So, you’ve decided to create a custom family photo calendar. Great! This is exactly the type of custom photo project you’ll love whether you plan to keep it for yourself or gift it. It’s a win-win!
Another win: Choosing a printing service that makes creating your calendar easy. Motif is a photo app that works natively with your Photos in macOS, creating a seamless flow from the moments you’ve already captured, through layout design, and all the way to printing.
If you choose to print through Motif, your family photo calendar will be produced with the finest inks, papers, and bindings, ensuring your photos are as vivid come time for December’s page as they are when they first reach your mailbox.
As you create it, you’ll have to conquer what is, for many of us, the most challenging part of any photo project: deciding which pictures make the cut.
Life is full of great memories, and each captured moment can take you back time. However, you need to let the right moments shine and tell a story. Here are a few ways to whittle down to your final inclusions.
Decide what your narrative is.
Every photo project should have a tale it aims to tell. Your family photo calendar is no different.
The beautiful thing is that it’s yours to write, from initial concept through the end. That means you can decide whether your calendar tells the story of a single amazing family vacation like last winter’s ski trip, the excitement and love that comes with welcoming a new addition to the family, or an inclusive calendar that dedicates a single page in this year’s calendar to what happened in that month the preceding year.
The options are endless, and there are no wrong choice. Just make sure you take a moment to decide what direction you want to take before you dive into your photo library.
Consider your audience.
If you plan to keep the calendar for yourself, go with whatever you most like. However, if you’re giving it away as a gift, consider your audience as you choose photos. For example, if your child’s soccer coach is the recipient, you can quickly narrow down potential photos to images from the past season or their coaching tenure.
However, if you’re gifting the year’s story to grandparents, they’ll love to see as many of their grandchildren’s defining moments as possible. Looking at your photo library through the lens of your calendar recipient will help you quickly cull the list of potential inclusions.
Resist the urge to include everything.
A great photo collection is a sign of a year filled with many happy moments. As you decide which photos to include, it’s often tempting to cram in as many of those moments as possible. However, when you squeeze too many images onto a page, you miss the opportunity to shine a spotlight on those memories that serve as anchor points to your calendar’s narrative.
Remember how we recommended defining your story earlier? After you decide what it is, take some time to determine key points—just like you would if you were writing the outline for a book; that way, when it’s time to narrow down your selection, you’ll know which events to look for and keep in focus. As a best practice, consider including anywhere from one to five photos per page, varying that count throughout your calendar.
If there are additional photos that you’d like to include that perhaps didn’t make the cut into your main photo layout, consider integrating them into your calendar days. For example, if you have a great photo of the day you first brought your kitten home, you can now add it to that date on your calendar! Motif’s newest release makes it possible to customize as many days of your calendar as you like with text and/or a photo. Simply click and drag from your image tray and drop it onto the appropriate calendar date.
Theme and unify each page.
Think of your calendar as a novel, with each page as a chapter, rather than a soap opera. A soap opera jumps around and can be difficult to follow, but a novel is planned—there’s a sequence of events you can follow. Like the novel, your calendar should move through the months of the year in a way that makes sense and has a theme.
Your theme for each chapter/page of your calendar can be a particular event, such as August’s back-to-school photos or a specific holiday. Alternately, you might tie the page together through a unified palette, selecting photos that coordinate by color. Focusing on a specific topic, feel, or look will keep you organized and help you narrow down potential photos for inclusion as you classify and identify shots that fit your selected topic.
Get a second set of eyes.
When you’re looking at your own photo library, every image feels important, and it’s difficult to choose just one. You probably don’t have the same anguish or debate when you’re looking at someone else’s albums. So if you’re having trouble choosing, get a second set of eyes. Every book needs an editor, right?
Find a friend who’s willing to take a look at what you’ve picked out so far and give you an opinion on which pictures are best. This can be particularly useful when you’re attempting to decide between several similar images or multiple shots from the same event.
Can’t decide? Let us give you a nudge.
One of the most unique advantages of using Motif for your family photo calendars is that the smart app can do the hard work for you. It uses advanced technology to analyze your photos for overall quality and similarity. It also takes important factors into account—like image focus and clarity, people, faces, smiles, image orientation, panoramas, and more—before removing duplicates and recommending which photos to include. As a bonus, when you use Motif’s photo-selecting abilities, you can build your entire custom calendar in a matter of minutes!