Create Your Own Photo Book

Create Your Own Photo Book_2

Photo books conserve memories, present our best work, and provide a platform for the stories we want to tell.

Petra Vogt, Create Your Own Photo Book, 2012

Petra Vogt’s Create Your Own Photo Book provides detailed instructions to create well-designed photo books. The book contains useful tips, and even though it does not cover Panstoria’s Artisan software, many of the tips are generally applicable. I skipped over the sections related to software that I do not use.

Vogt stresses the importance of simplicity and avoiding overly complex page layouts, mixed colors, and hard-to-read fonts. She also provides recommendations for making a book look professional, including handling of text, background colors, and borders. Other topics covered include adding images from the internet to a photo book and organizing photos.

Creating Your Own Photo Book highlights the importance of two page layouts, and being able to easily extend photos over the gutter. Artisan has significant limitations here, and I hope Panstoria addresses them in a future update to their software.

Vogt provides details on completing projects, including a checklist to identify possible problems before printing. Here are some of the items on her list:

  • Spelling, names, and dates are correct.
  • Page numbers are correct and in the correct order.
  • Photos are not blurred, grainy, or off color.
  • Image/text and content are alligned
  • Fonts show up correctly
  • Trim and bleed are correct
  • Permission to use photos

Vogt describes Blurb, Lulu, Viovio, AdoramaPix, RitzPix, Smilebooks,  and other photo book manufacturers. Unfortunately, she does not provide a detailed comparison but instead relies on anecdotal experience. Vogt discusses photo book quality and lists the defects are due to improperly manufactured books:

  • Cover is bent or torn; binding is inaccurate, weak or shoddy
  • Pages show blots, ink spots, or stick together
  • Pages fall out or the cover is loose

Other defects are more likely due to the way the photo book was created. For example, dark photo  may be caused by monitors that display inaccurate color and blurry images may be due to unsharp or low-resolution photos.

Overall, Create Your Own Photo Book is recommended. It is not critical to creating a photo book; however it is helpful and has many useful tips.


About Mark Mizen

I have over twenty years professional experience in all aspects of photography and digital imaging. I am Chair of the ISO WG5 TG2 committee responsible for physical properties and durability of imaging material and am currently with HID Global working on systems for security printing for IDs, licenses, and credit cards. Previously, I was Director of Digital Development at Creative Memories from 2009 to 2012 and was responsible for the Creative Memories digital products and services. I also established and directed the Creative Memories Technology Center, which evaluated new products prior to product introduction, assisted with production difficulties, and provided technical information to support product sales.
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7 Responses to Create Your Own Photo Book

  1. happygirljan says:

    What do you see as the significant limitations that Artisan users will experience regarding two-page spreads?

    • Mark Mizen says:

      Artisan does not allow you to place a photo across the gutter. Doing so requires duplicating the photo, and then carefully calculating positions so that the photo appears correct on both pages.

  2. onecalmmom says:

    What is the best way to adjust your monitor so your photo book will reflect what you see when you’re designing your project?

  3. Mark, I am/was a CM consultant, just joined APPO and looking forward to creating a fun business as my own Business owner. I used CM SBC and MM and have tried the free trial of Artisan and am liking it a great deal.

    I wondered what your choice so far for printing a good storybook company would be? I read your post on comparison’s of some samples you have been trying out. If you were going to have a “special book” printed, what company as of now would you go with?

    They mention having to save our individual pages of a storybook as jpeg files and upload to a print company. My concern is how do we keep the page order correct and how do they actually print a good book from our jpegs? I am just not clear on the process to do that. I do believe that I am going to purchase the Artisan program and thought I heard that APPO members could get a discount also, I need to check that out for sure.

    Thanks so much for all you do Mark to keep us informed. Some of my stress has been finally relieved by the release of the “new Company”. I now know I need to find a new direction and hoping I can find my way with APPO. I am retiring May of next year and will have more time to devote to some creative work helping others preserve their precious photos for sure.


  4. Terri Neby says:

    What if you are like me who LOVES fonts?

  5. Margie Wight says:

    I ordered the book and received it today. It has MUCH more info than I anticipated. Can’t wait to “dig into it”!

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