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LIFE:CAPTURED began in August 2013 when we held our first full-day workshop at RAW Space in Sydney, Australia. Our mission is to help people document their stories and create tangible keepsakes to be treasured for generations to come. We offer intensive design, photography, and memory keeping workshops, as well as interactive online classes. We are advocates of honest photography, minimalist design, and memory keeping that's simple, beautiful, and tangible. We are the pioneers of the story book, and we offer flexible templates that enable everybody to tell their story. We believe that life is worth remembering and that it is never too early or too late to start documenting yours. LIFE:CAPTURED was founded by Rhonda Mason (of the Pink Ronnie blog) and Trish Chong (of Tealily Photography).

The blog

The official blog of LIFE:CAPTURED Inc, the modern school of memory keeping. We believe that life is worth remembering and that it is never too early or too late to start documenting yours. We blog about design, photography, and how you can preserve your story with timeless, tangible keepsakes.

Life album: An overview of my weekly process, Part 2


| Written by Ronnie |

Today's blog post is the second part of a mini series, in which I'm sharing an overview of my weekly process when it comes to creating layouts for our family's life album. This is the second of three posts. In the first part, I talked about the process of documenting (ie. taking photos and journaling), selecting photos, and editing photos. In this second post, I'll run through my process for exporting photos and creating the individual photo layouts in InDesign. If you have any questions about what I discuss here, feel free to get in touch via the comments or via email. 

(Remember you can click each of the images in this post for a larger version. And yes, there are twelve pages for Week 28 alone and four pages for Week 29. What can I say? It was our annual family holiday, and I like to go all out when it comes to documenting our holidays...)

1) Exporting the photo files

Every week, I create a new folder on my hard drive for that week's life album layout. Once the photos are selected and processed using VSCO Film where necessary, I export all my image files into this folder. Because all my selected image files are labelled orange, green, and yellow for the 6x4 horizontal photo layouts, the 3x4 vertical photo layouts, and the 8x10 insert layouts respectively, it's easy for me to select each colour batch in one go (by selecting the Sort by label option from the drop-down menu in Aperture's browser window) and export them all to their individual sub-folders titled 'Image files - Landscape,' 'Image files - Portrait,' and 'Image files - Inserts.'  

2) Creating the InDesign layouts

a) Adding photos and text

Once my image files are exported to their respective folders, I copy and paste my life album templates from the previous week into the new folder, and rename them so that they correspond to the current week. (You can view all our life album templates available for purchase here. The ones that I personally use are the Rockwell Edition of the Signature Card Set and the Rockwell edition of  the Special Event Inserts.)

I then place the new photos into the InDesign template files and add any text that I feel is necessary. For the sake of consistency, I always typeset my text in white on an area of the photo that has dark negative space. Where there isn't any negative space (or where the negative space is too light-coloured), I use the layouts that include a simple circle graphic which essentially acts as a background to carry the text.  

At this point, I also crop the photos where necessary in InDesign, usually if there is something near the edges of the photos that make them too busy or extra cluttered. (Cropping is extremely easy to do in InDesign.) Lastly, I add the date and day of the week to each photo, in one of the four corners, because I feel that having the date alone adds a lot of context and meaning to each of the photos.

b) The title card

I stick to the same design template for my title card each week, which means all I have to do is change the number of week as well as the corresponding dates. In terms of the photo I choose for the title card, it is usually either the first chronological photo of the week, or the photo that best accommodates having the large text placed on top. Sometimes I will move the large text up or down on the photo depending on the composition of the photo.

c) The weekly summary card

The 'this week' card is a short summary of the week (again I just use the same design each week). Here, I list events that took place during the week and anything else that was special about that week. Each bullet point corresponds to the seven days of the week.

Once I've completed all my layouts in InDesign, I export each page (ie. each layout) in my InDesign file as JPEG files to the folder that I created at the beginning. These JPEG files will then be printed in the next step of my weekly process, which I'll write about in the next post.

* * *

If you're new to InDesign and would like to find out more, you can have a read of this blog post about how InDesign is different to Photoshop.  You can also watch our mini InDesign video tutorials at anytime and if you're still keen to learn more, we'll be running our online class again later this year.

As always, if you have any questions, just let me know! And if you would like to share any of your own life album layouts, please feel free to leave a link in the comments below.

You can read all the other posts on life albums here.

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