Reading Time: 7 minutes readGrowing up, everyone’s parents and grandparents had these amazing photo albums. They had that clear film that held printed photos in place and if mom really went the extra mile, written descriptions under the photos describing the scene and date. The photo album itself was usually a couple of inches thick with a leather—or in most cases, hard, faux leather—cover, and it used metal clip rings to hold the pages of photos together. There’s nostalgia in those albums for us even today—something about the smell and aged tone of the photos (which, naturally, say nothing about our own ages). Frankly, why wouldn’t we take more advantage of photo books? They’re an awesome way to honor our cherished memories. But, like we have said before, we take approximately a million photos a year. Which creates a whole other pile of challenges. So, without further ado, we present our guide to creating your best photo books.
1. The best photo books have a specific purpose.People create photo books for all sorts of reasons: celebrating a once-in-a-lifetime wedding, commemorating their baby’s first year, honoring a favorite pet, organizing and remembering a year of family memories, documenting an amazing trip, creating a gift for a team coach… the list goes on. The point is, everyone and every book has its own purpose. Make sure it has a singular purpose. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t include your family trip as part of your annual family photo book—they go together. But maybe don’t combine the photo book documenting your trip to Fiji you’re creating to adorn your coffee table with the scrapbook of Fido. While those things could go together, they probably shouldn’t. Give your memories their due and the showcase they deserve. In dedicated books.
2. Just because it can be 200 pages doesn’t mean it should be.This one goes hand in hand with the last tip. Motif allows you to create photo books up to 100 pages—and in some cases, 100 pages may be appropriate. A photo journal of your global travels, for example, could create a beautiful conversation piece with many pages holding a single photo. However, this often isn’t the case. People fall into the temptation to make the biggest book possible. Let’s consider two scenarios:
- Let’s be honest: No one wants to spend more than they need to… so we understand the impulse to chapter a book in an effort to fit as many memories and as much life into a single book by upping the page count. That’s one approach. Not a recommended one, but it is an approach.
- You simply can’t exclude a picture because every photo captures a unique moment, and you love them all. We get that, we really do. However, consider that by including every moment, you’re actually taking away focus and attention from the truly noteworthy memories.
3. Let the software do the heavy lifting.Some photo book companies say that they’ll autoflow… and they do. Technically. But the flows and photo layouts make no sense. Your memories from the July 4th party are mixed in with your parents’ wedding anniversary and, somewhere, in the middle of the book is that picture from New Year’s you swore would never see the light of day. We’ve been there. And that’s why we put such painstaking efforts into making sure our photo assessment and autoflow features actually work. The worst part (in our opinion) of creating a custom photo book—and the part that often deters people from completing their book—is just how daunting the task is to sort through your thousands of photos and pick which ones should actually make the cut. So don’t. Motif will do it for you. Take advantage.
One of Motif’s best features is its simplicity. Our software literally evaluates every photo you select for lighting, focus, clarity, brightness and more. Then it selects only the best photos to put into your photo book layouts. And when it places them, it evaluates the placement to ensure optimal display.Understandably, you may not know exactly how many photos you want to include—but you likely have a good idea of which group of photos you want to sift through. Select the album from your Photos in macOS and send it to Motif. You’ll get an option to set your budget, page count and images per page. If you’ve given us 1,000 photos but are creating a 30-page book, yes, you’ll see a large cut in how many are included. But know the best of the best will be in there— and you always have the option to switch photos out or look for related alternatives from right in the platform. And if you love it just how it is, even better! The best part is, even if you do make a few swaps, you still have a gorgeous book in your hands—and you’ll have saved hours of time by simply not going through all your own photos. If that isn’t a win, what is? Don’t work more than you have to—especially when you have a better way.