2012 Family Yearbook: Blurb

It’s 2014. I realize this. But better late than never, right? I started working on this album AGES ago, but with a bunch of weddings in the fall and a last minute trip to Europe in December, it kinda got pushed to the back of my mind. Also, I usually design square albums for clients and since Blurb doesn’t offer a medium sized square book (seriously, Blurb, please offer a 10×10!!), designing an 8×10 album was a bit challenging. But I finally got the hang of it and I really like how it turned out. Because it’s a vertical album, it sort of has a magazine feel to it, which I love!

Here’s how the process went. I keep all of my personal photos organized on my computer by Year > Month > Event so it’s pretty easy to go through those. I also import all of my iPhone photos into a folder in the proper month. I design the album in chronological order with my regular camera photos, and then for the most part my iPhone snapshots go at the end of the month (unless there’s a whole set from one event, which would then get put in the design according to date).

I also pull my favorite/funny status updates from Facebook and Twitter to include (the Mister always says hilarious stuff and I remember it by posting it online!). Those quotes and such go at the beginning of the month (see example below). And any super personal blog posts also get included, for which I just copy/paste the text (and a photo or two… or all haha) into InDesign. (I use Blurb’s InDesign plugin and LOVE it, but if you don’t have or don’t like InDesign, I’ve heard good things about Blurb’s own design program.)

A note: I currently design a separate book for my Instagram photos, so they are, for the most part, not included in this one. At some point I might start including them in one book, but who knows. I take so many pics on Instagram I think I would be WAY above Blurb’s 440 page limit if I tried to combine them.

To give you an idea of some of the designs I came up with and how I implemented all the different kinds of info/photos, here are a few of my favorite spreads. You’ll notice that I like a lot of white space! First up, our proposal story, which was featured on the blog.

Each month is like a chapter, and this is where I include funny statuses and quotes.

The story of adopting Dixie…

Fun random photos…

These are four iPhone pictures from the same day, so they got their own spread in the chronological section of the month.

(A little note: Blurb’s books aren’t lay flat so you really really have to be careful about not putting anything important in the gutter of the book. The first book I printed with them was of branding at my in-law’s ranch, and there are numerous faces you can’t see because they’re too close to the gutter. You’ll notice in this spread that there’s a ton of space in the center – I wouldn’t normally design a client album like this but for Blurb if I didn’t, you wouldn’t be able to see my face on the second photo because it would be in the gutter. So heads up!)

I tried to include some of my random photographs. (I wouldn’t ever call myself a nature photographer, but sometimes it’s nice to try!)

I take a lot of screenshots of funny/sentimental things, so I included a bunch of those as well. And often times the funny stuff that the Mister says is in context of a conversation, so I include that on its own page and not with the other one-liner quotes/statuses at the beginning of the month.

Obviously shooting weddings is a big part of my life so I included a few spreads of behind the scenes photos!

I only included this spread because you guys have to realize how silly my dad is!

Here’s where the rest of the iPhone photos go… randomly thrown together at the end of each month. (I even stole a few pics from my sister to include!)

So that’s how it came together for me. I’ll be sure to share photos when the book comes in the mail… I’m getting so impatient!

Tell me… have you created any photo books of your own? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!


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  • Allyson - Thank you for sharing this! Maybe this is a simple question, may be not, but would you be willing to share a bit more about what you do with your iPhone photos? Do you download, upload, iCloud, send them somewhere, use an ap? What works, what doesn’t?

    Thank you!ReplyCancel

    • Rachel Ruffer - Hi Allyson! I actually just plug my iPhone into my Macbook Pro using the charging cord and copy the photos over to my computer manually. Macs have a program called Image Capture that lets me drag and drop all of the photos onto my computer. Hopefully this tutorial will help you (it also has instructions for PC users). I am an AVID hater of iPhoto, so I hard core recommend NOT using that app to organize/store/transfer your photos – the instructions for Image Capture are below the iPhoto instructions! ;)ReplyCancel

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