Creating your Photobooks

This is our third post in our photography series.  If you missed the first two posts:  Organizing your Printed Photos and Organizing your Digital Photos make sure to check them out so you get the steps used to prep for preparing your photobooks.

So, as we discussed in our previous post, we began the process of creating photobooks out of our family photos to help preserve them and to also make it easy for us to give gifts to our family that lives out of the country.  It is such a nice way to present your photos without having to print each one or having them permanently in one location.  We will say, if you prefer to touch your photos, you may want to use a photo album or scrapbook to store your photos or even just use the photo box method discussed in our first post of the series.  This post is specific to creating a photobook.

Photo Folder ListSo the first step to creating your photobook is to determine the various categories you want in the book.  As you can see in the image as I sorted my photos I created book categories that I wanted to use. By sorting in this fashion it makes the process of book creation much easier.  For example, in my daughter’s book we wanted to focus on birth to her 1st year birthday party. Needless to say there were literally 100’s (if not 1,000’s) of photos to go through, but this really wasn’t as hard as you might think.   Once you get all the photos for the categories you have and start reviewing them you will notice as with the physical photos you have duplicates or very similar images.  Look at the photos carefully and pick your favorite ones.  Now, I would suggest getting rid of the others.  If they aren’t good enough to go in the book why are you keeping them?  Okay okay I know there are some that look better based on the layout, so if this is the case it is perfectly fine to keep them.  I however would suggest creating a subcategory so you don’t mix those up with the ones you are keeping for the book.

Once you have the photos you want for the photobook you will want to choose your photobook creator.  We chose to use Shutterfly mainly because they are the ones that offer regular discounts and that our Pamper points (yes you earn points when you buy diapers) converted to, so it financially made sense for us, but you may choose a different book creation tool.  They are all pretty much created equal with a few minor differences, but for the purposes of this post I will refer to shutterfly.

So most photobook creators require you to create a password.  You want to make sure you read the fine print carefully to see what it says about selling your photos prior to uploading them to the site.  Once your account is created you can pick the type of book you want to create.  I would suggest making sure you pick something you can easily maintain.  What I mean by that is to pick a style of book that isn’t seasonal or being offered as a special so your books all look similar. In my case, we use the basic book which is small, but it is perfect for our purposes so our books aren’t too large and it is also the one that is offered free or at a discounted rate.

After choosing your book type, you then will pick your layout.  There are a lot of cute designs that you can apply to your book to bring life to it.  For our wedding book we used a wedding theme which gave us cute images and wording that we could apply between photos.  For my daughters we used more of a modern layout.  Get creative here, you can even get your family involved if they are age appropriate.  You then will arrange your photos on the page as you want them to appear.  I suggest once you get all the photos in the book layout that you want, you save it and take a break away from it.  I like to let it “marinate” and then come back to it to see if I still like the way it looks.  If not, don’t be afraid to make a few adjustments.  Once finished you can enter your discount code (if you have one) and pay for your book or better yet just the shipping.  I definitely encourage you to wait until there is a special or you get a discount code whenever possible so you can get it for free and just pay for the shipping.

Well, that’s it…I told you it wasn’t hard. I really love this process because I love making them and I feel good knowing we are going to have volumes of our lives preserved for easy digesting for many many years to come.  So, are you going to make your photo book today?

Please comment below and let us know what you liked most about our series and what you would like to see in the future.
Until our next post, stay happy!

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