Making Summer Memories Last: How to Create an Online Photo Book
May 07, 2013 01:09AM ● Published by Erin Frisch
School is winding down for the year, work is hitting the slow season, and one of the best ways to celebrate may be a vacation or a staycation. As you create new memories with your friends and family, cameras come out to record them for years to come. Scrapbooking is a great way to organize those memories in a meaningful way, but it takes time, dedication, and a trip to the store to get all the necessary supplies. Everything photographic is now digital, and selecting photos and getting them somewhere to have prints made can be time consuming. One of the best ways to organize your photos in a memorable way is online scrapbooking. Many sites now offer online photo book services, and they deliver beautiful end products (shutterfly.com, mixbook.com, and mycanvas.com are just a few of them). Let’s talk about what it takes to create an online photo book, so you can be well on your way to creating a keepsake of summer memories!
Choose your photo book style and size. Sizes and styles range from your standard 8.5-by-11-inch portrait-style book to an 8-by-6-inch landscape style, to 14-by-11-inch landscape (great for a coffee table book), to mini photo books that are just 4 by 6 inches. You can choose from hardcover or softcover (I recommend hardcover; it’s a bit pricier, but it’s worth it to protect against wear and tear). You can also choose from several premade formats with different backgrounds and recommended photo layouts, or start from scratch with a blank canvas.
Select photos. The first thing you’ll do is choose the photos you want to include in the book. Sound easy? It is. Decide how long you want your photo book to be; most come standard with 20 pages (10 sheets), and then charge an additional amount for each subsequent sheet. Each page can hold multiple photos (I recommend three photos per page at a maximum, or it can look too crowded). Once you figure out how many pages you are trying to fill, you can select the appropriate number of photos. My suggestion is to create a folder with these photos for easy use. Most sites will let you browse the entire photo library on your computer (some even let you browse your Facebook and Instagram accounts), but preselecting the photos you want to use will make the process quick and easy once you’re on the site.
Get creative. Start putting together your photo book. Websites will allow you to choose different backgrounds for each page and will help you lay out the photos. Select how many photos you would like per page, and then just drag and drop to organize them. Next, decide if you want to add text to your photos. You will be able to type in text boxes and place the text boxes next to, above, or below your photos. Add names and dates of the people in the photos, or write where each photo was taken for future reference. Some services also allow you to place “stickers” in your photo books. These are little preselected graphics that go with the theme you may have chosen, and they make online photo book creation a little more like scrapbooking. These include banners you can use to add borders to the pages, quotes, lettering, and numbers that go along with the theme, all to give your book some pizazz.
Place your order. Once you’ve edited your photo book and you’re happy with it, simply click “order” and enter your information. Most companies offer multiple shipping choices in case you need your photo book in a hurry. Otherwise, standard shipping will run you about $5.99 and up.
Once you give online photo book creation a try, you’ll find it’s a quick and easy way to keep those summer memories around for years to come!