Layflat photo books are ideal for your most treasured photos, like wedding albums, baby photos, and anniversaries. A photo book should tell a story from start to finish, but it can be hard to compile all your treasured memories into one cohesive album. After you’ve downloaded all your photos and made any edits, you may feel stumped on where to begin. We’ve compiled a list of tips and helpful steps to get started, in addition to some special considerations for when you’re creating a layflat style photo book as opposed to a traditional hardcover one.
What is a Layflat Photo Book?
A layflat photo book means that the pages of the book can lay flat when the book is completely open. This is done by creating a continuous piece of paper across a spread, which is then folded down the center and glued to the next page. The end result is a photo album that looks and feels luxurious.
Tips for Creating a Layflat Photo Book
A layflat photo book is very similar to a traditional photo book. The primary difference is simply how the pages lay. Before you get started, below are some tip when considering this style:
- Matte or glossy? – Picking either matte or glossy pages is entirely up to your personal preference. Glossy will leave a shine on photos, whereas matte will not. It’s best to pick one or the other versus attempting to switch every other page.
- Total number of pages – The sky is the limit with your layflat photo book! Determine how many pages you want based on how many photos you have.
- Image size and quality – Make sure you have the original, high resolution versions of your photos (especially if you plan to create a larger photo book). If you’re downloading your images straight from social media or elsewhere on the web, you may be limited in how large you can print your photos before it starts looking pixelated.
- Get a protective cover – You’ll want your photo album to last decades. A protective cover will keep dust, sunlight and other damaging properties away from your pages.
How to Tell A Story
Once you have all your images compiled, it’s time for the fun part! Creating an album that tells a story may seem like a big task, but below are some helpful steps to follow.
Step 1: Pick Your Photo Book Page Templates
There’s no need to feel like every page needs to be different from the next. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the options, pick 2-5 photo book page templates that you think will work best for your photos and alternate between them. The best photo books can sometimes be the simplest. Some popular page templates include:
- Two side-by-side images
- One big image
- Collage style of 3+ images
- A symmetrical grid
Step 2: Start with a Showstopping Photo
Kick start your photo book with one of your favorite photos. This can be your first look for a wedding album, your baby’s first big smile or that breathtaking sunset from your trip to the west coast. Make it even more dramatic but filling the whole page with the photo so whoever is viewing the album knows immediately what the theme and story of the photo book will be.
Step 3: Add Text and Other Images
A photo book doesn’t have to be all photos. You can also mix in other design elements like numbers, text, quotes, and more. Some inspiration for your book includes:
- Important milestone dates for a baby’s first year album
- Your wedding song for a wedding album
- Favorite travel quotes for a vacation photo book
Step 4: Pick a Narrative
Figure out how you want to tell your story. A popular option is chronological, like showing your baby’s milestones from the first few weeks to their first birthday. Another example for weddings is moving from getting ready photos to the ceremony to the wedding reception.
If your photos don’t follow a concise timeline, some other narratives you can try include:
- Dedicate certain pages to a theme (example: first five pages are all landscape photos).
- Group stories together (example: photos of you cooking with your mom and group shots of the whole family as a sweet Mother’s Day gift).
Step 5: Scan or Add Other Visuals In
If you’re a talented drawer, showcase your doodling skills on the photo pages. Add fun characters of the people you’ve photographed or cute shapes to accent photos. Even if you’re not a skilled artist, think of other artwork and prints you can scan and add in. Some ideas include:
- Scan your child’s artwork as a way to save all your favorite drawings by them (and cut down on the clutter at home).
- Include items you collected during your trip that you can easily press between the pages like leaves, feathers, flowers and more.
- Paste in a silhouette or outline like your baby’s footprint for a baby book.
Step 6: Have Photos Spread Multiple Pages
One benefit to picking a layflat photo book over a traditional hardcover one is the pages won’t have a crease at the seam. This means you can have one big photo stretch across two pages without having to worry about creating a weird cut in the center of your photo.
If you want to make a photo book, but are worried about the total number of photo you may have, this is a great way to still make a dramatic impression while relying on a smaller number of photos.
Layflat Photo Book Story Ideas
Now that we’ve covered the “how,” below we have some ideas on different photo book stories that work great for a layflat style.
Whether it’s your first or thirtieth, an anniversary photo book is a great way to cherish the memories you’ve made over the years. Include pages with special love notes you’ve left for one another next to photos of your favorite date night spots.
Baby’s First Year
A baby book is a classic option and will be even more special as your little one grows up. Don’t forget to include important milestones and fun facts, like their height and weight at birth, the first word they said and their favorite toys. Don’t forget to make a copy for the grandparents!
You spent so much time planning for your big day and then it’s gone in the blink of an eye. A layflat photo book can tell not just the story of your wedding day, but also your entire love story. Include photos of the place you first met, where you said “I love you” first and the proposal spot.
You don’t need a huge milestone as a reason to create a photo book. If you’re constantly snapping the camera, compile all your favorite shots from the year and group them into a photo book. Pick themes to split up the pages, like vacations, favorite meals, outings with friends and more.
Tell Your Personal Story
A photo book is the perfect way to tell a story and capture your favorite moments. However you decide to outline your photo book, it may help to write down your main points first and fill in the gaps with photos as you go. That way, you can make sure you’re not missing a favorite photo or moment. If you’re unsure what style photo book to choose, there are many options to pick from.
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