Are you looking for an easy way to transform all your digital photographs into a keepsake that can be shared with friends and family? Get those photos off of your smartphone and your computer and onto the pages of a beautifully printed photo book. This guide will give you tips and tricks on how to make the perfect photo book. We’ll give you some ideas to help inspire your own personalized photo album and we’ll walk you through the steps to make your custom book.
There are so many reasons to create personalized photo albums—from baby books to wedding albums. And, if you’re into digital scrapbooking, you can combine your digital layouts into a custom book, too!
Planning Your Custom Book
A little bit of planning goes a long way. Before you dive right into designing your photo albums, take a moment to plan and the process will go smoothly. First, you’ll need to organize all the photos you want to include in your book. Make sure they’re all high quality, in focus, and not blurry. Picture sizes are important, too—they should be large enough to print clearly. Fortunately, most pictures from today’s smartphones and digital cameras are of great quality at standard photo sizes. While you’re gathering all your photos into one central location, be sure to highlight your top picks. When it comes to your book’s layout, you’ll have the option to show your favorite photos in a way that they get the most attention.
Whether you’re making a photo album to document a new baby, creating a wedding photo book, making a book of all your favorite family photos, or want to chronicle your travels, your book will be more cohesive when you stick with a theme. With hundreds of themes to choose from, you’re sure to find one that fits perfectly. When designing the page spread of your custom book, you’ll have access to a variety of different professionally designed page templates to use. You’ll have virtually endless options when it comes to the number of photos per page, the picture sizes, and the amount of text on each page. Choose multiple page layouts in your book to keep it visually interesting.
A picture may tell a thousand words, but sometimes actual text is helpful, too! Add important dates, sweet memories, descriptions of some of the photographs, or even meaningful quotes to help set the tone of your book. The best personalized photo albums are those that tell a story, and the easiest way to do that is by placing your photos in the order they were taken. By creating your book in chronological order and adding text throughout, your story will be easy to follow.
When planning your custom book, remember:
- Organize your photos and highlight your favorites.
- Choose a theme and stick with it from cover to cover.
- Use variety to keep your book visually interesting.
- Include text, captions, and quotes to help tell your story.
How To Pick Your Photo Album Theme
Make sure your photo album has a cohesive look from cover to cover by designing it with a theme. For example, if you’re making a personalized book for kids, you may choose to design it with fun fonts, cute illustrations, and bright colors. When you’re creating a photo book about your pets, you might choose a theme that includes design elements like paw prints and bone shapes. Most importantly, keep the same theme going from one page to the next. And, with a number of pre-designed page templates plus the ability to completely customize them, that’s really easy to do.
Here are a few theme ideas to inspire your custom book:
Babies and Children
Little ones are constantly creating new memories that you’ll want to preserve well beyond their growing years. Baby books are some of the most popular print photo book options, and there’s no shortage of themes available for your baby book or photo book all about the kids. From ABCs to a book of “firsts” or a theme that turns your little one’s drawings and paintings into a personalized book of art, you’ll find a theme that’s just right for your project. Themes for babies and children are often brightly colored, include fun illustrations, and use kid-friendly fonts.
Adventures and Travel
If you’re the type who lives for adventure, a photo book themed around traveling, adventures, camping, or road-tripping will be right up your alley. Travel-related themes include pre-designed layouts to accommodate all of your photos from small candids to full-page landscapes. They also include fun backgrounds like maps, tropical and woodsy illustrations, or cityscapes, all to help tell your travel story.
Cherished Family Memories
How will you make sure your family’s story is never forgotten? A family photo book that documents and celebrates the unique history of your ancestry is one way. Themes include pre-built templates with nostalgic, antique backgrounds, fun timelines, and even family trees. Or, commemorate a family reunion by creating a family photo album, complete with a huge group portrait and small pictures from the party. If you want to make a copy for every member of the family, consider ordering in bulk at a discount.
Wedding, Engagement, and Honeymoon
From popping the question and picking the dress to saying “I do” and celebrating with family, there are plenty of ways to document your big day in a wedding photo book! And when it comes to designing an album around your wedding, there are plenty of themes, too. From simple, modern themes with the look of a high-end magazine to a more rustic farmhouse style, from double-tap-worthy Instagram-style layouts to bright, bold, and confident styles, you’re sure to find the perfect theme to fit your unique taste.
Putting Your Print Photo Book Together
Making your print photo book is more than just putting random photographs on pages. It’s thoughtfully placing images, text, and colors within the book’s pages in a way that tells a story. There are three ways you can have your custom book made. First, we can design it for you with our Make My Book® service. Next, you can have your photos automatically arranged in a theme with our Simple Path®. But, if you want complete creative control over every detail, simply choose the custom path option and follow these easy steps.
- Choose your size. Choose from a variety of standard photo book sizes, ranging from 7×9 to 11×14. The size you choose will depend on any number of things, like how many photos you’ll include in your book and where you plan to store it.
- Pick a theme. Choose a theme that reinforces your story. You have hundreds to choose from, with endless options to make each page uniquely yours.
- Upload your photos. Upload all the photos you want to include in your book on matte finish or semi-gloss pages. Make sure they’re high quality and in focus, as poor quality images will only look more blurry when they’re enlarged and printed.c
- Customize each page. Go through each page and add images, add text, choose your background, select colors, and add embellishments, like stickers and memorabilia pockets.
- Choose your options. Decide if you want your book to have a softcover, a hardcover, or a premium leather cover. You’ll also choose between standard pages or layflat book pages.
- Preview and pay. Preview your book from cover to cover to make sure it’s exactly how you want it, then simply add it to your cart and checkout.
With the help of this guide, you’re now ready to create your own custom photo book to keep for yourself or give as a photo gift with a personalized photo card. Then, you can use the same photos to create a great wall calendar or desk calendar.