How to make a family yearbook

Create an archival keepsake of your family’s annual timeline of memories

Family yearbooks are more than just a photo book; they're treasures that encapsulate the moments, stories, milestones, and recollections of your family experiences throughout the year.

At MILK Books, we believe that preserving these moments should be a simple and joyful experience. With our easy-to-use online Design Studio, bringing your family’s memories back to life in print has never been easier. Follow our tips and tricks to create a beautiful family yearbook – designed to be cherished for generations. As you build your yearbook, take inspiration from yearbooks made by our MILK community.

1. Timestamp your year

Father carrying laughing daughter

Photo Credit: @hyakoklens_photography

The key to an exceptional family yearbook lies in capturing moments as they unfold. Create a habit of taking your camera to gatherings as a family, big or small, throughout the year. Snap a photo as you share meals together, participate in activities, or simply when you’ve found a moment in time to relax. Whether it's a special holiday, a casual weekend outing, or a spontaneous getaway, these snapshots form the timeline of your yearbook.

One of the most rewarding aspects of creating a family yearbook is the journey of rediscovering your precious memories. To get started, you want to begin collecting your photos and organizing them by month. This way you can tackle your project one month at a time and it will make the design process much more manageable. Here are just a few suggestions to help you get started on the kind of moments and memories that are worth including in your family yearbook:

Family gatherings – Think seasonal holidays, reunions, and celebrations with your loved ones.

Family vacations – Photos from your family trip, whether it’s a short weekend break or a week long escape.

Milestones – Birthday celebrations, anniversaries, and any other significant family occasions.

Kids’ achievements – First day of school, sports events, or artwork.

Day-to-day life – Candid, unfiltered moments of your everyday life; a mundane moment today could be a special memory several years from now!

Pet adventures – An adored member of any family, include heartwarming moments with your furry companions.

Hobbies and interests – Include photos of family memories pursuing their hobbies, whether it’s painting, gardening, or playing an instrument.

Gratitude pages – Use a layout that allows for text and include a section where each family member can write down what they’re grateful for from the past year.

Next, you want to refine your photo selection for each month. Delete any duplicates or similar images and remove any that you don’t want to make the cut. This step streamlines your image collection and will save you time during the design process.

3. Find your format

Premium photo book

For family yearbooks, we recommend our Premium Photo Books. With a generous page count of up to 200 paper pages, our Premium Photo Books provide plenty of space to include hundreds of photos from the year. Plus, the archival quality materials will ensure your precious memories can be enjoyed by this generation and the next. Compare our range for a comprehensive overview of the different formats available to find what’s right for you.

4. Upload your images

MILK Design Studio how to upload images

After getting your images organized it’s time to upload them into the MILK Design Studio. There are multiple ways you can import images into your project. You can add photos directly from a desktop or mobile device or import from Dropbox, Google Drive or Google Photos. You can also access images used in any existing MILK projects.

Once all your images are imported, we recommend you arrange them in the order you want them to appear in the project. You can sort by date taken, file name, custom sort (manually drag and drop your images in your preferred order), file size, and by used (this is a useful filter once you’ve started creating to avoid including the same picture more than once!). You can always change the order of your images later should you want to.

View Kana's yearbook for inspiration >

5. Start creating

MILK Design Studio

Now comes the exciting part – it’s time to start creating. To speed up your yearbook creation, take advantage of our Autofill function. Simply select the number of images you’d like per spread and let our tool populate your project with the best layouts for your images.

Alternatively, you can design each spread one at a time, choosing from our selection of Designer Templates that allow for 1-24 images per double page spread or text only. Our templates are there to guide you in effortlessly creating beautiful image spreads at a professional level.

6. Add personal touches

MILK premium photo book with family photos

Photo Credit: @hyakoklens_photography

It’s the little details that will bring your family yearbook to life. Try adding ‘chapter starters’ – a single title page featuring text of each month’s name and a description of what you and your family did that month.

Additionally, you can add captions to your images. These can provide context and evoke emotions that you might otherwise not get from just the photo alone. Through captions, your family yearbook becomes not just a collection of pictures but a dynamic narrative of your year’s adventures. Get creative by adding anecdotes, quotes, and special storytelling elements for a truly personalized touch.

7. Share with loved ones

MILK online flipbook

The beauty of a family yearbook lies in sharing it with your loved ones. Whether it's gifting it during a special occasion or hosting a casual family gathering to flip through the pages, sharing these memories strengthens family bonds.

Every MILK Photo Book you make comes with a free Online Flip Book, accessible at any time with an easily shareable link. You can share your finished family yearbook with loved ones near or far by providing this link through email or social media.

Creating a family yearbook is a beautiful way to relive and share your most treasured memories with loved ones. By following our simple guide, you can turn a year’s worth of experiences into a lasting keepsake that you’ll cherish for generations. Start your family yearbook today, and let your memories come to life in print.

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