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How to Make a Family Yearbook (Photo Book) Online or With an App

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If you are looking to better preserve memories, this post teaches you how to make a family yearbook (photo book) online or with an app.

Ever since I met my husband in 2012, my life became more full of memorable events, and I wanted to capture and remember them. I started the tradition of creating a yearbook online at the end of every year, filled with our memories, big and small. It's easier than I thought, and easier than perhaps you think too, but I do have some tips for you to succeed as you learn how to make a family yearbook.

It also works great for the end of a school year and/or a monumental graduation year.

Below is exactly how to make a family yearbook online or with an app, then print it into a photo book or share it virtually.

Once my photos are uploaded, the remainder of this process generally takes me about one hour total to complete! This is such an easy and efficient way to preserve your family memories each year.

Note: I use Shutterfly for this process and so, the steps recommended below pertain to how to make a family yearbook with the popular photography print service Shutterfly.

How to Make a Family Yearbook Online or With an App

Step 1: Save your memories throughout the year

The first and most necessary step is to save your memories throughout the year. The easiest way to do this is via your cell phone! I take pictures of all kinds of things, or save them via the internet, including newspaper headlines from monumental events and even photos of watching monumental events on tv!

Here's a few examples from my own yearbooks:

inside a family yearbook
two covers of family yearbooks

You can also photograph things like a child's trophy or award to include.

I like to include pictures of memories both large and small. Sometimes, it's most interesting to look back on the little moments in life, like baking your grandmother's recipe from scratch. It really brings you back to that exact moment in your life when your mind may have forgotten it otherwise.

I also like to have my friends and family send me pictures they took at various events.

I then edit my pictures directly on my cell phone. The quickest and easiest way to do this in an iPhone is to click "edit" on a particular photo, then "auto."

However, I also use the Lightroom app to add filters -- but that's an advanced, and unnecessary, step.

Step 2: Upload your photos to Shutterfly

As mentioned, I use Shutterfly to make my family photo books, so my tips are geared towards their service.

Download the Shutterfly app.

Then, create an account on Shutterfly and login.

Click upload and add photos from your cell phone. I like to do this a few times a year to make sure my photos are saved in multiple places.

Step 3: Create your Family Yearbook Online

To then create a family yearbook online, I like to head to my personal computer because it's easier to customize your family photo book there.

(However, you can use the Shutterfly app if you prefer.)

Head to Shutterfly's website and log in.

Click "photo books" from the top menu.

Click "browse styles."

Pick a template that suits your style from a variety of designs. Some are even geared towards family and school memories. I generally like to pick more minimalist designs so that the photos really stand out.

Select a book size. I like to use 8x11" because that is the standard size.

Select a book type. I always select hardcover.

Select your page options. I generally choose "standard;" however, for my wedding I chose "deluxe lay flat" which is the most premium page style. I generally think standard works fine though!

Click "choose this style."

Click "Shutterfly Photos" and click the pictures you uploaded that you want to use.

Click "next."

YOUR PHOTO BOOK WILL THEN BE AUTOMATICALLY CREATED FOR YOU!

However, I like to edit my photo books, and you probably will want to as well.

Start editing by clicking the cover or the first page you wish to edit.

On the left side of the screen, you will see different layouts you can choose from. They are numbered by how many pictures will appear on the page.

On the bottom of the screen you will see different photos, embellishments and backgrounds to choose from. Everything can be dragged and dropped onto the page.

To edit the size of a particular element, click that element then drag the edges.

On the top, there's also a button to add text.

It's all extremely intuitive and easy to use!

A few quick tips about design: I like to organize my photo books in chronological order. It makes it easier for me to keep the photos organized. There's also a "hide used" button above your photos. I like to toggle this "on." This will remove photos from your queue once you have already used them in the book. Lastly, over the years, I have learned that less is more. While I generally customize the background of each page, I don't add much more beyond photo borders and a few fun elements, like text displaying the month of the year or the name of the event on the page. The photos stand out best this way!

Books automatically contain 20 pages. If you need more, when you get to the last page, simply click "add" at the top of the page.

When you are done, click "Preview" on the top right of the screen and scroll through to see your album in final form. Click "exit preview" when you are finished.

You can then go back and edit things that didn't look right to you.

Once you are completely done editing, click "Add to Cart" in the top right of the screen.

Shutterfly will advise you of any issues with your photo book. You can review them and fix them or add the book directly to your cart.

Once you add your family photo book to your cart, you will be given several upgrade options. I generally decline all of them, except if it's a really special book, I occasionally add the "Professional 6 Color Printing" option.

Proceed to your cart and purchase your photo book!

Buying Tip: Shutterfly almost ALWAYS has codes for extra savings directly on their homepage. So, be sure to check the Shutterfly home page before you make your purchase!

How to Make a Virtual Yearbook

If you're wondering how to make a virtual yearbook, I have a quick and easy solution for you!

Once you have finished creating your photo book on Shutterfly, click "My Account" at the top of the screen.

Scroll down to the section labeled "My Projects" and click "All Projects."

Find your photo book and hover your mouse over it. Click "Share." You can then share your family yearbook via email or Facebook, and you can also generate a link to it.

Share it with yourself or others to view the photo book in final form virtually. Viewers can scroll through the final book online and/or order a copy themselves.


You have now learned how to make a family yearbook online to print it as a photo book and/or share it virtually via Shutterfly.


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Lastly, pin this post to Pinterest because you can refer back to it when you want to dive into how to make a family yearbook.

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