Have you been meaning to create something with your photos?

It’s a familiar story that we at EverPresent hear all too often from our clients: “I have all of these digital photos on my computer, but I never even look at them!”

One of the few downsides of maintaining a digital archive is the conundrum where we take thousands of photos every year, but hardly ever look at them, let alone turn them into physical treasures. I’m sure all of us (of a certain age range!) have fond memories of flipping through our family’s photo albums. This tangible effect can become lost in this world of digital photos, but fortunately, it’s now easier than ever to create unique and meaningful gifts and other items using your personal photos.
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Here are our best tips for staying on top of annual photo books.

  • Prioritize! It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by a massive archive of thousands of digital photos. Spend some time scanning your archive and selecting the best photos from each year. You can tag these as highlights depending on the photo software you use, or just put them in a folder.
  • Once you’ve narrowed down the best photos from your collection, you’ll have a better idea of what you’re actually working with, and the task of creating a photo book won’t seem as daunting.
  • Make a new tag or album for each separate photo book to stay organized.
  • Check the quality and resolution to make sure your digital photos are large enough to convert properly to a printed photo. You will likely be required to have a photo size of 2 megapixels or more. If the photos you want to use aren’t high-quality enough for prints or a photo book, consider making a slideshow — the requirements for photo resolution and quality are typically lower.
  • If you’re using captions or other text in your photo book, it’s best to save a digital copy of this data in a Word document. You never know how many times you may need to copy and paste.
  • Your level of involvement in a photo book project is entirely up to you. Whether you’re a creative type who loves making scrapbooks and arranging every detail of your projects, or if you have no interest in the process behind making photo gifts, there is something for everyone. You could print photos at your local print shop or Walgreens and tackle the project entirely on your own, or you could use a website like Shutterfly or MPix that will take care of the grunt work for you. We have dedicated, professional photo book consultants here at EverPresent who can assist you with every step of the process.

Going the DIY route?
Some tips on Shutterfly v. Apple photos

Choosing Between Custom Path and Simple Path on Shutterfly
To make a photo book on Shutterfly, you must select between “Custom Path” and “Simple Path.” They also have a new option where you can hire one of their designers to make the photo book for you.

  • Prices for photo books on Shutterfly start at around $11.
  • With Custom Path, you have over 200 themes to choose from and additional options for the cover. Simple Path, as the name suggests, simplifies this process and narrows things down to about 20 themes to choose from. You can easily link in photos from other places, like Picasa and Facebook, in addition to the ones you’ve uploaded to Shutterfly for your project.
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  • Custom Path is infinitely more flexible, with page embellishments and red-eye reduction, plus photo effects you can apply using the website. There are also controls for spacing and layering objects, and you can open a separate view to change layout elements like image size and the number of photos per page. Custom Path is a bit more difficult to become accustomed to, but is the best option for those who want to work out the exact details of their photo books and are willing to spend a bit more time doing so.
  • Simple Path is more constraining. You won’t be able to change photo sizes or layouts, though you can remove and rotate pictures. You can convert Simple Path to a custom book through drop-down controls, which saves you from re-uploading your snaps.
  • simple path

How to Create a Photo Book Using Apple Photos

  • To start creating a photo book in Photos, just open the program and click the “Add To (+) menu.
  • From there, you can select the pictures you want to use and then choose a theme.
  • The program will automatically lay out the photos you want to use and you can then customize your book with text, layouts, maps and more.
  • When you’re done, Apple prints the book for you and will send it to you.
  • Prices for photo books using Photos start at around $10.
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“I want to be involved in my photos. It’s important to me. I’m OK with technology. But there were just too many photos. I was totally frustrated and demotivated and had basically stopped doing anything except for holiday cards.”

Rachel J.