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Great Tips for Making Photobooks

Great Tips for Making Photobooks

The digital world has been both a blessing and a curse: These days, we all have cameras that can hold thousands of photos, and our phones are never more than a few feet away, ready to capture an important moment. But how many of those photos have you printed so that you can gift them, share them, or enjoy them without looking at a screen or needing to charge a battery?

The great news is that you no longer have to buy a photo album, print your photos, and painstakingly arrange them all. (My grandmother promised to organize her photos the year she retired…and she’s now 86. The photos are still in her basement.) Here’s how to make the most of your memories:

Find a photobook maker

Several photobook companies have popped up and all have their own benefits or features for putting together your book. Popular website-based services such as Snapfish, Shutterfly, Blurb, and Mixbook are all great places to start.

Pick a theme

Did you just look at your photo archive and realize you took 1,800 pictures in the last nine months? (Guilty; my phone’s memory is full as of my writing this.) That’s overwhelming. Start smaller. Is your book going to be a year in review? A book featuring a special relationship (this is a great one for grandparents and grandchildren)? The day your baby was born? Find your theme—that will give you a place to start winnowing down your favorites.

Consider size and scale

Don’t be afraid to go big with a favorite photo—fill the whole page or a spread with it. But make sure to mix those in with groupings of smaller photos so that the flow feels natural. When planning photos on a spread, consider that the binding of the book will create what’s known as the “gutter”—so, for example, don’t place someone’s face in the middle of the spread. You can also add captions, word art, or text to your book to include pertinent facts, or even an anecdote. Lastly, pick a great photo for the cover, and make sure to have them print a title on the binding to find it easily on the shelf. And don’t be afraid to make it yours! Embrace what makes you, you!

For a few more tips, check out Emily of Joyful Abode’s list of 10 tips for compelling photobooks—she’s thought of it all!

Share Your Tips

What advice do you have about making photobooks? Do you start at the end and work your way to the beginning? Perhaps you set aside a few hours every month to make sure you aren’t falling behind. We could use all the helpful tips we can get! Share them in the comments section below.


About the Author:

Katie Dohman is a freelance writer and editor living in St. Paul with her husband, new baby girl, and two rescue mutts.

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