Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Six Tips for Creating Your Own Yearbooks

So just in case some of you are interested in creating your own yearbooks after reading my post yesterday, I thought I would share some helpful tips that I learned while working on my daughter's. I hope these will make the process easier for you than it was for me - mostly due to my lack of organization!

1. Don't forget your camera.

So often I get caught up in the experience, that I completely forget to take a picture. While I do not believe in missing out on the fun because it is more important to capture the moment on film, I do think I need to try and remember to take just one or two pictures to serve as a reminder. Keep the camera in your purse, or by the door, to help you remember to document field trips and celebrations.

Photo by Muha...

2. Involve your kids.

My goal for the coming months is to have my kids take some photos on their own for their yearbooks next year. I think it will be great to examine the differences in each other's photos: perspective, subject matter, and layout. It will also be neat to see how their style changes as they grow. And I think that this will give their yearbooks added meaning, because they will have contributed to it in yet another way.

This will also a great opportunity to teach my children photography, and explore this medium as part of our art studies.

3. Plan ahead.

It can really help if you make a list ahead of time, of all the things you might like to include in a yearbook. Here are just a few ideas:

• Field trips
• Birthdays
• Experiments/Projects
• Music recitals
• Art work
• Favorite books
• Science Fair displays
• Sports/Games
• Extracurricular classes
• Clubs
• Classmates/Other homeschoolers
• Awards & Certificates
• An official school picture (to give out to family and friends)

4. Fancy doesn't mean better.

Sometimes it is better to just buy a small, simple, and inexpensive camera that can be whipped out at a moment's notice to capture the unexpected. For my birthday, my family bought me a new Nikon. I love it. But it is big and bulky. And it is not something I really want my kids using.

This past spring, we bought a "school camera" that my kids can use to take photos for reports, presentations, science fair projects, etc. It will be perfect for learning about photography.

5. Keep your pictures in one place.

This might be the single most important tip I can give you. Organization is everything, and it will save you hours of work.

Both of my children have their own file on my computer. (This is for me only. They have their own school computer, which is set up for their use.) I have now carefully created a sub-file inside each of theirs that is labeled "School Photos." And inside that file, I have created additional sub-files for each grade. So now, as I take pictures, I can save my favorites immediately inside a single file so that they can be easily located next year. Does this sound neurotic? Maybe. But it will save you so much time and grief when you go to put them all together that you will not regret it!!

6. Backup your files

Never place all your eggs in una canasta. Make sure you back-up your photo files (and all the others on your computer, too!) at least once a month or more. So if disaster strikes, you will not lose all of your treasured pictures. I purchased an external drive for $99 last year. It has been a life-saver. Just remember to keep it disconnected from your computer when not in use. If you happen to get a virus, you don't want it infecting all your backed-up files, too!

Buena suerte!

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