How To Make A Graduation Photo Book

Graduating is one of life’s major milestones—honor this moment by commemorating your journey with a series of nostalgic photos. Create a keepsake photo album to preserve your photos and tell a story of your achievement. A grad photo book is a perfect way to preserve the memories of this giant step in the journey through life.

When it comes to making a grad photo book, personalization is key. You choose the theme, colors, photos, and text to make your graduation photo album uniquely yours. Every detail from cover to cover is completely up to you. Not sure how to get started? This guide will show you just how simple it is to make your very own graduation photo book.

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Make a Graduation Photo Book

Photo books aren’t just a collection of randomly placed images on pages. Instead, the best photo books tell your unique story through thoughtfully combined photographs, embellishments, themes, and styles.

Whether you’re putting together a photo book for yourself or to celebrate the huge milestone of a loved one, this guide will show you how you can easily create a grad photo album you’ll treasure for years to come.

1. Make My Book Service or DIY

How “hands-on” are you? Depending on how involved you want to be in the process, we’ve got three great options for when you’re ready to design your graduation album. With Make My Book® Service, talented designers will curate your photos and design the book for you. You’ll still have total control while we do most of the work.

Or, choose the Simple Path® if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to place your images onto a pre-designed template. However, If you’re the type who likes to design every page down to the very last detail, then choose the Custom Path® option and follow the steps below.

2. Pick Your Theme

Your school photo book will be cohesive when you choose from one of our hundreds of available beautifully-designed themes. Choose any design you like—there are several themes that were designed with graduation in mind.

Include school-themed embellishments and yearbook-style layouts. No matter your style, from simple and subdued to fun and funky, find a theme that fits your personality perfectly.

3. Choose Your Photo Book Size and Layout

After you’ve settled on a theme, you’ll be prompted to choose a size for your book. You’ll have a lot of options ranging from a petite 7×9 to a generous 11×14 and every size in between.

The size you choose will depend on how many photos you want to include, how many images you’ll want on each page, and where you’ll store your book. Now’s your chance to also decide whether you’ll go for a hard cover, soft cover, or an upgraded cover option. Choose if you want your book to have standard or lay flat pages.

4. Upload Your Photos

It wouldn’t be much of a photo album without photos! After you’ve decided what size and type of book you’ll create, it’s time to upload your photos. Make sure all the photos you use are high-quality, in focus, and not too small.

make your own graduation photo book with hardcover and layflat design

Remember, poor quality photographs will look pixelated and out of focus when they’re enlarged and printed. So, only choose the best photos for your book. Depending on the page layouts you choose, some images will be highlighted more than others, so make a note of your favorite photos so you’ll remember to use them there.

5. Customize Your Photo Book Pages

Photo albums are all about personalization. Unleash your creativity by choosing from a variety of page layouts that allow for one to 30 photos per page. Next, choose the background for each page.

Keep it consistent from one page to the next or mix it up—it’s entirely up to you! Here’s where you’ll add embellishments, like banners, photo frames, ribbons, stickers, and thoughtful text.

6. Preview Your Photo Book

After you’re done designing your completely personalized book, preview it on the screen to make sure it’s exactly how you want. You’ll have a chance to go back and edit if needed and then you can add a few more options.

A clear memorabilia pocket attached to the inside cover is a perfect place to store your graduation announcements, graduation cards, and other keepsakes from your journey. You can also opt to include a gift box if you’re creating the photo album for a loved one. When you’re ready to purchase, simply add the book to your cart.

Graduation Photo Ideas

A single image can capture a moment, but a photo book can capture the entire journey up to your graduation. A chronological narrative can help you, your family, and friends relive this auspicious occasion for many years to come. Here are some tips and photo ideas perfect for your grad photo book.

Photos That Tell a Story

Tell your story of graduation by incorporating pictures of your transformation from child to adult. Use pictures that show your growth and how much you have achieved in the past years. It will feel so bittersweet to see how much you have changed from year to year.

Get a Formal Portrait

Make sure you get a nice formal portrait as the grad. Take your photo in a place that has even lighting and be conscious of distracting backgrounds. A nice portrait will give your grad photo book an air of dignity, pride, and accomplishment.

boy graduation portrait

Capture Happiness

Don’t limit yourself to posed shots! While formal photos are perfect for that decorous look, candid shots give a touch of raw emotion, fun, and humor to the photo book. Some of the best photos are candids that capture the true joy and emotion of the occasion.

Don’t Forget Their Friends

Graduation is not just about the students, it’s about the unbreakable bonds and friendships they have made over the years. Be sure to add your favorite memories you had with your friends. Capture the joy of the occasion.

Graduation Messages and Quotes

When celebrating a milestone, there are a million ways to say “congratulations” and “here’s to your future.” The key is to personalize your message and say it from the heart.

Here are some happy graduation message ideas to get you started:

  • Congratulations. This message is short and sweet and can be as formal or casual as the situation calls for. Some examples are, “Congrats, what an impressive achievement.” and “Congratulations on your well-deserved success.”
  • To the Future. Focus your message on what’s to come. Like, “I know life has even more wonderful things in store for you.” and “You deserve to see your dreams come true!”
  • Give Advice. If you’re the type to give advice, now’s the time. Just make sure it’s all about building the grad up. Examples are, “May you always do great things with your life” and “There’s no limit to what you can achieve now.”
  • Use Humor. When all else fails, you can’t go wrong with saying something funny. Put a smile on their face with a message like, “Did you ever think this day would come? Neither did we!” or “Welcome to the real world. Don’t worry, none of us know what we’re doing either.”

Gifts To Pair With a Graduation Photo Book

If you’re creating a graduation photo album to celebrate a loved one’s milestone, you may want to present their book to them along with a personalized graduation gift.

Photo Phone Case

Remind your grad to call home by turning their favorite photos into an awesome custom phone case. Personalize it with photos from their favorite memories of their school career.

sfly phone case

Hanging Canvas Print

If your grad is off to college, this is a perfect way to display a family photo and keep notes handy in their dorm. A stylish hanging canvas print will transform a drab dorm room into a well-organized masterpiece.

Personalized Jewelry

Necklaces, bracelets, bangles, and charms that can be personalized with a favorite photo, a birthstone, initials and more make a perfect graduation gift. By personalizing the perfect piece of jewelry, you’ll create a treasured gift that exactly suits their style.

Motivational Journal

Give your grad a great place to jot down ideas and notes-to-self with a photo journal that’s been personalized with their favorite photographs. Make it extra special by putting your own heartfelt, handwritten message to the grad on one of its pages.

Whether you’re celebrating graduation from high school, college, or grad school, an occasion this big should be commemorated with a custom photo book. Now that you’ve been inspired, get started making your very own graduation photo album. Then, combine your book with one of our personalized photo gifts to celebrate the graduate in your life.