Being stuck inside – especially when the weather is good – is not a very pleasant thing. But it does give you time to think about the projects you’ve been putting up for some time. One such project is a family photo book. A lot of the time, pictures just keep stacking up on our mobile phones, tablets, and computers. At some point, there seem to be too many to actually get an overview. To help you get started, here’s how to create and how to save on your next family photo book.
I adore a photo book and have made several over the years. I have made a baby book for each son for their first year and also made one to celebrate my friends 40th birthday and our girlie Las Vegas trip!
If you want to enjoy the process of creating a photo book, the best way forward is to get your photos organised beforehand. Bring all your pictures together from their various digital homes and ideally create a folder somewhere on your computer. Of course, you can use your mobile phone to make the photo book, but it’ll be a lot easier to use a computer. At this point, you’ll have to start thinking about the theme of your book. A family photo book can cover a specific time frame – such as the past year – or a theme – such as travel or changes. The theme will help you filter out the photos you want to use for this specific book and give you an idea of what it could look like.
Choose a book type
There is a lot of choice when it comes to photo books. There are hardcover and softcover books, tiny and huge formats, thick and thin pages, different finishings, and much more. Let’s have a look at the types and their respective pros and cons:
Hardcover VS softcover
While a hardcover photo book has a kind of premium feel to it, it’s also heavier and more static than a softcover photo book. It really is a matter of preference when it comes to the cover type. One big advantage hardcover photo books do have is the extra option of lay-flat pages. That means that there is no fold in the middle that could possibly hide a part of your picture so you can even print a big family portrait over two pages and won’t lose any details due to the binding.
Size and format
Bigger isn’t always better, even when it comes to family photo books. There are really tiny photo book sizes (like 10x10cm square books) that can be great options for coffee tables and just the occasional short trip down memory lane. And there are really large ones (such as A3 photo books) that you can use to reminisce with the kids or tell actual stories of your adventures in great detail with. Again, it’s what you want to do that is most important when it comes to the type of book you should choose.
Pages and finishing
Of course, thicker pages are more durable and offer a better handling. They are also more expensive. As a general rule of thumb, 148GSM (grams per square meter) is regarded as good quality photo printing paper. In terms of finishing, you typically have the option of matte or glossy. While glossy means that there is that extra spark in your photos and colours come across particularly well, matte finishing makes it easier to look at the photos in all types of lighting situations. There’s no reflection and they are not as susceptible to fingerprints. Considering that last point, matte might be the way forward if you intend to look at the photo book with your children.
Choose the right deals
There are a lot of photo book deals out there. Some apps promise free prints or even a free photo book every month. Keep in mind, though, that free doesn’t always mean no cost. In almost all cases, those offers refer to an absolute minimum and each and every added feature (which may be included in regular photo book deals) costs quite a pretty penny. The only way these deals can be offered is by upping the delivery prices and – in a few cases – reducing the overall quality of the book. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t good deals out there, though!
One of the easiest ways to choose the right service for your photo book and get a good deal is choosing a website that lists a wide variety of photo books from different suppliers and offering photo book deals online at the same time. The big advantage is that you don’t have to jump from one photo book website to another to look at your options and make a choice. Everything is in one place.
Keep it clean
When you’ve found the right deal and chosen a photo book, it’s time to start designing. What I’ve learned over time is that less is more when it comes to a good design. All those photo book softwares offer so many decoration options and creative templates that it can be tempting to overdo it. For a really beautiful result, it’s often best to just choose one of the many templates and only add individual stickers or change the layout of a page. You want the focus to be your family photos and not the elaborate frame or backgrounds. Also, don’t forget to add texts! Underline what your photos show with stories and anecdotes to make your family photo book perfect.
Check, double-check, triple-check
While text can complement your photos, it can also create new issues: typos. Be sure to triple-check your finished book before ordering to prevent such small errors from ruining your hard work. Ideally, you should have someone else look through the book before you order. That’s how to save on your next family photo book – in terms of errors.
Creating a family photo book is a great project. While you’re working on your masterpiece, you get to look at all those great photos and remember the best of times. In the end, you have a great addition to your home and you can spend time with your family looking through the book.