How to Make A Wedding Photobook

This is how great I feel now that I'm done with our book! After our wedding, and after our honeymoon, I have felt really overwhelmed with the number of pictures we ended up with.

I had a friend who ordered a photographers’ print package for her wedding and ended up with a 18×24 print of her husband and a picture book with around 500 pictures in it. The photobook was so long it was painful to sit through and, you know, it’s just me, but I don’t want a 2 foot tall picture of myself, at all, ever.

So we ordered the bare minimum – just two DVD’s of pictures.  Which is why I just spent the last million hours of my life going blind putting together a photobook of our wedding on Snapfish.

Now that I’m done, I’m really excited about it. During, eh, not so much. After a while I figured out a process that made it not so bad, so I thought, why not share? 

We got 2,000 photos back from our photographer, and another 3,000 from 4 family members’ cameras. How did I get them? A mix of Facebook, Flickr, a mailed DVD and one FTP site. In  other words, I let people use the technology they were used to. There are special wedding photo sharing websites, but I worried no one would use them, so we didn’t do that.

I sorted them into folders like, “Pre-wedding BBQ” “Pre-wedding swim party” “Cake Buffet” “Photobooth” (yes, our wedding was awesome) etc. and that didn’t take very long at all. It was important to sort all the different people’s photos into folders, because before I did that they were all out of order and it was making my brain hurt.

So, the next step was narrowing those down to 300 pictures. This is not as hard as it sounds, since the 5,000 pictures are actually just like 100 pictures each of 50 things that happened.  And in half of the pictures, someone’s eyes are closed. Or the babies are crying. So, delete, delete, delete. (As a side note, I kept an original of all the pics on DVD and on an external hard-drive, so I could delete to my heart’s content.)

Then I went through that cut of pictures and tried to fix them up a bit. I crop and edit photos using the free software that comes on Microsoft computers. I actually have photoshop, but hardly ever use it for photos because I am too dumb and lazy to learn how. The free stuff is really fast and even allows you to correct for tilt which was a huge problem with like, all of our pictures. A few tilted pictures are artsy, maybe? But 3000 starts to make your neck hurt. See, before and after:

Dana & Matt-0470                           So MUCH WHITE!
Then I allotted a page or two for each “event/folder” and picked my favorites for my book. Oh that sounds so simple. This took awhile, because I was also trying to be all equal opportunity about family members and nephews and friends, etc., and of course there are two or three family members that somehow avoided being in ANY PICTURES, shame on them!

The great thing about Snapfish – and probably all of these photobook tools – is that for the most part it reads your mind and arranges the picture on the page exactly how you wanted like magic. Once you have painstakingly edited and selected your photos it pops them onto to the page with a fancy background and ta-daaa! Instant! You have a photobook.

The next step is waiting for a sale so you can get three for the price of one. Our books are hardcover with a linen outer covering and will cost around $15 each with shipping. I used 121 photos in my 22 page book.

The other option is to pay your photographer $1-2000 to do all this for you.  The great part about doing our own is that I was able to get fun pics and weird special moments from family that the photographer didn’t capture. And I could make sure that all the cousins etc. were snuck in somewhere. And also, yeah, I charge a lot less.

It is funny to put so much effort into preserving memories. I wanted to have our photos in a super usable format so that I could look at them and enjoy them and not just have them rotting on a hard drive.  Looking through our book, everyone is so smiling and happy on every page, and it I’m so excited for it to come in the mail.

Now I just need to get to work on the same process for our honeymoon…

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