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How to Choose Photos for your Yearbook

6th December 2018

If you’ve spent the past year taking photographs, creating a yearbook is the perfect way to reminisce and round up all those memories in one place. It makes a thoughtful family gift, or a lovely memento to keep for yourself. But after a whole year of snapping away, you’ve probably got hundreds of photographs to choose from, and narrowing it down can seem like a daunting task. Our tips will help you decide which photographs to choose for your yearbook, and get you well on your way to designing a keepsake you’ll treasure for years to come.

Get Organised

If you’re looking at an empty book and wondering where to start, it’s best to organise your pictures first. For many of us, our computer’s Pictures Library is comprised of a huge selection of folders, often named only with dates, which can feel a little overwhelming. Our top tip for narrowing down your selection is to create a new folder especially for your project, rather than trying to add images straight into your photo book. Separate out your favourites first, and the design process will seem much more manageable.

If you have your images stored in multiple locations (desktop, smartphone, Instagram, Facebook etc.) why not try CEWE myPhotos? It’s an easy to use photo storage solution, designed especially for people who like to use their photographs in creative projects. Try the star rating system to help organise your photos and mark your favourites.

Look to Your Past

Vintage photograph for yearbook inspiration

Take some time to look back over old family photos from your own childhood for inspiration. Which ones mean the most to you? It can be surprising which images are the most emotive years later. Keep this in mind when selecting your own photos for your yearbook. Sometimes a candid snap of a family member in their own home can be much more meaningful than any carefully composed and perfectly posed photographs.

Variety is Key

Your yearbook should be a joy to browse from cover to cover. All of our photo books have at least 26 pages, but you can add extra, up to 178 – and it can be difficult to keep your work engrossing for so many pages. One of the easiest ways to keep your yearbook interesting is to ensure it has lots of variety, even when it comes to orientation. Choose a mixture of portrait and landscape photos, squares, and your best panoramic shots to spread across double pages. Keep this in mind when it comes to your subject matter too; you might have taken a dozen beautiful shots of exotic landscapes while on your travels, but no matter how stunning your pictures, they’ll lose their impact if you present them all one after the other. So be sure to mix it up with photographs of local people, architecture, cuisine and even fun snaps of your sunburned travel partner!

Consider Size and Quality

The technical specifications of an image are also an important consideration. If your image is blurry, low quality or low dpi, it won’t look any better when printed on the page. Fortunately, the CEWE Creator Software will let you know if your image is too small. Just keep an eye on the smiley face!

Image size quality guide for photo book

Top Tip: if you love an image, but it’s too small to look good spread across the whole page, try sizing the image box down. The smiley face will turn green when your box is the right size.

Choose Images that Tell the Whole Story

There are always a few “must-have” shots that spring to mind for any major occasion; wedding pictures with happy couples posing outside the venue, holiday photographs of famous landmarks, or family portraits stood around the Christmas tree. While these types of images are all nice to have, when it comes to choosing photographs for your yearbook, try to look for pictures that tell a more personal story. When it comes to reliving memories, it’s all about the details! The photograph of your four year-old blowing out their birthday candles is lovely, but it doesn’t tell as much of a story as the picture of them passed out on Granddad’s lap as the party carried on around them.

candid photo of sleeping grandchild and grandfather in a chair in a cafe

Don’t focus on just the big events, either. Sometimes a snap taken on an ordinary Wednesday afternoon in your own garden can show a more honest insight into your life than a hundred photographs taken on exciting holidays and days out. Remember, your yearbook is a personal record for you to look back on, not just show to other people.

Enjoy the Process

Every moment you take to create your photo yearbook should be enjoyable, from beginning to end. From reminiscing over the great year you’ve had, to expressing your creativity as you design every page, right through to the excitement you’ll feel when you hold all those memories in your hands for the first time – beautifully printed in your very own photo book. And we’re convinced that the more you enjoy the process, the better the end result will be!

Are you looking over the past year by creating your own yearbook? If you’re really proud of the book you’ve designed, you can share it with other photo book lovers in our CEWE Community pool. Plus, every month we pick one photo book we love and treat the creator to a £50 CEWE voucher, as a thank you for sharing your work with us.

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