Are you following me as I organize my digital photos? Or, better yet, are you joining me and organizing YOUR digital photos?
Here is the beginning where I outlined Lisa’s steps and my plan. Here is my update from Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6 and Week 7. Listen to the interview with photo organizing expert, Lisa Kurtz: Part 1 and Part 2.
This is week 8 in my digital photo organizing series. I took a break from organizing my photos this last week because I had a fast approaching deadline to make a photo book for my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary.
Guess what?!!! I finished it!! So today I’ll share the 7 steps I used to make a photo book through Shutterfly.
I haven’t done any more organizing of my digital photos. Once I finished the photo book I decided to take a break from photos for the week.
I was sidetracked, too…
Our family is beginning a home project!! We have four kids and to make a long story short (maybe I’ll make this whole process into a series here on the blog) we are starting to build a bedroom in the basement. My daughter recruited the help of her grandparents to get the project started. Her and I spent some time clearing out that space. She is ruthless in getting rid of stuff. More so than I am.
To help raise money for the project and to get rid of stuff I joined the swap shop bandwagon! Last Monday when I had some free time (and could’ve been organizing photos) I took pictures of things that we cleared out of our basement and posted them to our local swap shop. My daughter helped when she got home from school and in 24 hours we raised $72 dollars for the room fund. 🙂
Probably enough to pay for 10 – 2X4s, right? We have $20 coming in tomorrow so things are rolling right along! Haha.
FYI – It’s kind of addicting. If you have stuff to get rid of and you’ve been debating whether to donate it or sell it or have a garage sale you should try your local swap shop Facebook group or VarageSale.
It feels great because it gets the stuff out of your house! Plus, it’s teaching my kids the value of working towards a goal.
On another note, Nikole left this comment on a post in this series. It made my day!! Sometimes I just need to read the love. 🙂
Your last 7 weeks of posts have been invaluable! I am putting together a photo organizational class for Relief Society sisters in my neighborhood. Thank you for your wonderful insights and explanations along with pictures and links! I am making progress thanks to Lisa and Tracy. Looking forward to reading more later and good luck with the 50th Anniversary photo book. One of those things you can’t put a price on! They will LOVE it! Clutter Interrupted is my new favorite website.
Many thanks, Nikole
We love comments like that!
Now to the 7 easy steps
Photo books can be overwhelming. Having to take all of your photos, choose the ones you want to include, decide on a book size, cover, theme, background for each page, embellishment options, font style, page layouts that actually work with the picture shapes….Whew!
Photo books can be extremely intimidating.
But I love them!
I have managed to make a summer vacation book every year for the past 6 years. I always use Shutterfly. They have great coupons, sales and almost always free shipping promotions.
My goal is to make one “year in review” book each year but haven’t done that because it seemed so daunting. Now that I am getting my digital photos organized I’m getting more excited about the project.
Here are my 7 steps to help you make a photo book (using what I use, Shutterfly).
1. Purge photos before you start
I think it is important to do this step BEFORE you upload your photos into the photo book project. I didn’t do a great job at this but I can’t imagine what it would’ve been like if I hadn’t done this.
Go through each of the photos from the events you are including in the book. I was only including pictures from a specific trip where we celebrated the 50th anniversary so I had one folder of pictures to look at. I also had two sets of photos from two other people on the trip.
You might be making a year in review or a graduation book for your 18 year old. In that case, I would suggest you review and upload a month or a year at a time.Better yet, as you organize your digital photos rate them with 5 stars or add the tag YIR (year in review) or GB (graduation book) to the photos you absolutely love and know you’d want in a book. You can always go back and add more from that event but you’ll have your favs easily searchable.
I went through each photo to:
- Delete the obvious blurry photos, dark photos, and if you have multiple group photos delete the ones that have people with their eyes closed or heads turned.
- Rotate photos so they are upright.
- Compare group shots or scenery photos. Which picture of the exact same scene is the best? Delete the others.
2. Take notes of your favorites.
Write down the numbers of your absolute favorites or tag them. I had one piece of paper with the numbers of my favorite shots – one of grand kids, one of my mother and father-in-law, one of each family, one of the whole group, one of the girls, etc. I’m a paper person so it helps me to write things while I think through them.
Again, when uploading photos to your computer the first time remember to rank them. Giving them a 5 star = best. Learn more about ranking and tagging here.
These photos were the ones I absolutely wanted to focus on – my 5 star rated photos (rate them in your photo software while you are looking through them).
When making the book I used these photos for my full page layouts.
3. Upload your photos.
Steps 3 and 4 are interchangeable. You can choose the book specifications and then upload your photos directly into your photo book OR upload them into an album in Shutterfly and then add them to the book.
It is simple to upload. Just click on My Pictures and Upload. Choose the photos from your computer you wish to upload.
4. Choose your photo book specifications.
Once you upload your photos you can choose to order prints, make a photo book or several other options. Click on Photo Book.
Choose the custom path or the simple path. The simple path will take the photos you’ve chosen and put them into the book. With the custom path you do all of that yourself. I chose the custom path.
Next, choose the book size. All of my vacation photo books are 8X8. After being a scrapbooker for many years and making several (but not as many as Lisa) ginormous 12×12 albums the 8×8 albums are light as a feather and wonderful to pull off the shelf to enjoy. Shutterfly now has a new 10X10 size. I chose it for this project.
Next, choose the style. Here is the fun, yet time consuming and slightly overwhelming part. It blows my mind how many different styles there are to choose from. There are tons of categories and many styles within each category. I could sit and look at them for hours. Amazed at how beautiful they each are.
So what do I do? Choose Simply Black. It helped make this project go faster because I didn’t have to decide what color each page would be. When in doubt pick black.
5. Begin putting the photos into the book
The first page allows only one picture on the layout. After that you can choose the number of photos per layout. Choose the number of pictures you want on each page in the Layout tab. I like to mix it up. I’ll put one large photo on one page and then on the facing page I’ll have 3 or more pictures on the page.
It helped me to focus FIRST on just getting the pictures into the book in chronological order with facing pages of the same event. I didn’t add text yet because it really slowed me down.
Once I put most of the pictures in I took a break.
6. Add text.
I like recording names, dates, times, and memories of the things that we did. It is easy to change the layout if you need one with more text options.
7. Preview and order.
I had my sister-in-law review my book. I’m thankful I did because we added a few more pictures that she had and corrected some errors in my spelling (writing is not my strength).
Never pay full price. Before you place your order search the internet for coupons and be sure to check Shutterfly’s own special offers on their site (click learn more or see offer details once you are there).
Two days later I realized that I could’ve upgraded to faster shipping or gotten free shipping from a coupon code on their site. That would’ve gotten the book here in time for the party! Now it will be a Christmas gift (sorry, Karen, if you are reading this!)
Speaking of Christmas (or Hannakuh or the New Year) Shutterfly has a special that I will be taking advantage of – if you spend $50 on cards before November 24th you get 3 free gifts.
My book came in the mail in the cute orange box. It was nice to celebrate! Having these photos in a completed book is worth every second of the work it took to get them there.
Now I will get back to organizing my digital photos using the small chunks of time I have available here and there. When I learn something new I will post an update. Until then please email (or leave a comment) your questions or successes! I want to hear from you!
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