Oh Baby! Oh Baby!
Everyone tells you that once you have a child, your life as you know it will totally change, and yes folks that goes for your photobooking as well! Obviously, Photo Book Baby has become the undisputed star of my photo books.
I really hope my little guy grows to love photography as much as I do and I look forward to going on photo excursions with him when he's a little older. But one thing I am sure of now is how much he loves photo books. (Yea!) One of his favorite photo books was the one I made for him when he was about 8 months old. I created a "face book" (no, not anything to do with the social media phenomenon known as Facebook - but while we're on the subject, I'd love it if you liked my page!) It was actually a simple photo book of faces and names featuring our extended family. It became an instant bedtime favorite and I can say with 100% certainty, that is why he knows his grandparents', aunts', uncles' and cousins' names. He initially learned to recognize and point to their photos when we asked, "where's uncle? where's auntie?" and then gradually learned to say their names over time. He's 19 months now and many in my family are shocked when he calls out to them by name, especially because he's only seen them a handful of times in person. Crazy right? If you're family is spread out (or even if it isn't) I highly recommend this type of book. It works!
I also highly recommend photo books or brag books (small, portable albums to show off your little one) as gifts for parents, grandparents and doting aunts and uncles. I can't see anyone being disappointed in receiving a personalized book of photos, especially those featuring the gift recipient and your little one together and other cherished family photos. While share sites, emails, Facebook and Instagram are great, there's just something special about holding an actual book in your hands, probably even more so given the online nature of our everyday lives. It's like getting a letter from a friend in the mail - so rare nowadays!
I've Never Made a Photo Book Before - Where Do I Start?
Step 1: Pick a Company
1) Budget Conscious? I very much recommend going with a company that's running a sale (or one that's giving away a free photo book) that way you can try a new company at relatively low risk. Also to keep costs down, you can opt for a softcover book rather than a hardcover one. I've made some really nice looking softcover books. The interior paper and print quality is often the same, it's just the binding and cover material that differs. A small 20-page softcover book can run from $3 to $12. A small 20-page hardcover book runs about $15 to $20, and that's before discounts. 30% to 70% discounts are not unheard of. You can check out the photo book deals here.
2) Want to Make an Easy Photo Book? Check out the company's auto-placement tool or book wizard. With one click it will place all your photos. You can reposition them, but if you like it as is, it's the quickest way to make a book. Another easy option is to choose a ready-made theme or template. There are some beautiful, designer-made layouts (and in fact complete book designs) out there for free. It's just an easy drag and drop.
3) Looking for a High End Photo Book? If this is an heirloom book you want to pass down to future generations (perhaps for baby's baptism or first birthday) you may be willing to spend more. A lay flat, flush mount book is one of the higher end books offered by several companies. They are printed on real photo paper using a photographic process so you won't see the tiny dots that make up the image, making for smoother tones and clearer print quality. The images are typically mounted onto stiff, unbendable cardstock pages.
Step 2: Edit Your Photos
This means two things:
Step 3: Upload Your Photos
Some companies function online (like Shutterfly and Mixbook), while others require you to download the software (like MyPublisher, Blurb). Either way, you'll have to upload your photos to the software so you can design the pages. What's nice about online software is once you upload your photos, you can access your book from anywhere you have an Internet connection. On the flip side what's nice about downloaded software is you can work on your book without going online as long as you have your computer with you.
Step 4: Have Fun Designing Your Layouts
Pick a ready-made designer template or create your custom book from scratch. Styles can range from a modern photos-only type album or at the other end of the spectrum - a digital scrapbooking type photo book with lots of colorful backgrounds and clip art, for a fun, playful look. Creativity is limitless!
Photo Credit: Moonhouse Productions
Some of My Favorite Baby Photo Books
Here are featured links to some of my favorite baby photo books. Please note that while some of the promos you may see in the posts were current then but not now, there are plenty of new photo book promos and coupon codes that I track every day as well as daily photo book deals (like Groupon and Living Social) to help you find the best deal on a photo book. More of my baby and family related photo book posts are linked at the bottom of this page.
1) Narrow down your photos to the best ones - uploading too many will only overwhelm you;
2) Adjust your photos for contrast, brightness, sharpness prior to uploading;
DIY Baby's First Year in Review
Baby's 12 Month Photo Canvas Print
Photo Book Gifts for the Kids
Make Your Own Custom Baby Book
Baby Guest Book
Back to the Future Baby Book Idea (recreating old baby photos)
Make Your Own Personalized ABC Book
Personalized ABC Book Disney Style
More Photo Book Resources
If you'd like to get more in-depth about how to get started, check out my How To Make Your Own Photo Book
If you'd like to see layout ideas check out my photo book idea gallery
If you're looking for gift ideas, I've got the ultimate list of custom photo gifts
for you! (it was written for this past holiday season, but many of these would make great gifts for any occasion!)
