Using iPhoto’s Books to Make Collages Instead

9th of March, 2011 ·  5 Comments

My daughter and her classmate Jessica dressed the same for Twin Day at school yesterday. My wife made matching skirts, and Jessica’s mom picked up matching shirts and tights. They looked fabulous, so I took the girls out into the world for some photos. I snapped 90, but whittled it down to 12 good ones.

What’s interesting is this:

Twins Day Bulletin

What we’ve got there is a collage I put together in iPhoto’s Book designer. It’s hanging on my daughter’s bulletin board, and she loves it. Here’s what to do:

In iPhoto, I created an 8×10 book using the twelve photos I decided were good enough. iPhoto has other sizes, but I suggest sticking to what your photo lab can print. For most of us, our photo lab is the local drugstore. Go talk to the photo manager.  You might be able to get some weird sizes like 5 x 10, but maybe not. It’s best to ask first.

Select your photos, and tell iPhoto you want to make a new book. The method’s a little different from version to version, but you’ll figure it out. Choose how many photos per page and get your pictures placed. Once the layout is to your satisfaction, it’s easy to print those pages directly to your (crappy) printer or file → export a JPG you can put on a USB drive and take to the local drugstore to get printed nice.1

Twin Day iPhoto Book

This should work just fine with older versions of iPhoto. Presumably, you can do a similar thing using Picasa, your closest iPhoto alternative if you’re not using a Mac.

The girl has a huge bulletin board in her room for exactly this purpose. If your photos are just sitting on your computer, they’re no fun. Get ’em up on walls, printed in albums, make some books and a calendar. Photo printing really isn’t that expensive, and it’s fun to have them up on the wall, especially for your kids.

  1. Let’s face it, the vast majority of what you print is documents. You probably don’t need an expensive color printer. Get a nice inexpensive monochrome Brother laser printer for home, and when you want to print photos, get them printed at the photo lab. You’ll spend less money over time, your photos will look far better, and your documents wont look like they got wet they way inkjet prints always do.

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