Friday, September 10, 2010

DIY School Portrait Packages

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As I was tidying up the kitchen counters this morning, I picked up 2 different picture packets from my kids’ schools for the official school portraits. Is it just me or do the prices on those things keep going up? Anyway, I had an idea that instead of purchasing the official school portraits this year, I could make my own school portrait packages!

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For this very simple recipe, you’ll need:

• A software program that will allow you to open, re-size, copy and place your chosen photo in a number of places and positions. I use Adobe Photoshop, but Photoshop Elements, Adobe Illustrator, and many other programs would work.

A photo that you want to use for your portrait package.

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Gather all of your ingredients. Feel free to make adjustments, according to your own tastes. Choose your software. I have chosen to lay out my portrait package in Photoshop, but you can use the program you feel most comfortable with.

I opened up a new document in Photoshop that was 8 inches by 10 inches and 300 ppi (pixels per inch), since this is the standard size that most portrait packages use and an easy size to send off to my local photo center as well.

Next, I took inventory of the various sizes of photos that I wanted. I determined that I needed the following: 2 5x7s, 4 wallets, and 28 exchanges. Wallet sizes vary slightly, depending on who is doing the package, but they range from 2.25x3.25 on the small side to 2.5x3.5 on the larger side. Exchanges (or “Traders” as they are sometimes called) are 1x1.5.

Using those dimensions, I re-sized my photo, duplicated it, and arranged it to fit within the 8x10 document. I ended up needing 2 separate documents that were 8x10 to fit all the photos. When I was all done, I saved my compiled documents as flattened jpg files and sent them to the nearest photo center, using their online order site.

Now I have all the photos that I need and I can cut them apart and send them off to family and friends, as well as letting the children exchange them with all their classmates!

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Have fun making your own custom School Portrait Packages!

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