If you want to read about a specific company, go to my Photo Book Reviews
If you want to hear about all the latest photo book deals
, the best way to not miss out is to stay in touch!
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Baby & Family Photo Books From the Blog
Christmas Photo Traditions - Photography Ideas for the Holidays
30 FREE CARDS! Photo Book Girl's Annual Holiday Custom Photo Card Guide - Best Deals & Tips
Photography Tip: Recreating an Old Family Photo
Photo Book Mom Gives Herself a Grade - Ideas & Tips for Memory Keeping
Photobook America Layflat Review Plus a Cyber Monday Giveaway! (U.S. and Canada - Enter by 12/7/15)
MyPublisher Premium Album Flush Mount and Design Service Review
Do Second or Later Born Children Have Less Photos Than Firstborns?
How to Make Your Own Baby Book Part II (or Milestone Birthday Book) Plus Resource List
AdoramaPix Hudson Flush Mount Review and GIVEAWAY (Ends 2/9/15)
How to Get FREE Customized Maps from Disney
Year in Review Visual Journal Photo Book Layout
Question and Answer Photo Book for Children - Interview Your Child
Photo Book Baby's Second Year in Review
Happy Lunar New Year - The Year of the Horse
Disney Wonder Photo Books - A Multi-Volume Set
Happy Holidays From Photo Book Girl! DIY Photo Ornaments
Can You Find Disney's Hidden Mickeys?
Mixbook Lay Flat Photo Book Review Plus a GIVEAWAY! $300 in prizes (ENDED)
Photo Book Girl's Top Tips for Planning a Pirate Birthday Party - Part 2
Photo Book Girl's Top Tips for Planning a Pirate Birthday Party - Part 1
Personalized ABC Photo Books - Disney Style
Make Your Own Personalized ABC Book
Make Your Own Family, Heritage and Genealogy Photo Book
Q&A: Roadmap To Catching Up on Your Photo Book Projects
Disney Cruise Photo Tip #2: Getting Your Money's Worth From a Shutters Photo Package
Top Tips on Making A Pregnancy Photo Book
Photo Book Girl Tries Baby Mugging
How To Rescue a Bad Photo - Go Black & White
Photo Book Inspiration - Custom Children's Book Makes for Creative Marriage Proposal
New PhotoBookGirl.com Feature Page - Photo Books For Baby
Photo Book Design Tip - Creative Labels & Date Strips
Photo Book Baby's First Year in Review
The Ultimate Disney Photo Book - Part 3 Hand Drawn Chalkboard Doodles
MyPublisher Canvas Review Part 2 - Print Quality & Exclusive MyPublisher Coupon Codes
Shutterfly Lay Flat Photo Book Review 2013 - Valentine's Baby Photo Book Gift
Making the Ultimate Disney Photo Book Part 2 - Scanning Travel Mementos
Disney Cruise Photo Tip #1: How to Get Photos With All Your Favorite Disney Characters
Tips for Making The Ultimate Disney Photo Book - Getting Started - Disney Clip Art & Fonts (Part 1)
Day 6 Can't Miss Christmas Gift Ideas - Photo Books for the Kids (Updated 2014)
DIY Custom Photo Bunting Flags Tutorial - Photo Book Baby's Birthday Party Decor Part 2
Photo Book Baby Turns One! Creative Uses for Photos to Customize Your Party Decor (Part 1)
Photos and Photo Books - Why Bother?
New Photo Book Coupon Codes and Deals & Baby Lullaby Photo Book
Photo Book Layout Design Tips - Facebook Screenshots
365 Project 2012 - Week 16
Photo Book Baby's "Facebook"
365 Project 2012 Week 15
Creative Ways to Use Text in Your Photo Book - Word Collages
Shutterfly Photo Book Review 2012 Custom Path Update
365 (366) Day Photo Project 2012 Week Five
365 (366) Day Project 2012 Week 2
Blurb Custom Notebook Review
Reflections on the Past Year in Photobookland
Artscow Deluxe Photo Book Review - Baby Shower Photo Book
Adventures in Digital Scrapbooking - Where to Find Freebies
Travel Photo Books - Capturing Vacation Memories
DIY Baby Photo Book Idea - Back to the Future
Digital Scrapbooking Backgrounds and Clip Art
How to Make Your Own Baby Book - Step 1: Collect Data
How to Make Your Own Baby Guest Book - Photo Book Baby Makes His Debut
Winner Announced in Blurb Giveaway & What's Up in PhotoBookLand
Blurb Review of Softcover Photo Book & GIVEAWAY Ends 9/1/2011! (ENDED)
Photo Book Girl to Photo Book Mom! Baby Photo Albums and Scrapbooks