How To Build A Photo Book

There's no second-guessing: what's going to make your book its best are the photographs inside and the experiences they reflect. Nothing quite compares to a photo that brings you back in time and allows you to share it with others. But we've made quite a few photo books ourselves (we actually started the company trying to make books inside our kitchen's oven — we wouldn't recommend it), and have certainly collected a few telltale tips for making them stand out. From our staff to your screen, we're sharing our insider's guide on how to make this photo book your best yet.

Think Differently

Tell A Story By Choosing A Theme

An Artifact Uprising photo book opened on a table

Outstanding photo book-building begins with choosing a theme. You want your book to tell a story, so deciding on an overarching concept from cover to cover will do just that. Think of each photo book you create as becoming an integral part in a series — what will your collection look like as it grows? This might help you to land on a theme that you can add to down the road, such as an annual What Dad Saw photo book for Father's Day featuring his iPhone photos. This yearly volume could be designed with your kids in mind, as a way to showcase their childhood from his eyes.

Or maybe you want to design From Where I Stand — a documentation of places you've left your mark. One great photo is all it takes to inspire an entire book or series, so let your thoughts be limitless as you decide on your theme.

Make your selection

Curate Your Images Before Uploading Into The Editor

A camera on a white surface

Having a set collection of photos from the get-go gives you the essential building blocks needed to create your best book yet. Keep that theme you've chosen front-of-mind as you sort through your favorite photos. Think about your images collectively and how they will look alongside one another: adding variety through landscapes, portraits, candids and photos of details will give you a well-rounded archive.

You can upload your photos from a number of locations, including Dropbox, Instagram, or straight from your computer. By uploading hi-res photos into the editor, you can ensure the quality of your photo book will be up to par. If you're thinking, huh? hi-res?, not to worry. Our system will let you know if there is a resolution issue with the photo you've chosen, but iPhone photos and other large JPG files are usually in the clear.

Choose your book type

Select A Style That Suits Your Story

Three Artifact Uprising photo books scattered over a white surface

Our books were designed with your life in mind. Choose one (for now) that best suits your current adventure and the photos you've selected.

Layflat Photo Album
Why we love it: create it with as few as 10 images; the Layflat Photo Album is best for taking up some serious real estate on your coffee table

Hardcover Photo Album
Why we love it: with 100% recycled papers, the Hardcover Photo Book can include up to 200 pages of photos (perfect for when you just can't choose your favorites).

Softcover Photo Album
Why we love it: comes in pocket size, perfect for gifting and creating on-the-go from our mobile app.

Keep it simple

Display A Single Image Per Page

Two Artifact Uprising photo books scattered over a white surface

Our favorite layout templates contain a single image per page, allowing your eyes to focus on what's most important. For twice the impact, showcase a photo spread that spans two full pages. This look depicted right can be achieved easily by choosing this page layout template available for our Layflat Photo Albums.

Remember you can make the book building process "Insta-easy" by including your favorite Instagram shots. Your square Instagram photos can be used in any 5X5 layout, and adding these in conjunction with horizontal and vertical shots will make your book feel thoughtfully curated.

A way with words

Personalize Your Title

Two Artifact Uprising photo books scattered over a white surface

Don't sweat the small stuff when it comes to choosing your book title — the words that leave a lasting impression are often those most simply put. Take a look at a few of our favorite, honest-to-goodness titles:

Us Before You: Made by expecting parents, this is a photo book documenting life together before the little one's arrival.

The Road Knows: Taking a cue from our traveling hashtag, this is a collection of road trip & travel snaps. Other runner-up titles include Go and Here > ThereHello, World: For the newborn

Est. Twenty Fifteen: A classic – and a chameleon – equally deserving of a newlywed or newborn photo album.

Volume I: and II, III, IV...the collection continues.

Time doesn't have to tell

Don't Worry About Putting Your Photos In Chronological Order

One Artifact Uprising photo book open over a white surface

Ever find yourself fussing over the sequence of events in your photo album? Breathe easy – your photo book doesn't need to follow a chronological order. Abandon the play-by-play and pair shots that look good together, like this spread right that pairs a photo from the reception with the wedding dress pre-ceremony. Or if you're creating a book from photos of a recent vacation, don't be afraid to show some of the last moments first — mixing it up never disappoints.

Pattern placement

Tell Your Story Through Color, Tone And Texture

One Artifact Uprising photo book open over a white surface

Instead of focusing on a sequence of events, curate your photo book by looking for patterns in color, tone and texture. Pairing an image of broad scope with one of more precise detail is also a great way to add variety and balance, such as in this book left.

Test different photo combinations that might pair well together — the creation process is half the fun! Have some time on your morning commute? Our mobile app is a great tool for on-the-go editing and connects straight to your photos.

So there you have it, our 7 insider tips for building your best photo book yet. But if we could narrow these down to just one word of advice, it would be to enjoy. After all, it's built with your best moments – and that's something to look forward to.

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