Tips for Creating the Perfect Baby Photo Book

[There are affiliate links in this post, and many thanks to Blurb for sponsoring today’s fun!]

If you’ve been following along, you’re probably aware that I gave birth to my second son last fall.  Yep, Mr. Brayden Patrick arrived in October, and we of course had professional newborn photos taken to capture all of his tiny cuteness.

While we’ve printed out several of our favorite photos and have them framed in our home, what about the rest??  I mean, there are just so many adorable shots of our newest little man, his older brother, and some great family ones too.  They ALL deserve to be displayed in real life and not just in an online Facebook album!

Enter a photo book!  Yep, photo books are a great way to collect and display special memories or occasions….and you don’t have to worry about piling all those individual 4×6’s into a shoebox and then never having them see the light of day again, forever lost somewhere in the back of a closet.

Here I’ll share all the details on how I made my son’s baby photo book, as well as tips to help you make the perfect one of your own!

Tips for Creating the Perfect Baby Photo Book | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Tips for Creating the Perfect Baby Photo Book

Most of these tips can be applied to photo books of all types, not just those for wee ones.  These include wedding, travel, kids’ artwork, family yearbooks, photography, etc.  Take what you find useful and leave the rest! :)

 

Determine Your Style

First things first.  What’s the look you’re going for?

Do you want a straight-up photo book with nothing but pictures (like I did), or will you also be combining the pics with text?  If using text, how much?  Just short captions or full paragraphs or even stories?

Figuring this out before starting your book will save you lots of time during the design phase.  I only included text on the front cover, spine, and first page of Brayden’s book….and it was only his name and birth stats!

Let me tell you, it’s MUCH quicker and easier just including photos….no need to think of all those pesky words. ;)

Tips for Creating the Perfect Baby Photo Book | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Figure Out The Basics

Before diving in and designing your photo book, you’ll need to decide on the basics:

  • COVER: Do you want a soft cover (like a paperback) or a hard cover?  Dust-jacket?  What will your covers (front and back) look like or say?  How about the spine?
  • SHAPE/ORIENTATION: A landscape, portrait, or square book?
  • NUMBER OF PAGES: Most books come with a pre-set number of standard pages, and you can always add more if you want….for an additional fee, of course.
  • PAPER TYPE: You’ll also need to choose the type of paper for the pages.  Do you want a glossy, matte, or pearl finish?  What weight or thickness are you after?

Speaking of paper type, since I was making my son’s baby photo book with Blurb (more on them below), I first requested their free swatch kit.  A few days later, it arrived in the mail, and after looking over their paper options, I chose to go with the ProLine Pearl Photo paper.

It just feels so luxurious and the image quality for both the black and white and color images is superb.  For me, upgrading to this high-quality paper was definitely worth it.  I mean, this is going to be a keepsake item that we (or at least Momma here) will probably flip through LOTS throughout the years, so I want the pages to last.

Plus, it’s always nice to know in advance what your final product will look and feel like.  Surprises have their moments, but this is not one of them. ;)

Paper Swatch Kit from Blurb | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Narrow Down the Moments You Want Included

Are you just going to include professional newborn pics like I did?  Or are you wanting more, like shots from the hospital?  Your kiddo’s whole first year?  Pics of their nursery too?

Determine the moments you want included in your photo book and get all of the pictures organized together in advance.

This was pretty easy for me since I wanted only the professional newborn photos.  In the famous words of Tim Gunn (any Project Runway fans, here?), I wanted to keep the book cohesive.

Before starting, I made sure I had all of my images saved in a single folder on my desktop.  This made uploading them and creating layouts quick and easy.  Hooray for no searching!

Tips for Creating the Perfect Baby Photo Book | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Just the Facts, errr, Stats, Maam

This book is for a baby, after all, so you gotta include the stats!  Everyone wants to know allllll the details, so make sure you include the birth weight, height, time, full name, along with any other pertinent info (like the name of the hospital and city) somewhere in your photo book.

I kept my son’s pretty simple and included everything on the very first page of the book.  That way you see Brayden’s stats then start flipping through all of his adorable ten-day-old cuteness.

