Creating Photo Books
Photo Books are a great way to showcase and enjoy your photographs. They enable you to put all your favourite photographs together in one book. Photo Books work especially well if you are bringing together photographs of a specific theme. For example they could cover a wedding, a child's early years or perhaps someone's life story in pictures.
In my own experience I know they make great gifts for special occasions such as birthdays, at Christmas or on big anniversaries.
Sizes and Shapes of Photo Books
There is plenty of variety when it comes to choosing the size and shape of your photo book. You can also select from square books as well as rectangular books.
Suppliers offer different quality options. These relate to the quality and thickness of the pages in the book. Some suppliers offer options for gloss or matt finish too.
What Photos Can You Use?
Any photos taken with a digital camera can be used. You can also use scanned images made from old prints. When using scanned images it is sensible to keep the print sizes in the book to the same size as the original print or smaller. If you try to produce larger prints you may lose quality. Some photo book software will warn you when you are likely to lose print quality by making the print size too large.
How Many Pages
Most basic books come with around 20 pages. How many pages you increase the size of the book to is really up to you although there are upper limits in most cases. Some manufacturers offer up to 200 pages.
After a fixed price for a standard number of pages (i.e. 20) additional charges are incurred as pages are added. Some manufacturers charge a small fee as you add each additional page. Others use price bands. For example rather than being charged for individual pages you may need to buy another block of 20 pages to take the book up to 40. If you buy in blocks unused pages will not be included in the book, but you will need to pay for them none the less.
With so many different shapes, sizes and quality levels available it is difficult to provide a standard price. Basic books tend to start at around £9.99 plus postage. The upper limits are even harder to quantify, but a finger in the wind estimate would be £50 for an 80 page book.
How You Create a Photo Book
Different suppliers have different processes. With some you download software onto your computer and load your photos into your book from there. Once your book is ready you upload it to their website. With other suppliers you upload all your photos to their website and build the book on the website. There is not a great deal of difference between the two methods, although I have found being able to build the book on your own computer can give a faster response.
Photo book software is clever. All you usually need to do is select the page layouts you want to use and then drag and drop your photos onto the place holders in the layouts. Most suppliers also allow you to drag individual pages nearer to the front or the back of the book if you feel they are not in the sequence you would like.
Once all your photos are loaded into the book you get the chance to review and edit your book. Once you are happy with your work it is a case of following the payment process and ordering your book.
Tips For Making the Process Easier
I find that sorting your photos into the rough order you want them to appear in the book is a good idea. When you come to build your book usually you can only see the photos available to you as small thumbnails so it can be difficult to see exactly what you have available. If your photos are already in the order you want to add them to the book then it makes the task a lot easier.
Most books allow you to add text as titles and also as captions throughout the book. Not all suppliers provide a spell check option so I would suggest you write all the text you are planning to use in a word processing document and spell check it before uploading.