Woman looking at a photo book

10 Creative Photo Book Ideas

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It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of photo books. They’re a way to get pictures off your hard drive and into your home, and they’re always a great conversation starter. But sometimes it can be a little daunting to actually know where to start. If you’re struggling with ideas of how to get all of your pictures into beautiful photo books, here are 10 ideas to get you going.

Annual Book

This is my go-to style when it comes to making photo books. I take all of my pictures from a given year and get them printed into a nice book by Blurb, my favorite photo book printer. I love to see them all lined up on my shelf, and they take up a lot less room than a traditional photo album. They’re also a lot easier to customize, and you never have to worry about photos fitting in the acetate pockets—or worse, tearing through the bottom so that you end up with a mess. I like to divide my books into “chapters” that group similar pictures together (i.e. by event or location), but if that’s too fancy for you, you can always use Blurb’s autofill feature to add all of your imported photos into beautiful layouts with a single click.

Looking for tips on how to customize your photo books? Check out my
10 Tips for Making Gorgeous Photo Books

Baby Book

My mom kept a beautiful baby book during the first few years of my life, and even though this might sound kind of narcissistic, I really love looking through it. It’s fun to read stories about how funny I was as a toddler and to see photos of my bed head and cute onesies since I obviously can’t remember them myself. Baby books are an excellent addition to your family history records and a beautiful way to document your kids’ first couple of years. I’m really looking forward to making baby books for my own kids so they can read about how funny they were as toddlers, too.

Birthday Book

But there’s nothing that says you have to stop once your kids aren’t babies anymore. I love the idea of “birthday books.” These are a lot like annual books, but you can make them individual for each member of your family. Add in extra goodies like letters from Mom and Dad and other loved ones, scanned artwork, report cards, awards, etc. Then print it up and give it as a gift on their birthday. Not only does this take off a little of the pressure of deciding what to give them for their birthday, but it also means that they’ll have a beautiful record of their lives to take with them when they grow up and fledge the nest. You don’t have to limit this to kids, either. Imagine how fun it would be to give Grandpa a book full of photos from his own life when he turns 90!

Recipe Book

I’m not much of a chef, but I love a good family recipe. There’s something so fun about cooking the same things that your grandmother cooked. DIY cookbooks are a great way to share these family recipes with cousins or to pass them on to future generations. Have fun taking pictures of your family making these recipes together or brush up on your foodstagramming skills to show off your best culinary creations. If you love how that recipe card looks with Grandma’s handwriting, scan it and import it as a photo rather than typing it up. And if you’re a budding food celebrity, you can even self-publish your cookbook with Blurb to jump start your career!

Photo album and family history photos

Family History Book

Speaking of family recipes, photo books are also a perfect way to compile and share family history records. At a recent family funeral, my aunt brought out boxes of family photos most of us had never seen before. We had so much fun looking through them all and picking out our favorites. Problem was, we all wanted to keep them and there were only one or two copies of each photo. You can easily solve this dilemma by making a family history book that everyone can have a copy of. You can even include stories, transcribed journal entries, and scans of any other paper records you can find. Blurb does offer a discount on bulk orders, too, so everyone can order their books together to save on printing and shipping costs.

Blog Book

If you’re a fellow blogger, first of all, hi! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂 Second, you put a lot of work into your blog, and it’s a big part of your life. Some of my best writing has been on my blog, and it would be a shame to lose it all if an EMP were to destroy the internet or something crazy like that. While Blurb no longer has a “blog slurping” feature, you can still make a hard copy version of your blog by importing your blog pictures and copying and pasting text into their beautiful page layouts. There are a variety of other book printers that do still offer this service, but as I haven’t worked with any of them, I can’t vouch for their quality. Whatever route you decide to take, make sure that you have a backup copy of your blog in a format that will stand the test of time.

Travel Book

If you’ve just gotten home from a fantastic adventure, now is a great time to get all of your trip photos printed in a beautiful book. You can add all sorts of fun features to your travel book to really capture the feel of your trip. I love to include maps and itinerary details, and you can even leave empty space to attach flat ephemera like brochures, tickets, etc. I recently saw the idea to use QR codes that link to videos from your trip, and I can’t wait to add that to my next travel book.

Milestone Book

Along those same lines, you can make a book to commemorate other big milestones in life. Graduating from high school or college? Make a photo book filled with school memories. Just got back from a mission? Make a book with all of your mission photos. Getting married? Make a book of pictures from your courtship to use as a guest book at your wedding. Pregnant or adopting? Document the time leading up to the day you get to welcome that little bundle into your family. Celebrating an anniversary? Make a photo book commemorating all of the years you’ve shared together, complete with love letters or things you’ve learned. I’m of the opinion that if it’s worth celebrating, it’s worth memorializing in a beautiful book your family will cherish for generations.

Gift Book

Good relationships are worth treasuring, and photo books are an incredible way to tell someone how much they mean to you. Whether it’s your best friend, your spouse, or a parent, fill a book with pictures of the two of you making memories together. Write out funny stories that you remember. Write out all the reasons you love them and are grateful for them. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but a gift like this will leave them speechless.

Funny Book

When I was at BYU, my roommates and I would hang up a fresh piece of poster board on the wall at the beginning of every school year. Throughout they year, whenever someone said anything funny, we’d write it on the “Quote Wall.” I always took a picture of the quotes at the end of the year, and they’re some of my favorite things to look back on. Even if you don’t hang up a quote wall, you can keep a record of the funny things your family and friends say by making a quote book instead. I also saw an idea for an “ugly faces” book on Pinterest—keep all the unflattering photos of your family in a single book so you can laugh and laugh and laugh at yourselves throughout the years. I’m 100% going to be making books like these.

Do you like to make photo books?

What are your favorite photo book ideas? Share in the comments below or over on my Facebook page!

If you're ready to make the leap into the wonderful world of making photo books, right now, Blurb is offering new customers 40% Off Photo Books with Code SEPTEMBER4T!* The current sale is valid 9/5/19-9/10/19—but if you miss that window, never fear! I try to keep this post updated with the current sales, so be sure to check back later.

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* Terms: Offer valid through September 10th, 2019 (11:59 p.m. local time). Valid only for photo books uploaded to and purchased through your own account. A 40% discount is applied toward your product total with no minimum order amount. This offer is good for five uses, and cannot be used for digital purchases or combined with volume discounts, custom orders, other promotional codes, gift cards, or used for adjustments on previous orders.

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