The Best Photo Book Styles for Any Occasion

Creating a photo book isn’t just about placing images on blank pages. It’s about designing a beautiful collection of your photos and stories that you can share with family and friends for years to come. In fact, the best photo books are those built with a few core elements in mind. And we’re here to tell you exactly what those key ingredients are.

So, let your photo book be more than average. Design a stunning custom photo book using our easy online tools.

What makes a great photo book?

wedding photo book
The best photo books include a few key components—and don’t worry: they’re simple. By having a clear vision and including the three elements below, you’ll have a photo book you can’t wait to show off.

Ingredient 1: Tell a story

photo books on a bed
As humans we’re not only captivated by photos, but by stories as well. We want to know the what, why, who, when and how. By compiling your photo book with a story in mind, you’re taking others on the journey with you.

Build your story by arranging your photos in chronological order. Add key memories and happenings through brief captions and titles. Mention who is in a photo and what happened surrounding that moment. Even a short description or phrase adds life to the story and brings people right into the action. You can also create your photo books with a story theme in mind, like a summer vacation or your baby’s first year.

Ingredient 2: Choose creative layouts and themes

Birthday photo book
No matter your personal style, you can add character and life to your pages by choosing a creative theme or layout. The good news is our online tools make page design extra easy. You can select what you like from a series of options. Play around with each page until you get it just right.

Ingredient 3: Print your book in high-quality

Baby photo book
Your final product will only be as good as the materials used to make it. The type of paper, ink and print quality directly impact how your photo book looks and feels. Ensure your hard work of creating a book isn’t put to waste and choose high-quality printing to bring your photos and stories to life with Shutterfly.

12 Ideas to Make the Best Photo Book

Get a jumpstart on creating beautiful pages by following these tips. Ensure your photo books, no matter the theme, are both meaningful and unique.

Wedding Photo Books

Bride and groom in photo book
Tip 1: Rather than only including your formal shots of family and friends, bring in as many candid moments as possible, especially those that show true emotion.

Tip 2: Dedicate individual pages to fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers and other special people in your life. Save on space by grouping some photos together. For example, you could create a combined sibling page.

Tip 3: Highlight moments that show someone’s true personality, whether that’s of your fiancé acting silly, a friend tearing it up on the dancefloor or a young nephew enjoying the wedding cake.

Baby Photo Books

Mom and baby on photo book
Tip 1: Caption the milestone moments: first smile, first steps or, most importantly, the first time sleeping through the night.

Tip 2: Include photos with as many special people as possible, such as grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. In the years to come, it will be meaningful to look back on those early moments together.

Vacation Photo Books

Vacation photo book
Tip 1: Rather than just stating the location you visited under a photo, caption it with a story, so you can recreate what happened with family and friends. Even some of the best moments can be forgotten if they’re not written down.

Tip 2: Bring others on the journey by showing the full progression of your trip, using photos of your sing-along in the car to someone falling asleep on the airplane.

Tip 3: Incorporate a variety of shots on a single page, such as a landscape, family photo and tasty ice cream treat. By changing from close-ups to far-away views, you offer the full vacation perspective.

Family Photo Books

Family photo book ideas
Tip 1: Always include candid photos, especially ones that represent the true personality of your family, whether that’s silly, happy or super laidback.

Tip 2: Ensure you incorporate plenty of action shots, such as baking cookies, hiking in the backyard or skiing down a mountain. This helps your photos jump right off the page.

Everyday Photo Books

Photo book of pets
Tip 1: Focus on variety to show the full circle of your lifestyle. To achieve this, include indoor and outdoor photos, action and still shots, and both laughter and quiet times. This balanced approach makes for a well-rounded photo book.

Tip 2: Don’t forget your captions and stories. If mom always has a cup of coffee in the morning, be sure to share that memory in a brief description.

Photo books are beautiful keepsakes full of special moments and memories. Now that you know the essentials of the best photo books, make yours with our fully customizable option.