How to Make the Perfect Photo Book

You’ve already captured the everyday smiles of life and now comes the easy part—sharing them. Creating a photo book is a simple way to transform your photo memories into stories that can be shared with others. You can preserve your favorite milestones and relive each moment.

Whether you decide to scrapbook your own or create a photo book online, personalization is key. Creating the book with your personal style in mind will enable you to create something you can be proud of. We’ve rounded up some tips and tricks on the best ways to make a photo book so that you can display life’s beautiful moments. Once you get an idea of how to start, follow our steps to create your own photo book and see for yourself how easy it is.

Jump to a specific section to make a photo book that’s just right for you:

How to Make the Perfect Photo Book: Tips and Tricks

1. Organize Your Photos

person looking at photos on their phone
The key to success is organizing your photos beforehand. Before you log on to a photo book site or printing app, organize your photos on your desktop. Organizing your photos only takes a few minutes and will save a lot of time later on. Place the photos you want to include in one folder that you can upload all at once.

2. Choose The Right Photos

Photo book for a mom
You already know how to take the perfect photo, now it’s time to sift through the ones you want to display. Start by including all the photos you like, then narrow them down based on quality. Keep in mind that if a photo is out of focus, it will show up even more blurry when it’s enlarged and printed in a photo book.

3. Highlight Your Favorites

couple looking at their wedding photo book
Photo book layouts usually feature certain photos larger than others. Make sure your favorite photos get the spotlight. This is where customization makes all the difference.

4. Create Variety In Spreads

a vacation photo book sits on table
There are endless options when it comes to photo book layouts and templates. Create a variety in the arrangement of photos. By switching around the layout of photos, you will add visual interest and hold the reader’s attention.

5. Pick A Theme

travel photo book on table
A theme makes all the difference because it gives the book a storyline. A baby photo book can be transformed from a collection of photos into an ABC book. A travel photo book is redefined when photos from a cross-country road trip are accompanied by an old western typeface. Try out a few themes to get a feel for which one fits best.

6. Include Helpful Text

Spring photo book on table
One way to capture time is through photos. Another way to secure a memory is through words. Write in dates and stories along with your photos. A quote from an event or a description of a celebration will help recreate that memory in the years to come.

7. Tell A Story

baby looking at a photo book
Organize your photo book in a way that tells a story. The easiest way to achieve this is to create the book in chronological order. Most events such as weddings or your baby’s first year have a clear order to them. The album story will be easiest to follow if you recreate the sequence of how the event occurred.

Making a Photo Book With Shutterfly

There are many ways that you can go about creating a photo book. Since a majority of photos are digital, an easy way to transfer them to a physical album is through an online photo book service. We have three different ways to make a photo book that vary in design processes and create a beautiful, personalized books in the end.

Creating Your Book on a Computer

A common way to create a photo book is on your computer. Shutterfly has two main methods, the custom path and the simple path, that utilize this approach.

For those who want to unleash their creativity, the custom path is for you. This version allows you to pursue your vision by designing a fully personalized book. You can get support from page templates or go rogue and add photo and text boxes wherever you’d like. The choice is up to you.

To begin, choose from seven sizes of books and 26 themes. Once you decide on the basics, you will be directed to the editing page that will display the outline of your book. Upload your photos and begin adding them to the empty pages. Play around with background colors and embellishments until the pages reflect what you envisioned.

The simple path instantly arranges your photos to make the process even easier. This is perfect for those who are looking for a straightforward option that saves time but still produces a personalized, high-quality book.

This creation path automatically lays out your photos chronologically and then allows you to go in and switch any you don’t think fit. You are able to crop the photos to your liking and include captions to help tell the story. This path helps you design a cover page and add your desired title. Overall, it guides you through the steps but still gives you the freedom to make the book you want.

Let Our Designers Create a Photo Book for You

Shutterfly’s Make My Book® Service puts your photos and guidelines in the hands of a designer who will create your custom book. This option is good for those who don’t have the time or desire to be completely involved with every detail of their book. They have a general preference of how they would like the book to look and are willing to let a professional designer complete the details.

To get started using Make My Book®, begin by choosing from the five different sizes of photo books and 50 different styles. Next, you will be prompted to upload your photos from your desktop or select ones you’ve uploaded through the Shutterfly app.

You will then be prompted to answer questions that will help the designer, like your preference of order (chronological, self-sort or themes), layout density (number of photos you would like per page) and book design elements (how many stickers and embellishments you would prefer). Finally, you will choose a title and include any special instructions for the designer.

The designer will place your book in your account within 3 business days.  You can then edit the book, add finishing touches (such as captions) and place your order. You pay a small design fee only if you order the book. There is no charge if you don’t order the book.

Create a Photo Book on the Shutterfly App

For those who are on the go and want to utilize the power of technology, Shutterfly’s iOS and Android App is there to help. Easily upload your photos to the app, using its unlimited free storage to transfer your photos off your phone and clear up space on your device. Once your photos are uploaded, choose your desired book size and theme and start creating. What’s great about the Shutterfly app is that you can also create a free photo book once a month.

The app allows you to simply tap and drag your photos to where you want them positioned on the page layout. Once on the page, you can edit and adjust them to your liking. This allows you to create a personalized photo book in a matter of minutes from anywhere.

Photo books provide a fun way to organize all the photos you’ve taken. They are also an impressive way to relive memories with your friends and family. Whether you make your own or create a photo book online, make sure to add unique touches to your photo book to make it extra personal.