Baby steps – your first photo book

Dealing with digital snapshot photos can be overwhelming.  Last week we talked about overcoming overwhelm by working on decluttering in 5 minutes at a time chunks.  The first step was to make sure your photos are sorted into folders so you can find them.  Now on to a new goal with an exciting tangible outcome – your first photo book!  Thinking of the complete task can be overwhelming so break it all down to baby steps which I have listed below.

  1. Goal: make a photo book from photos in your top priority digital snapshot photo directory.
  2. Set your reward goal for your treat after you complete your goal and project!  Simple or complex, it is up to you.
  3. Set a realistic due date.  This is motivating for me.  I find without a deadline, I just don’t get to it.
  4. Make sure that all of your event photos from camera, phone, text messages, emails, Facebook and friend’s cameras are in your folder.  Scan any other memorabilia you want to include.  Move photo files as needed.  I have 317 photos without scanning memorabilia or checking to see if any other photos are in text message or emails.
  5. Open your favorite photo editing software so you can look through your photos one at a time.  I happen to like the free Shutterfly Studio but there are many out there.  I actually have many photo editing software programs loaded on my computer.  http://shutterfly-studio.en.softonic.com/ Editing is the key to make a so-so snapshot look great!  Not everyone is a professional photographer, but editing the photos WILL give the best result.  Most photo programs have easy to use tools for straighten, red eye, crop and brighten / exposure.  Make sure you make a copy of the photos you plan to edit so you can revert back to the original – just in case.  Shutterfly Studio happens to automatically make a backup, but I usually will save a new copy for cropping.  I will discuss photo cropping and editing in more detail in another post.   Keep in mind that if you happen to have a lot of photos of your event, you may need multiple sessions before you are done editing.  If you are getting tired of the process, stop and come back another time.
  6. Delete ALL unflattering, out of focus or just bad photos.  Save photos that are too dark or too light for now, they can often be easily fixed by editing software.
  7. Rotate any photos that need it.  Some software will automatically rotate for you but some do not.
  8. Delete all but the best of similar photos by looking through large view of photos, one by one.  There is no need to have multiple versions of one photo.
  9. For very special events, some photos may need extensive editing in Photoshop.  Examples: combine group photos to make sure everyone is looking at the camera, removing distracting backgrounds or removing extra people in the background.  If you don’t have the skill for this, ask a professional.  Elemental Design does this!
  10. Review your photos again to see if there are any more that can be removed.
  11. Upload your photos to your favorite photo book printer.  This is also a great way to backup your important data for storm or disaster preparedness for free.  Step through their book design program to create your special event photo book.  Go with the quick load for super quick results.  I usually prefer to put my photos in the order I want so I can control the pages.  During this process, I sometimes reduce photos more as the pages lay out.
  12. Order and enjoy!  There is nothing better than giving someone a sentimental gift that means a lot!
  13. Reward yourself with your goal treat!
  14. Set your next goal…

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