Is it possible to make a photo book in minutes? Yes, most photo book companies if not all have a “wizard” type tool that automatically places your photos into pre-set templates. In most cases it puts them in chronological order which is the order I normally place all of my photos in a photo book anyway. You just load your photos and pick a theme and poof it’s all done. You aren’t stuck with the design if you don’t like the placement of a certain photo, you can always go through the layouts and make any changes or add any titles that you’d like.
This process works best if:
1) You need to put together a quick book for a gift and you’re in a time crunch;
2) You are making a book of a single event like a birthday, as the photos have a consistent theme and the number is more manageable;
3) You are new to photobooking and want to get ideas of how to put the layouts together (this could be a good test run even if you end up wanting to make changes);
4) You have a smaller number of well-curated photos;
5) You don’t mind the order of the photos (though typically the software arranges chronologically);
6) You’ve already seen a cute ready-made theme you like. (Mixbook, Shutterfly, Picaboo and Photobook America are some companies that come to mind that have a lot of ready made themes to choose from. Blurb, MyPublisher and AdoramaPix also offer some themes, but they aren’t as embellishment or sticker heavy.) Additionally, newer company Montage is all about fast and streamlined. Auto-placement of photos is their main feature, although you can still quickly toggle through other possible layouts for some customization. You can check out my review of Montage here.
An auto-process may not be a good idea if:
1) You have photos from multiple events;
2) You have a lot of photos (more than 100 to 150) to place;
3) You like to have complete control over everything (though remember you can rearrange anything you like, but then you’re probably spending more than just a few minutes to make a book!)
I’m always an advocate of trying anything at least once (that is not illegal of course!). What’s great is there’s no commitment. Many photo book companies allow you to play around with their software and even make photo books to share online FREE of charge via Facebook etc. So, if you don’t like your “auto” made photo book, you don’t have to buy it until you get a design you like.
Specialized “Automated” Books
There are companies offering some special types of automated books that obviously cut down on the time spent arranging layouts:
Instagram books – Blurb has a slurping interface that will make an Instagram book from your photo feed. Check out my review of Blurb’s Instagram photo books here.
Facebook books – Several companies are doing this now. One I’ve tried is Blurb’s Facebook photo book. What’s nice is the comments and Likes are also slurped automatically. You can check out my Blurb Facebook photo book review here.
Get Those Photos Off Your Computer!
I urge you to rescue your lovely photos from the murky unknown that is your hard drive and make a photo book (in minutes!)
If you’re new to photo books, make sure not to miss my How To Make Your Own Photo Book series. It has all my best tips from start to finish!
Please note, this post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and place an order, I may receive a referral fee. Regardless, my views are entirely my own and an honest review is always given.