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Six Simple Steps to Organizing a Family Yearbook Using iPhoto

The following post is from Lauren Rothlisberger of Get Me Geekysource: Lauren

I have always wanted four kids.  My first baby was born almost six years ago, and I didn’t put together a baby book for her. My perspective was “anything I wouldn’t do for all of my kids, I wouldn’t do for one”. Call it lazy or practical, but I didn’t make a baby book for each of my kids. Instead, I decided to do an annual family yearbook. I’ll admit that I got behind a couple of years because the task was pretty daunting. I would have to sort through so many photos, I’d easily get distracted trying to find the perfect ones, and my project would stall.

This year I decided to do things a little differently.

*Since my column is focused on Mac products this tutorial is done using iPhoto.

I am going to walk you through the steps that will give you an efficient way to create your own family yearbook. First, you need to have a curator’s mindset. View your family yearbook as your own personal photo museum. In order to put together an elite museum you think like a curator.

Step One: Organize.

Perhaps many of you keep your photos organized throughout the year, but experience tells me many of you have tons of photos with no actual organization. No worries! You are among the majority. Between the cameras and cell phones, it is hard to keep track of all those photos. First, you need to put all your photos for 2012 into iPhoto Events. I recommend using iPhoto Events (not albums) for the best organization. While photo organization is personal preference, iPhoto intends the photos to be organized using Events. If you want to learn more about this method, take a look at my iPhoto MacMini. You do not need to organize into Albums.  Albums will come into play further into this process.

Note: Ideally you should do this routinely throughout the year.  If you are just getting started, or have the gift of procrastination, you will have to go back a few months to get organized.

Step Two: Flag your favorites.

The next step to take throughout the year is flagging. Flagging allows you to start sorting out the pictures you think MIGHT be good for your Family Yearbook without committing to them just yet. To flag a photo you simply roll over a picture in an event and you will see the little flag pop up in the upper left-hand corner. Just click on that flag. If you look over in your left-hand column you will notice a category called “flagged”, click on that category and you will see all the photos that you have flagged so far. They should be ordered by date.

source: Lauren

Step Three: Unflag photos.

Now this step may seem like we are undoing what we just did, but this is a filtering process. Sort of like when you go to the fabric store and take samples home, then choose the perfect one. So lets start un-flagging. Go into your ‘flagged’ category to the left, then un-flag photos that just don’t make the cut .  Do this by clicking the flag in the left-hand corner again. Take a look at the photos you chose and see which you don’t love as much as you originally thought. Remember this is your personal museum. You will find this step particularly useful if you have flagged your photos gradually over the year.

source: Lauren

Step Four: Start an album.

Now we need to create an Album. Some of you may be wondering why we wouldn’t just start at this point. As I mentioned before, the flagging step gives us a filter before really bringing everything into the Album. Additionally, it is easier to just flag a photo than to drag it over to an album. To create a new album go up to File>New Album. Under Albums you will see an untitled album show up. Change the name to “Family Yearbook 2012”.

Step Five: Move flagged photos into album.

Once you have flagged, and then un-flagged, it is time to move those photos over into your new album, “Family Yearbook 2012”. Don’t worry, moving your photos into an album will not remove any of the photos from your Events. This is just a copy of those photos. To do this, go back to the flagged set then click on the first photo in your set, then press shift and click on the last photo. This should highlight every flagged photo. Simply drag and drop into the album you just created. If you want you can go ahead and clear all the flagged photos by pressing “clear flagged” in the upper right-hand corner of the flagged set. This way you can get started flagging your 2013 photos.

source: Lauren

Step Six: Start your iPhoto book.

Finally, it is time for the really fun part! Putting together your iPhoto book. First make sure your album title “Family Yearbook 2012” is clicked on. Then in the lower right-hand corner click on the “Create” button and choose “Book”. This will bring up a whole new screen and should feature a book titled “Family Yearbook 2012” (or whatever you called your Album). At the top of this screen, you can choose the type of book, hardback, softcover, etc… and then with the drop down menu you can choose a theme. You can always change this theme; you are not locked into it. Click “Create” and you are ready to start working.

Note: Your new book will show up under “Projects” in the left-hand column of iPhoto. This makes it easy to work on your album over time.

source: Lauren

Bonus Tip: While I love the integration of iPhoto books, take a look at Blurb. This is a third-party company that allows you to create fabulous, professional looking books. They offer a few more options and flexibility with layout and book types. Blurb has its own software that integrates very well with iPhoto. The first five steps of this process are still completely relevant when using Blurb.

Please let me know what questions you have in the comments. I hope this process helps break down the overwhelming task of sorting and organizing the photos for your Yearbook!

What family memories are you going to include in your yearbook?

Lauren Rothlisberger blogs and consults over at Get Me Geeky. As a military wife, mom of three girls and one new baby boy, she loves focusing on technology and productivity and finding new ways to simplify her life. She recently started putting together MacMinis, which are easy to follow videos for Mac users, and also wrote an ebook, Evernote for Moms.