© 2013 photobookgirl

Behind the Scenes at My First Photo Book Party – Part I



It was the first cold, wintry night in Chicago, following on the heels of our first snow, but the chill of the season did not deter our group of ladies from making it out for our first ever Photo Book Party. That’s a lot of firsts huh? So what exactly is a photo book party? In short it’s all about food, friends and of course making photo books!

The idea for a photo book party came about because of the number of friends who have said to me over the years that they would like to make a photo book but just haven’t gotten around to it or didn’t know where to start. I figured that I could help my friends finally make that book a reality, plus when the girls get together it’s a great excuse to share some food, gossip and laughs! We were fortunate to have the generous sponsorship of the folks at Mixbook. Each guest received a $25 credit towards any of Mixbook’s products (cards, calendars and of course photo books)! Plus, they sponsored some of the yummy treats that we enjoyed as well! (Below is some pineapple syrup I was prepping for my tropical sangria!)

Photo Book Party 2013

Facebook fan photo book party

I had planned to blog about our party, so I could share with you all the fun details, and I was pleasantly surprised to get so many “likes” from our fans on Facebook when I made a quick post about how I was excited to host it.

I even got a request later from friends of friends to have another one!

How I Planned the Party (and how you can plan yours too!)

1) First I sent out a feeler email to see how many of my friends would be interested and we picked a date. (We had ours in November just before the holiday season started so folks could opt to work on holiday gifts.)

2) I sent out a few emails with tips on how to prep before the date of the party.

Here’s the pre-party photo book prep tips I shared with my friends:



What’s the topic of your book?

Common topics:

Baby Book
ABC book
Family Heritage
Gift for family member
Family cookbook
Year in Review

If you want to see some of more of my photo books check them out here.

I put all the pics I want to use in a single folder on my desktop usually. Whatever you find easier. Weed out the ones that didn’t turn out, so you can focus on the ones that you do like. For a 40 page book, I would say 120 photos is good. You probably won’t use them all. Less is totally fine. More is okay too.


This is optional, although if you see a photo you like but it’s too dark (usually), you can do some editing on that photo to make it look best. Picasa is a free editing tool that is easy to use. If you have iPhoto that works pretty easily too. For more on editing photos, I have a post on free photo editing tools here.

4) SIGN UP FOR AN ACCOUNT on Mixbook (or company of your choice)

If you want, you can look at their ready-made themes they have to see if you like any of them.


You’ll need a wi-fi enabled laptop so we can connect to the wireless internet (and possibly your charger). If you want to check out some other tips, check out this page: How To Make Your Own Photo Book.  You’ll find a list of topics so you can just pick what you’re interested in reading.

In Part 2, I’ll give you a sneak peek at the actual party itself! Stay tuned!

Photo credit: My brother 🙂




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  1. Lesley
    Posted December 27, 2013 at 7:32 pm | #

    How fun! I wish I lived closer, I think we would get along great and could work on photo things together.

    • photobookgirl
      Posted December 27, 2013 at 10:08 pm | #

      It was a lot of fun! Maybe you can host a party for a few of your friends 🙂

  2. Lesley
    Posted December 27, 2013 at 10:30 pm | #

    After I read this post I was thinking of doing just that. maybe I will this summer.

    • photobookgirl
      Posted December 27, 2013 at 11:26 pm | #

      Awesome! If you do (and I think you should go for it!) I’d love to hear about it. I can post it on the blog 🙂

  3. Christina
    Posted December 28, 2013 at 9:28 pm | #

    Can you recommend a photobook software that handles large photobooks well? I make yearbooks for my kids that typically have about 80 pages and hundreds of pictures. I like using Picaboo but the last time I made a book, the software got really slow after I had added a lot of pictures and it was a pain to work with. I am wondering what your experience has been with large photo books. Thanks! I’m so excited to have found your blog. It looks like you have a lot of useful info.

    • photobookgirl
      Posted December 28, 2013 at 11:53 pm | #

      Hi Christina,

      I haven’t used Picaboo in a while, so I don’t remember about it being slow. In general, when I feel any software is getting buggy, I will save and then reboot my the program or the computer. I make lot of photo books with my own software now and upload finished pages. I have a series of posts here about external software: http://www.photobookgirl.com/blog/using-external-software-to-design-your-photo-book-layouts/. Lumapix Fotofusion is one of my faves right now. I like that you can print your books anywhere. You may want to try Mixbook. They have a lot of nice features. I also print alot with MyPublisher.

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