One of the best tips I can give anyone short on time and one that I do all the time is repurposing not only my old layouts, but entire books. Time is precious and I often find myself pressed to make photo books. Especially after starting this blog, I have even less time to make photo books!
Some photo book companies have software that will allow you to save your custom layouts as templates for use in future books which is a great feature. Blurb, MyPhotoCreations, Bridebox, Photobook America and Photobook Canada are the ones that come to mind. (If you want to see exactly how to make and save templates in Blurb check out this post.) Other companies may not have that function, but there’s an easy way around that. Most companies provide a “duplicate book” or “copy project” option. (It may be named differently depending on the company but you get the idea.) It makes a complete copy of your book which you can retitle. Then all you have to do is upload a new set of photos and drag and drop over the old photos. Just make a few tweaks to your layouts to fit the new photos if necessary and voila – you have a brand new book! I’m sure the second and subsequent books will go lots faster with most everything already laid out.
I just recently made a photo book for a friend’s milestone birthday and I have another friend reaching the same milestone in a few months. I was trying to think of a good custom gift to give friend #2 and a light bulb went off – duh just use the same book and replace the photos! (Actually, I based the first friend’s book off Photo Book Baby’s First Birthday photo book which in turn was based off of the Valentine’s Day books given to the grandparents! How’s that for efficiency?) Now, some of you may feel that it’s not “original”, but the work is all mine and the two friends won’t be comparing notes. If I change out some backgrounds and tweak the layouts a bit, it can be a completely different book with a different theme, with the core structure remaining the same. It’s the thought that counts right?
I also use a similar method when making multiple photo books for family. I lay out a complete book for one family member for instance and then I duplicate the book then just change out a few photographs, putting greater emphasis on those featuring my recipient. It’s an easy way to get all your Christmas shopping done in one fell swoop and trust me, it’s cherished so much more than any other type of gift you can get them.
Similarly many readers make “year in review” books each year of their travels or of family and friends. Keeping the same layouts and same fonts each year can lend a cohesiveness to the project – like a series (they look very nice all lined up on the bookshelf)! Why reinvent the wheel each year? I made Photo Book Baby a Year in Review Book filled with his first year milestones and we’re fast approaching his second birthday now. I’m planning to take my old book with the same layout and just plop in all the photos from months 13 through 24. Done and done!
Did you find these tips useful? You may want to check out my post on repurposing layouts within a photo book.
Happy Photobooking folks!