In the northern hemisphere, summer travel season is almost upon us. We will soon be packing our sunscreen, bathing suits, hiking boots, reading material, and digital devices for our next big adventure. While on vacation, it is great fun to post pictures of our feet on the beach or group shots taken at arm’s length, but footsies and selfies don’t tell the story of our great adventure in the same way as a photo book. With today’s technology, your images, and a little know-how, you can create photo books equal to your experiences.
1) Why make a photo book?
Online photo galleries are convenient, free, and a great way to view your images from anywhere in the world with internet access. These galleries are quickly becoming the electronic equivalent of the box of printed images stored under your bed or on the back shelf of your closet.
Each of these images, whether stored in
2) Creating a photo book in the best format
- Where will this photo book be displayed – on your coffee table, bookshelf, etc.?
- Is this photo book for personal use or will you be purchasing lots of copies for friends and family?
- Is the subject matter of momentous import – does it tell the story of your life, your child’s milestones, the vacation of a lifetime?
The story you are telling will help determine the proper format for your book.
3) Tell your story with photos
The best photo books have a cohesive theme and tell a story. They are not just a collection of your very best photographs. Think about the story you wish this book to tell and select images that tell that story. This is not to say that you can’t include those beautiful sunsets, landscapes, and pictures of lovely buildings, but you should use these as a means to set the stage for your story rather than allowing them to be the star.
4) Select the right images
A well-crafted story requires atmosphere, character development, and a tight plot. The same applies to your photo book. Careful image selection is the first and often most difficult step of putting together a photo book. Our natural tendency is to include every picture from our latest adventure. When selecting images for your photo book, remember you have a limited number of pages to tell your story and think about how can you tell this story with the images you captured?
5) Include what you want to remember
When sorting through your pictures, you may think, “How silly – who would want to look at a picture of ___?” If the answer is “I would,” that’s reason enough to include it in your photo book. We all want to make an interesting and beautiful keepsake from our experiences, but in the end, these are your memories and this is your book. Make it yours by including images of the moments you don’t want to forget.
6) Image order – Telling the story
Once you have selected the images that best tell your story or tell it the way you want it told, start putting them in order. Consider the flow of the narrative provided by the pictures. Avoid grouping all the landscapes, buildings, and food shots together on a page. Instead, use these images as filler to provide
One way to present your story is to create your photo book in a linear fashion (“On the first day we did this. On the second day…”). Another option is to place complimentary images on adjacent pages or in a collage of similarly themed pictures such as food, shopping, or selfies. Remember, it’s your story, how do you want to tell it?
7) Presentation is everything
Once you have selected your photos,
8) Is your picture worth a thousand words?
Text and image captions are not required, but they can add useful details to your photo book. Include information like the date, place, name, or event if it is not readily apparent from your image. When adding text to your photo book, use the same font throughout to provide cohesiveness and place text so that it compliments your images rather than overwhelming them. Text should serve as a prompt to help you tell the story and recall the details.
9) What about the cover?
There are several cover designs to choose from in the Lulu photo book wizard. You can choose to insert a picture into a frame or select a cover that is created entirely from your image.
Regardless of the cover
10) Keepsake albums
Like the scrapbooks of yore, today’s photo books allow you to capture, organize and present your digital memories. Instead of paper, tape
Writer extraordinaire and generally amazing guy, Glenn is the technical and content writer for Lulu. He also makes sure that every day is the best day ever.