More than just a fun project, a family yearbook is a keepsake that both current and future generation will enjoy. Here are some tips to get you started.
If you are planning on creating a family yearbook, you will have to start the year with that in mind. Begin to plan out your yearbook as early as possible and make sure to take plenty of photographs throughout the year. Also you may want to consider who your audience is going to be. Are you going to send the book out as a gift to friends and family? Are you just going to create something to keep in your home forever and pass down through the generations? In any event, you will want the photographs that you use to be of the best quality possible, so if you do not have a high-resolution printer, you may want to take them to an outside source like a drug store, or have them printed online (from one of the many websites that offer that service) and sent to you.
This part of the process allows for a little bit of creativity on your part. Will you simply create a book that conveys your family’s year in photos in chronological order? Will each member of your family have his or her own section that includes photos of friends and important events that didn’t happen to include the whole family, such as sporting events, school trips, proms, etc? Does the family dog get a section too? Feel free to let your imagination run wild in this part, and you can even get creative with some of the photo editing before you send your prints off.
There are lots of different ways to do this. You can go purchase a photo album or scrapbook and simply fill the pages, or you can arrange, scan and print complete pages as you go along. There is some room for creativity here as well, so you shouldn’t feel as if you have to pigeonhole your project into either the photo book or the scrapbook category. However you decide to arrange the photographs, and whatever captions, musing anecdotes, or supplemental artwork you choose to include, make sure that the paper you assemble it all on is acid free, and that your paste or rubber cement is as well. This will help keep your photos preserved for a long time to come.
There are a plethora of options here as well. There are some online services that allow you to send PDF versions of your pages to them, and they will send you a complete hardcover book in return. These services vary in price based on the number of pages you want to include, and the number of copies you want to receive. Another option is for you to bind the book yourself. You may be surprised at how inexpensive and dead simple it is to create your own hardcover books. There are thermal binding machines out there that cost less than $100 that produce books that are as good as what you might find at the bookstore. If you are going to be making a few photo books in the coming years, doing it yourself gives you more flexibility and saves you a lot of money – and it’s more fun, to boot.