I've been working on a digital album from my trip to Florida and thought I'd share my process with you. All of the pictures from the trip (100+ photos) were taken with my iPhone which takes amazingly good pictures. It's so much easier to take with me than my digital SLR camera and I think the photos are better.
The first step was to download all of the pictures from my phone to my computer. I use iTunes for that and I set up a separate folder titled, "Florida 2012" and saved all of the photos to that folder. Next I looked through all of the pictures and sorted them by event. For example, I had eight photos from the Chicago airport so I labeled them Chicago 1-8. The reason I did that is that it keeps all of the photos from one event grouped together in the folder. I gave them numbers that I used later in the process; I'll get to that later.
Next I put pen to paper to plan out my pages. I decided which photos from each event I wanted to highlight by giving them their own page. Other photos were assigned to grid pages; from two photos all the way up to nine photos. On my paper I made a section for an event, then drew out the number of pages I would have for the event and what type of layout the page would be (single photo, two photos, etc.) Next I assigned photos to each page using the number of the photo that I mentioned above. I also wrote a short description of the photos as a quick reference.
The next step was to create a variety of templates in Photoshop (I use PSE9). All of the pages will be 8"x 8", so I created each template at that size. For the grids I created boxes for each photo and in some cases I planned to journal in a box rather than add a photo. The example above is a six block grid with five photos and one journaling block.
The great thing about creating grids is that you can make one photo/journaling box in the size you want and then just "copy" that box to make the rest of the boxes for the page, which keeps your boxes all the same size. I kept the background for each page white and then chose one color for the journaling boxes and used that same color throughout. I used two fonts for the entire album; Bebas and Ali's Hand. I mixed the two; one is a block print and one is handwriting. Both fonts are white throughout the album.
All of the prep work and planning really helped me through the process. I ended up with a total of nine pages of sketches that I kept in a folder on my computer desk and pulled it out to work on whenever I had time. I worked on similar pages at once, so I started with single photo pages and did all of them, then moved on to two grid pages, etc. I put an X on the paper next to each individual page as I completed them so I could keep track of my progress. Once the page was done in Photoshop I saved it into a separate folder within the "Florida 2012" folder so that when it was time to upload them for printing they were all in one place.
There were some photos from the trip that I didn't include in the book either because I had too many similar photos or because they weren't very good pictures. Those photos are still saved on my computer and I can always look back at them, but they just weren't necessary to include in the book.
I uploaded all of the pages to Persnickety Prints and placed the order today. I can't wait to see how they look once they are printed. I purchased an 8" x 8" album with top loading page protectors so once my order arrives I can just slip each page into a page protector. I may add some embellishments or some additional journaling to some of the pages too.
If you have any questions about the process I described feel free to ask in the comment section.