Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Planning a photobook

I have just returned from a week at the beach and am just now planning a photobook of the photos.I have created a photobook for our annual holiday for each of the past four years. I love the size of the project because it is so achievable.
Here are the stages I go through:

1. Choosing the photos

Of the 350 or so photos I took I'll put about 100 of them in the photobook. I have already picked them out and put copies in a separate folder.

2. Assigning photos to pages

This is where I cheat and use software by Momento to organise the photos. I have printed books with Momento before and I love how their software auto arranges photos on a page. It is so quick. Not only does it help me figure out which photos go on each page but it gives me ideas on how to arrange them. Here is a snapshot of the pdf I can export from Momento:

3. Choosing the kits to use

Oh what fun this is! I tag my kits using ACDSee so I usually create a new tag for my album and apply that tag to all the potential goodies like so (this screen shot shows elements tagged for my "queenscliffe" album which I have finished a year ago):

4. Create a theme template

Then I create a full sized page (this one is A4) that includes the standard elements I think I'll use. This way I can check that they'll work together. I choose my font sizes and jot any other notes that are relevant on this template. Here's the theme template for the album I'm planning:
Oh my I love this stage! It all looks quite a clutter but I love how they work together! Kits I plan to use are:

5. Create the pages

I start with a copy of the template that has only the background paper, the title and the body text in position and any other fixed elements like a keyline or stitched border.

I just have to drag any elements I want to use from this template page or add anything extra from my stash.So I now know what photos go where and have a good idea how they should be arranged. The most time consuming task at this stage is to tweak the photos (especially the brightness and sharpness) and compose the journaling (and check the spelling!).

6. Design the cover

I usually leave that until last because it is the culmination of the pages within. I find the cover is the most fun of all!

7. Print

I plan to have this printed with MyReflections which is another Australian company. But I've also used Blurb and Shutterfly. In my experience the cost is a good indication of the quality of the final product. MyReflections compares favorably with Shutterfly for price and quality.

So there you have it! My aim is to spend less time creating the book than I spent on holidays!

What do you do? Do you do something similar? Or do you have a different system?


  1. Brilliant Esther, I especially like the idea of the Theme Template Page. So you are consistently using the same size too, no wonder your books look so elegantly put together. And you don't have to go looking through your stash time and time again. I'm going to take that on board!!! Fabulous.

  2. Wow, totally different from what I do. But then again, I've never made a book from scratch--it's always been based on layouts I've made throughout the year. Yours looks terrifically awesome!

  3. Heya, is that your photo that got singled out on Pioneer Woman, the one with the pears? WOWEE!

  4. Hey, really useful information. That info about Momento software organising your photos is really cool. Ive previously used a company called Bookroom before for photobooks and been really happy. Looking forward to giving the others a try also.


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