Creating a Photo Book

A guide for creating a Photo Book, with tips going from cover to cover

Guide for making Photo Books

Get it Together: A Guide for Creating a Photo Book

Starting off a new Photo Book can be a daunting task, with all the photos and designing that needs to be done. Here are some tips to get the ball rolling on that Photo Book.

1. What your book is about?

Photo Book Content

You've been taking all these photos, and you know you want to do something with them. A Photo Book is an excellent way to show them off, but how do you decide what to put in there? Well, it's best to go ahead and think of a theme.

Family Photo Book

Family Photo Book

Family Photo Books are one of the most common themes we see coming through PrestoPhoto. It's a really simple way to go, and probably what most of your photos are about (that aren't photos of fancy dinners). For a Family Photo Book, get together some of your favorite photos of your folks and get creative with sourcing them if you haven't taken many. Grab photos from your family members, preferably straight from a digital copy they still have. If you have to download them from Facebook, Instragram, or the like, that's better than nothing, but most companies resize and downgrade the quality of the photos and their size, so they won't be the best versions available. Plus it's a good excuse to touch base with that cousin of yours. Some people do a single Photo Book of the family from time to time, some do one every year (most popular with parents of newborns), either way works great.

Travel Photo Book

Travel Photo Book

Another thing we see quite often is Travel Photo Books. You're traveling, seeing amazing monuments and awe inspiring vistas, and then you never look at them again. Travel Photo Books are a great way to look at everything you did, and much easier than showing them off on a laptop when someone comes over. Most people when making a Travel Photo Book tend to limit their content on a trip by trip basis.

Wedding Photo Book

Wedding Photo Books

You probably paid someone a lot of money (or got your cousin to do it) on your Wedding Day, so you should have plenty to choose from. There is assuredly some candids you want to get together from other party-goers, so it's best to get those together too. Pick and choose how you want to tell your story: You could do just the day of the wedding, or the leadup with all the cake tastings and photos from the various wedding dresses that almost were. Bonus points for pictures of that sweet honeymoon you went on as well!

Photo Book with Everything

Put it all in

Sometimes it's hard to choose, so put it all in the pot. If you go this route, compiling all of your photos into sections in the book might be a way to give some order to the chaos, as it were. A lot of people who do this type of Photo Book tend to make one yearly, which is easier to suss out with digital photos with timestamps.

2. Get your photos together

Old Photos

>You've decided what it's all about, but now you need your photos. If you have a piece of software like Photos for macOS, Google Photos, or just stored in a folder on your computer or the camera roll on your phone, the work isn't so hard. It's mostly setting aside the clutter. Pick and choose between the 18 photos of the same moment, and choose the strongest one for your book. This is also a time to look at the quality of the photo: Is it blurry? Is the photo back-lit? Is it a low-light photo? While these types of photos can have a charm, they probably won't end up looking good when printed, so use them with caution.

If you are putting together a book of photos that were taken before 2003, there is a great chance that the photo isn't digital. This complicates things, but don't be afraid, there are options:

Photo Scanner

Scan them

Most people have a scanner somewhere near by, with the rise of Multi-Function Printers. As the old adage goes, the best scanner you have is the one you have on you, but if you can find access to a higher quality scanner, you'll be all the happier for it. You can get a standalone scanner with better color accuracy and more options for as low as 60$, most are closer to $100, and if you get crazy with it, you can spend thousands. If this is more of a one off experience, whatever you have is probably good enough, but a little extra money spent can produce a much better result. If you want to get the best quality without the pain of dealing with computer's any more than you have to, or you just have a massive amount of photos that need scanning, Scan Cafe or GoPhoto might be an option you want to look into.

Scan Photos with Phone

Scan them...with your phone!

You might not have a scanner you can use, and maybe you just have a few photos you want to scan. So, just do it with your phone. Google Photo Scan is a great little app available for iOS and Android, and does a great job for what it is.

3. Designing the Photo Book

Design your Photo Book

You've got your theme, you've got your photos, now for the most exciting yet daunting of tasks: How are you going to put this thing together? Thankfully, there are tons of ways to get a Photo Book together that looks like a professional made it.

Presto Photo Online Designer Tool

Online Designer from Presto Photo

Not to toot our own horn, but we've got a great, simple way to make a Photo Book right on our site. We call it the Online Designer. Pick what size you want your Photo Book, upload your photos to your Gallery, and drag and drop templates you want! Pick how many pages you want the book to be, and you can also look through some of our Photo Book Theme Templates if you are looking for a little more than just the photos.

Canva

Canva

Canva is a great free design tool used to make PDF Photo Books. You end up with an amazing looking book and get to get your hands a little dirty customizing the way your book looks. We've got an excellent how to on how to use the service as well. Once you're done designing, just upload the book and we'll get started on making those pixels a beautiful printed book.

Indesign

InDesign

InDesign is an Adobe Product that is the industry standard for making a book of any kind. If you are deeply serious about getting together a book and making it look exactly the way you want, this is the option that you want. There is a high learning curve, so unless you are willing to put in the time to get used to the product, plus the subscription fee that comes with it (as of writing this article, $20.99 a month with an annual plan), this option isn't for the faint of heart. We have a guide for those willing to take on the challenge of InDesign with tips and a few templates for popular sizes to get you started.

Apple Photo Books

Photos, iPhoto, or Aperture

If you happen to have a Mac, you probably have one of these programs already installed on your computer, and may even be using it for photo management already, which is even better. We have some step by step guides for printing Apple Photo Books with iPhoto, Photos, and Aperture.

4. Photo Book Design Complete!

Your Photo Book is Done

Success! You've got everything done, and now for the easy part: ordering the book. If you've made it in our Online Designer, go ahead and select which options you want and place your order. If you are uploading a PDF to order, go ahead and upload it and select from a few formatting options, and then you can order your Photo Book. The only thing left to decide is if your Photo Book will be on the shelf or on the coffee table.