© 2013 photobookgirl

Photo Book Design Tips: The “More is More” Layout



Although I’m a fan of clean, streamlined photo book layouts, and I love single photo full page bleeds (where one photo covers the entire spread), sometimes I get a little photo happy and I just go for it! Lots of photos in a single layout can have a lot of impact and the familiar mantra of “less is more” goes out the window.

Here’s some of my favorites!

The Photo Shoot

This catalog layout is reminiscent of a contact sheet from a fashion shoot. I like how it tells a story and ultimately that’s what a lot of us are trying to do with our photo books.

Photo Shoot Layout

Source: Anthropologie catalog 2012

You too can be a “model” – here’s a variation of that from my own pregnancy photo book. I love my belly photos and even though I wasn’t consistently in the same pose, when they’re gathered all together like this, it makes for a fun visual record.

baby bump pregnancy photo book layout

My pregnancy photo book belly layout.

The Year in Review

A collage of photos is also effective if you want to give an overview of a particular time period. I did 12 of these layouts for each month of Photo Book Baby’s first year. I couldn’t pick just one photo – I had too many cute ones to choose from. You’ll see that to balance it out, on the opposite side of the spread is a single full bleed photo.

Chalkboard Background Baby Photo Book

Photo Book Baby First Year in Review Book

The Highlights

Also similar to the “Year in Review” concept is a highlights page. I often would do a collage of photos at the start of my vacation photo books, selecting my favorites. It was a sort of teaser of what was to come in the pages that followed.

MyPublisher Deluxe Photo Book Leather

I also love doing these types of layouts to highlight all the food we’ve eaten while on vacation. The food is such a huge part of experiencing another place or culture so you want to remember it. Please let me clarify folks – this collage below is over the course of a whole trip, not just a single meal! (By the way, my husband is supportive of my photo book obsession and knows to wait until I’ve photographed his food before taking a bite!)


The following is from one of my wedding photo books – it’s a collage of the table numbers I made for our reception. Each photo was from a trip we took together with a short blurb on the reverse with a favorite memory about that trip. Some of our guests liked our table numbers so much, they asked to take a few home!


The Legend

I once made a portfolio type book of all my favorite photos (mostly from trips I’d taken). Each page was a full-bleed single photo and I didn’t want to ruin the clean look by adding any captions. I came up with this idea to do a legend or sort of index at the very end to identify where and when each photo was taken. I love how it came out.

Photobook America layout

My favorite photos portfolio book

Parting Tip

The key to the “more is more” look is not to do it on every page in your book. It will look too cluttered and make everyone’s eyes glaze over. These types of layouts are best used more sparingly. Make sure to put a lot of full-page individual photos in your book as well to give your viewers a visual break!

Happy Photobooking!




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  1. Jocelyn
    Posted November 6, 2013 at 3:24 pm | #

    I’m definitely a “more is more” kind of person with my photobook layouts. Most of the photobooks I do are year-in-review books, so I have a lot of pictures to fit in, and I like how you can kind of see a whole story when there are lots of pictures on one page. I usually balance the two-page spread with one “more-is-more” page with lots of pictures, and one “less-is-more” page that has fewer, bigger pictures.

    • photobookgirl
      Posted November 7, 2013 at 12:18 pm | #

      We sound a lot alike! 🙂

  2. Anndee
    Posted November 14, 2013 at 7:02 pm | #

    I’m with Jocelyn. BUT I will say that after looking through a few years worth of books there is the “glazed over” feeling PBG refers to. SO lately I’ve been trying to do more variation. Not sure it will work but….I’m trying.

  3. Posted June 15, 2015 at 12:39 am | #

    I love your posts and follow you on Pinterest
    I also make many photo albums for myself, family and sometimes get paid work to make an album re a customer. I have gained great insight from your great ideas and advice… Thank you!
    Please look up my website & Facebook page and see what you think. With gratitude Chris

    • photobookgirl
      Posted June 17, 2015 at 4:21 pm | #

      Thanks for your kind message Christine!

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