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Ideas for Photo Books: How to Use Your Digital Pictures to Publish a Book

Updated on March 14, 2012

Remember the days when we had prints of our photos to see what they looked like? There was always a surprise waiting at the photo developing store, preferably a good one. We would pull the photos out and show them off to all of our friends and family. "See my grandbaby? Isn't he the cutest baby you've ever seen?" Sometimes we even handed a print or two to our special friends, especially if they agreed with the "cutest baby" part.

Now, our friends have to see the photo on our iphone or other electronic device. They have to look from far away, and see around your hand that is holding the electronic device. There might be a glare from the lights, but they will probably say, "Yeah cute" whether or not they can see the photo clearly. They are completely missing out on the cuteness of your dear sweetie. And they certainly can't take the photo home to admire your grandson every day.

Show off the photos of your grandson in a photo book.
Show off the photos of your grandson in a photo book. | Source

Sure you can still print photos, but an even better option is to publish them in a book form. That way, they can really see how incredible your grandson is, and how much he is growing.

In fact, there are many different photo books you can create as a way to show off all of your photos in an organized fashion. The prices of photo books have come down, and when you shop for sales and discounts, you will find them to be very economical and personal gifts.

In addition, with photo books, you can publish a book that is not intimidating to create, since it does not require you to come up with a lot of words or topics. Let the photos do most of the work for you, and simply add a short description to them. Most companies that sell photo books will even provide templates for layouts and a variety of backgrounds, so even if you are not familiar with scrap-booking, you will be able to find an attractive display of your photos.

This article will show you the many ways you can use your photographs in photo books.


Tribute to a Loved One

You can create a tribute for your grandson or any of your loved ones. A tribute photo book would be a wonderful birthday gift, or a way to commemorate the death of a loved one. How about a tribute to your grandmother, or a special person in your life? You could write a short life story or focus on a particular part of her life.

You can even create a tribute to more than one person. A tribute of a couple would make a wonderful wedding or anniversary gift.

A biography or autobiography does not have to be a long drawn out volume. It can be a simple story told in pictures. You could provide the special photos you have and describe what you know about the event or the person.


Commemorate a Party or Gathering

A photo book that commemorates a birthday party, a wedding, a golden anniversary celebration, a high school reunion, or a Thanksgiving or Christmas gathering would be a great way to record the important event. Be sure to include the date, and add a list of the attendees and the gifts that were exchanged.

If you have the attendees sign greetings to the birthday girl or anniversary couple, you can scan them and include them in the book as well.


Family History

You can commemorate your family history by publishing your old photographs in a photo book.

Include the stories you remember, maybe some recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation, and an ancestor or descendant chart. You could keep a record of the heirlooms and the story behind them. If you don't have photos for a particular story, you can ask a child to illustrate it for you, and scan it to include in the book.

You don't actually have to do any genealogy research to create a photo book if you don't want. Simply record what you do know. You can create a book simply of your childhood memories, or your memories of your relatives. Either way, your descendants will treasure this gift forever.


Hobby and Interests Book

Do you have a special hobby? A photo book that commemorates the hobby is great to show it off.

If you garden, you can either do a separate book for each year, or if you plant the same types of things every year, a photo book that generally shows your gardening. Show the layout of your garden, the types of plants you have, the harvest, and how you use your crops. Include photos for every step of the process.

If you quilt, paint, or create any other type of crafts, photos of all of your work is a great way to show off your artistic talents.

If you golf or are a member of a band, a photo book is a great way to commemorate your special talents and interests.

You can even make a book about your work or workplace if you feel so inclined.

Maybe I should have chosen a more positive quotation for my worm photo, such as "The early bird catches the worm," but that doesn't bode well for the poor worm either.
Maybe I should have chosen a more positive quotation for my worm photo, such as "The early bird catches the worm," but that doesn't bode well for the poor worm either. | Source


If you like to take nature photographs, you can simply have a photo book of your hobby, of course. However, you can add your favorite inspirational quotations to them and print them in a photo book.

You will need to choose photographs that have good backgrounds for the quotations. I like to copy the photo so that the original is retained without the words. Then choose quotations from the many sources on the internet, and use your photo editing software to add the quotes. Choose a color and font that fits well with the photograph, and is easy to read. Save the file, and use the edited version in your photo books.

The quotations photo books would make great gifts, and can be useful and inspirational for the low periods in your life.


My Summer Vacation

Remember when you had to write an essay in school about what you did over the summer? Now, as an adult, you can preserve your memories by creating a photo book about your vacation.

If you traveled, show a map of the place, the photo of the hotel (along with the name, address, and phone number in case you ever decide to go there again, or realize you have left something there), and the names of the friends you made there. Describe what you did, and show off those beach bodies and summer suntans. Of course, if you traveled during a different part of the year, that would make a great photo book as well.

For several years, we had Japanese exchange students visit us over the summer. I created photo books to help commemorate their stay, and sent a copy to them as a keepsake of their visit to the United States.

Use your own photographs or find public domain photos or graphics to illustrate your children's book.
Use your own photographs or find public domain photos or graphics to illustrate your children's book. | Source

Creative Writing

You can even make a photo book out of your creative writing. Whether you write poetry or a short story, add some photos or graphics to illustrate it. You could even make your own illustrations.

You could make a great personalized picture book for your child or grandchild. Add their names, hometowns, and other personalized information to make it a book they would enjoy reading again and again. Thank you for this idea, Ruchira.

Photo Book Ideas

The sky is the limit to the variations you can have for your own personalized photo books. Once I have decided on the theme for the book, I copy the photos and put them in a separate folder. I then check over each photo to make sure it is sharp and clear. I use my photo editing software to crop the photo if it needs, make any adjustments to the brightness and saturation levels, and otherwise make sure it is as good a photo as it can be. Sometimes I even add a graphical photo frame to my portraits, or make a scrapbook page.

Then I upload the photos to the photo book publisher, such as, or Prices vary a great deal from source to source and from time to time. I choose a background that will go well with the photos I have selected and play with the layouts available to me until I am satisfied with the way it looks. I complete the captions to help describe the photos. Then I request a book, and wait for it to come in the mail.

In a short time, I receive a beautiful book that is personalized to my photos and my tastes.


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