Simplifying the Photo Book

Hi. My name is Sarah. I used to be a scrapbooker.

I really did! And I loved it. I loved cropping and picking colors and adding cute borders and stickers. Then my daughter was born and every time I tried to scrapbook, she needed something or wanted to “help.” My scrapbooking started to feel like a real drag. I started to feel concerned about how many pictures I was taking. How on earth I would even be able to fit my daughter’s scrapbooked childhood in my house! I had also previously thought that my scrapbooking was cost effective compared to the cost of paying for a printed photo album.

I overheard another mom talking about how she switched to doing all her photo albums online. A few months later I had created my first online photo book and given away most of my scrapbooking paraphernalia.

In the interest of efficiency, I decided I would make two books a year. Then I would only have to go through all the fuss every six months. I follow this process to make the photo album process as streamlined as possible.

  1. Gather photos. This is the hardest part and will take the most time. Look for photos on your computer, on your phone, in your email, Instagram and on Facebook. This “gathering” is one of the reasons I only do this twice a year. It’s a pain. When you find the photos you want, copy and paste each of them into a new folder for your photo book. When in doubt, put more photos in the folder. You can cull your collection later.
  2. Consider the size of your photo book. I rarely pay for more pages. This is usually a financial decision and that’s okay with me. My latest photo book (30 pages long) contained 83 photos (including the cover, not all full size of course. If the money isn’t a concern, keep all the photos you want and just pay for more pages.
  3. Choose a company for your book. Three that I would recommend: Blurb, Shutterfly, and Costco. I found Costco was the least expensive and had the fewest customization options. I really like Shutterfly and they frequently have coupons. Blurb is also great, but a little more expensive (lots of customizing available).
  4. Upload your photos and assemble your photo book. You will usually be offered a choice when building your book–the simple path or the custom path. I always choose the custom path because I will always want to tweak or customize something.
  5. Order your book and pay!

Do you enjoy scrapbooking or do you like making photo books online?


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