How I organize my family photos

Happy Tuesday my friends! It’s August already. How did that happen?? Since it’s the first Tuesday of the month,  it’s time for the Ready, Set, Craft Challenge! I’m linking up with KellyEmilyAmber, and Kerry today to share a post with a project where we all use the same material. This month’s material is…

family pictures!

How fun is that? This is something EVERYONE has and if you’re like me, you struggle with knowing what to do with them. I was wracking my brain trying to come up with a craft idea for my photos. Honestly I tend to just pick a few favorites for our gallery wall and small frames around the house, and update them throughout the year. Pretty boring, sorry!

Instead of sharing a typical craft with you, I decided to share how I “craft” our family photo book at the end of the year. I’m sure you’ve seen the gorgeous family year books floating around Pinterest. Last year I finally bit the bullet and made one!

For the past few years all of our family photos have just been sitting in folders on my computer, lost in random file names. So I will break down how I have started organizing my photos on the computer which makes the photo book making process a lot easier.

I have a “pictures” folder on my desktop with a “2016” folder in it (2015 is still there because I use photos from then on the blog or to print occasionally. The previous years are on my 2 external hard drives.) Then I have a folder for each month.

Each month has folders in it for major activities, and then I upload each month’s cell phone pictures into a folder as well.

Having the photos all separated by month makes it really easy to stay organized for an album.

In theory I could work on the album itself each month…but let’s be honest about the likelihood of that happening. I am hoping to get some work done on it once the boys are back in school next month so I’m not glued to the computer for hours at the end of the year! And I’ll be a tad bit busy in January since that’s when Baby #3 is due to arrive!

So back to the album…there are a few different programs you can use to make it depending on your preferences. The top choices I know of are My Publisher, Blurb, iBooks, Shutterfly, and Artifact Uprising. This past year I went with Blurb, simply because I liked their layout options and price point. They also offered a PDF of my book for a small extra cost. If you’re ok with waiting a while to print there are usually some great discounts or coupons you can get (My Publisher currently has a free photo book offer for new customers, and 75% off for friends and family).

Designing your book can be as simple or complex as you want it. Many of the different services offer pre-designed layouts, where you could just upload all of your photos and it designs the whole thing for you. If you want more control you can create custom layouts. You can even design your pages in photoshop and import them into your book. I went between pre-made layouts and ones I custom designed.

You can add as much or as little text as you want. My plan for this year was to make the album as the year progressed so I could give more detailed thoughts and captions, but that didn’t happen…because life…small children…tired. You get the idea 😉 But I would totally recommend making it as you go, maybe even working on it once a quarter while your brain is fresh!

I spent right around $100 for my 20×20 book and the PDF. It’s a really nice quality hard back book. You could do it cheaper if you went smaller, did it paper back, or waited for a great discount.

I hope this post helps some of you who, like me, are challenged when it comes to what to do with the massive amounts of photos we take of our kids and families. I love having them all consolidated for the year in one book. The boys both like sitting and looking through it, too, and it’s fun to reminisce on how much happens in one year! This is motivating me to get started on 2016’s book!

Be sure to use the links below to check out some other awesome crafts with family photos! They will probably be more traditional crafts than mine, so I’m hoping to find some inspiration there as well.

Next month we will be crafting with…

Any of these type of pre-made paper-mache items. There are so many possibilities! So get to crafting and make sure to share it and link up on the first Tuesday in September! Can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with!


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  • Terri Jones - I need to get with it and be more organized. I take 1000 pictures but never get them printed.. horrible of me, thanks for the inspiration mama!!Love your albumsReplyCancel

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