Depending on the theme you decide to go with, it might also be fun to include pictures of their little hospital footprint, their hand wrapped around your finger, the time on the clock of their birth, a family picture with the delivery doctor, and any other fun memorable moments.

Tips for Creating the Perfect Baby Photo Book | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Don’t Forget the (Extra) Little Things!

Ahhhh, babies and their super tiny features.  Those fingers, toes, button nose, and pouty lips.  And oh, those adorable scrunchy faces.  Too, too sweet.

They’re only little once, so make sure you capture closeups of all that sweetness and include them in the photo book.  You’ll definitely want to remember them!

Don't forget to include all those sweet little newborn details! Tips for Creating the Perfect Baby Photo Book | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Mix It Up & Make It Pretty

Not that your little one isn’t exciting enough as is, but keep things extra interesting by mixing up the look of the photos and the feel of your book.

Use some color photos with others that are black and white (unless you’re like my parents and have an intense aversion to black and white photos for some reason….).

Tips for Creating the Perfect Baby Photo Book | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Change up the layout too by having some vertical images mixed with landscape or square ones….

Tips for Creating the Perfect Baby Photo Book | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

….and keep things simple with some full-page pictures.

Tips for Creating the Perfect Baby Photo Book | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Don’t be afraid to use some photos that span the gutter (or where the pages connect to the spine).  Those look oh so fancy, don’t they?

Moral of the story….spice things up!

Tips for Creating the Perfect Baby Photo Book | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Use a Photo Service That Has It All

I’ve used a variety of photo services throughout the years, and let me tell ya….most are quite time-consuming and mentally taxing, or they’re outrageously expensive.  The whole process can just get too darn arduous and intimidating that no books are ever actually completed….and all those precious photos never get to see the light of day.  Boo.

That’s why I LOVED creating Brayden’s newborn photo book with Blurb.  It was SO freakin’ quick and easy!  For real.

They have a variety of free tools to help with customizing your book, and I used their incredibly-easy-to-use BookWright software.  Have I mentioned how easy creating this photo book was??

BookWright from Blurb! Tips for Creating the Perfect Baby Photo Book | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

You simply upload your photos, decide on the size of your book and orientation, then start dragging and dropping.  That’s it!

From there, you can resize and move photos as needed, and they have super handy guides that pop up to show if your images are aligned, centered, off the page, or even too low resolution.  They’re like little design angels that appear and save you from yourself.  Oh, bless them….

Blurb also provides tons of templates and tutorials (so don’t be intimidated!), but I decided to wing it and made my book from scratch.  I’m wild and crazy like that.

 

Our Completed Baby Photo Book

All in all, I probably spent an hour and a half in BookWright and put together Brayden’s baby photo book in one sitting.  It’s amazing what a momma can accomplish after her kiddos go to bed! :)

About a week later, our book arrived, and I can’t express in words how much I love it!  Now we have ALL of Brayden’s ten-day-old newborn photos collected together and easily viewable.  I know I’ll cherish this for years to come….and I plan on adding lots more photo books to our collection too. #sentimentalmommy

Tips for Creating the Perfect Baby Photo Book | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Get Your Own Blurb Photo Book….at a Great Discount!

In my humble opinion, the quality, ease-of-use, price, and service of Blurb can’t be beat.  And you’re in luck because you can save 25% off all photo books through May 15, just in time for Mother’s Day!  Talk about a special gift, right?

***25% Off Blurb Discount Code: WHERETHESMILES***

Blurb | Tips for Creating the Perfect Baby Photo Book | Where The Smiles Have Been

The Fine Print: Offer value: 25% off photo books.  Terms & Conditions: Offer valid through May 15, 2017 (11:59 p.m. local time).  Valid only for photo books uploaded to and purchased through your own account.  A 25% discount is applied toward your product total with no minimum or maximum 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.  #blurbbooks

 

So did I miss anything?  What are your tips for organizing photos and making an awesome photo book?

 

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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About Christine

I'm Christine, a SAHM to a spunky toddler and his mini-me infant brother, and married to the best guy you'll ever meet. I (try to) spend their nap times getting my craft on and I blog about my creations and adventures in parenting at Where The Smiles Have Been. My loves are all things DIY, especially Silhouette projects, wreaths, & personalized decor. And ice cream....definitely love me some ice cream.

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