Like the Holy Grail the search for a perfect photo book can be elusive, but it’s still desirable. Take this great question posted in a comment under one of my YouTube videos:
“I’m collecting all of our family photos and making photo books for me, my parents, and my brothers. I always feel like as soon as I complete a book and get it printed, I’m going to discover something else I want to add. How can I reconcile this?”
That’s a great question!
I’m going to give you my very biased opinion and some ideas on what you can do to deal with that problem, because here’s the truth:
It’s possible you could create a perfect family photo book…but it’s highly unlikely.
I, for one, have never printed a perfect photo book. I always have at least one or more mistakes every time. Just so you won’t feel bad, here are some of my family photobook booboos:
In a photo book about a family reunion I listed everyone’s name except for my son’s name! (I still feel bad about that.)
Then there was the book I made about my mom growing up where I wrote what I thought she said—that she got a headache at high school camp from taking driving lessons. But what she actually said diving lessons, which makes a lot more sense because she was at a camp!
In a book about my husband from birth to high school I had multiple errors, like the page I misspelled the word “grandson.”
Other times I’ve left things out that I later wished I had included or I’ve printed a book and later something about the design of a page bugs me!
There’s always something. So…what do we do?
Let me share 5 suggestions for how to minimize omissions and mistakes and after that I’ll give you my last piece of advice.
Suggestion # 1
Spell check every block of type, whether you’re creating digital pages on your computer or photo book pages online using templates. If the software or online company you use doesn’t have a built-in spell checker, copy and paste the type into a word processing document that does.
I use Photoshop to create my pages and it does have a spell checker but I often forget to use it. So we all (myself included) need to develop a habit of spell checking every time. It’ll make us a lot happier with our photo books!
Read your title and journaling out loud—or better yet, have someone else, like a spouse or a friend, read it out loud while you listen. It’s much easier to catch a mistake when you read something out loud.
Have the recipients read the book before you print it because their opinion is what matters the most. And again, ask them to read it out loud, though if you want the book to be a surprise that may not be possible.
Create a PDF of your book first. This lets you finish the book, show it to family members, and even sit on it for awhile before you take the final plunge and get it printed. The upside to that is that the book is DONE and even if you never print it the PDF can be passed down to future generations.
Print each page of your book individually and put it in a binder or photo album. There are several reasons for doing this—
• Some people work on a book over a period of time
• Some don’t have all the information yet
• Others do it to avoid costly mistakes. It’s less expensive to fix mistakes and add information on a single page than to reprint the entire book.
So those are 5 ways to deal with the problem of printing an imperfect book. But now let me give you a piece of advice…
Do follow these suggestions—especially the first four—but don’t delay too long to get your precious book printed. And it IS precious. It’s the history of your family.
Is your family perfect? NO.
And your book probably won’t be perfect either.
My philosophy is to do the best I can and then throw caution to the wind and get it printed. I’ll always see the mistake or two that snuck in there, and I might even reprint the book someday, but for the time being other family members and I will greatly enjoy my perfectly wonderful imperfect books!
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