CMS People - How to insert pictures in CMS and print a Picture Directory?

PROBLEM:  You'd like to insert pictures in CMS so you can produce a Picture Directory, but you don't know where to start.

SOLUTION: There are really just three steps to this process...   

Getting/Taking the Pictures

This will be the most difficult hurdle to producing your own picture directory from CMS!    There are several ways you can get the pictures of your members.  You can...

Use a Picture Directory Company

There are several companies out there that are in the business of taking professional photographs and producing beautiful picture directories (i.e. Olan Mills and LifeTouch).  

You can insert these photos into your CMS, and print the photos on Census Forms and an in-house church directory.  But you should not print a picture directory from CMS to hand out to your members, as that would violate the copyrights of the picture directory company.

Requesting and scanning member's photographs

You can request photographs from your members, use your own church scanner to scan the photos, and insert them into CMS.  

This is a very simple and easy way to compile the photographs!  It's up to the family to give you their favorite family photo that they would like published in the CMS Picture Directory!

However, you will lose a bit of control and consistency on the pictures.  The pictures may be too far away, out of focus, distracting background, etc. and may not look the best when printed out.

Again, if the picture was taken professionally, you may violate copyright laws by reproducing it in a published picture directory.

Use a Digital Camera and take the pictures at Church

If you have a member in the church with a Digital Camera, you can take the pictures yourself at church!  This solution requires a lot more work for the office staff, as you will need to announce and coordinate the photography sessions with all of the church member families.

However, you can control the background and consistency of the pictures, and not worry at all about copyright infringement!  A few recommendations are:

  • Natural light is best!  Try to take the pictures outside during the day!

  • Find a neutral background.  The outside wall of the church, a painter's canvas drop cloth hung high and draped, or distant landscaping works great.  Try to avoid big bushes and trees, or distracting  backdrops.

  • Ready for a Close Up!  If you print your directory from CMS, you will see nine pictures on one page, so the more faces you see... the better!  Try to avoid full body pictures and focus in on the faces of the members!

Inserting the Pictures

Once you have your pictures taken and digitized, you can begin to input them into your CMS System. You will use a simple copy and paste function to copy the images into CMS.

You'll want to be cautious when it comes to the application you use to copy the pictures.  Some applications will attempt to alter or "layer" the image to make editing the photo easier.  But this can cause viewing problems when you get the image into CMS.

From CMS Membership, click Find People.  Click the Go To House link and choose the Picture/Notes tab (this will lock your Find onto that Picture Notes tab!).  Now find the name of the family whose picture you'd like to insert.  The system should take you directly to their Picture Notes tab.

Minimize CMS.

Try to use a simple picture editor, in our examples, we use Windows Paint, which is a standard Windows application.

Click Start | Programs | Accessories | Paint.

Click File | Open and find one of the pictures you'd like to insert.

You'll want to be sure the image size is right around 2" wide.  Click Image | Attributes | Inches to see approximate size of the current image.

If you need to reduce the size of the image, click Image | Stretch/Skew and reduce the image Horizontal and Vertical.

Once your image is the correct size, click Edit | Select All (or Ctrl+A).

Click Edit | Copy (or Ctrl+C) to copy the picture into the Windows Clipboard.

Click your Minimized CMS program to switch back into CMS.


Click the Insert this Picture icon located in the lower left corner under the Family Picture box.

You should now see the family's photo!

If the photo is too large, you may need to reduce the size of the picture in Paint and reinsert the picture again.

Printing the Directory

Once you have all of your pictures inserted into CMS, you can print your Picture Directory!

There are a few things to keep in mind when you're actually printing out your directory.  

In House Printing vs. Printing Company - The eternal question when creating your own picture directory is... do you print it at church, or find a printing company to print them for you?

Ideally, try to find a member of the church who works at a printing company, advertising agency, etc. who can offer to print the church directories for you!  This will save you time, energy, and INK or TONER!  You can simply create a PDF file and submit it to the printing company and let them do the "hard work" for you!

You can print the directories right from church, but keep in mind the tools you're working with and do a little math to see if it's the best solution:  

  • Do you have a color ink jet printer, color laser, or black and white laser?   

  • If you have a color ink jet or laser printer, how many sheets per ink tank can you expect to produce before needing to replace that color? 

  • Can you print double sided and do you need special/thicker paper to do so? 

  • How many pages is your final Picture Directory, and how many directories will you need to print?

From CMS Membership, click Directories.

Click the Change Directory Format button and choose Picture Directory.  Click OK.

You may want to click into Member Status and Participation Status and select only those people you consider members.  For example, you may not want to include those people marked as Deceased or Transferred/Moved, etc.   Click OK.

You can also choose to print additional items on your Picture Directory, such as:

  • Unlisted Phone and Email
  • Year of Birth for Youth
  • Phone Number 2
  • Household Email Address
  • Membership/Directory Code
  • Report Sub-Title


Click Print.

If you're sending the report to a Printing Company, you'll need to send them a PDF file.  Use the CMS Enhanced Export Utility and export the report as an Acrobat Format PDF file.

Once complete, you can exit the Enhanced Export and return to your Windows Desktop, where you should see the Picture Directory.PDF file that you can now email to your printing company!

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