them. In fact, it's probably going to be much easier for you to have them all in one place rather than to have to narrow them down to fit on just a few pages.
2. Be prepared
Find a system that works for you to compile all of your photos that you want to use for your family yearbook. We have an album in our shared pictures called current pictures. This is where we put pictures from the current year. Then, when I go to make a book, I just upload the whole year of pre-selected pictures. You can also sort out your images. If you find it easier to upload your images every month to your preferred photo site, do that.
You and I both know that there are always photo book deals to be had. Being prepared enables you to jump on those great photo book deals when you see them. If you aren't in a rush to compile an album, make sure your images are upload to the site and perhaps even made into your album and then save it. Once that sale happens, hit buy and reap the savings.
3. Customize your layout
This is much more time consuming, but I find that in order to get all the images into my family yearbook that I want, sometimes I need to customize the layout to allow more images to be used.
Don't get sucked into adding TOO many images to a page though. I have done this with some family pictures, particularly those from family vacations or events and in the end, I wish I had just given them their own book. It would have made looking at those images more enjoyable.