Creating a photo book from scratch means that you have complete creative freedom over the whole process. This makes Create yourself perfect for those passion projects you want to spend extra time on. Our wide variety of fonts, clip art, and photo layouts gives you all the creative tools you need, and you’ll end up with something uniquely yours.

But it’s easy to get lost in the creation process, so we’ve outlined an easy-to-follow guide on planning your photo book, customising your design with our editor, and more.

First, plan your photobook

A couple flipping through a photo album with their young daughter.

To make creating your photo book easier, think about what you’d like the photo book to be about. Past family trips? Cookbooks? Your pets’ photoshoots? The sky’s the limit when it comes to photo book possibilities. That way, you’d have a good idea on where to start when it comes to picking out the right photos and memories. Try to stick to the main idea for your photo book, because we’ve all been there – sometimes it’s hard to choose when you have so many good options.

You can start sorting your photos after you’ve settled on your plan. It might be helpful to save the photos you’d like to use in a folder. If you want to upload photos from more than one place, make sure that they’re already organized and easy to find. So that when you upload them to our editor, you’ve got all the photos you want in one place — less clutter and more fun.

Do you need some help organising your photos first? Then check out our guides on how to organise your photos before you read on.

Choose the size and format of your photo book

four photo books in a mixture of sizes and formats, ranging from baby books to travel books.

Before you get started in our photo book editors, you need to select the size and format of your photo book. You’ve already figured out what your photo book’s going to be about, so it’s easier to find the right size for the right occasion.

We’ve got medium, large, and extra-large photo books that come in square, landscape, and portrait formats. But for a small photo book, you can pick between square and landscape.

At this stage, you need to think about the style of your photo book too; do you want a lightweight softcover book or a sturdy hardcover photo book? Glossy or matt pages? You can decide now if you know what you want, but it’s always possible to change the options later.

Quick tip: if you’re still not entirely sure which style to go for, this blog on photo book formats has lots of examples to help you narrow it down.

Add your photos to the editor

 A picture of an open laptop with Smart Assistant on the screen with a mixture of blurring and in-focus photos surrounding the laptop.

Once you’ve picked the style and size of your photo book, it’s time to get started in our editor. Click ‘upload photos’ to select all the images you want to use. This is where your folders come in handy – since you’ve organised them before, it leaves more time to tweak your photo book to perfection.

Create a layout for your photo book

A blank photo book open on a double-page with two grey blocks to be filled with pictures.

Try creating a rough layout for your book before adding your photos. When you start in the editor, we’ll give you suggested layouts on each page to fill with your pictures. But you can delete these if you’d rather create your own layouts or swap them with some of our pre-set ones.

When you’re happy, start to add your snaps. You can go back and tweak things at any point, so nothing’s set in stone. If something doesn’t look the way you want it to when you do add your pictures, it’s really easy to change along the way.

Quick tip: a mixture of single-photo layouts and multi-photo layouts will make your photo book look very professional. But try to stick to a similar style of multi-photo layouts and avoid putting too many mosaic layouts side-by-side as this could make your pages look cluttered.

Get creative with captions

A photo book open on a double-page. The left-hand side has a picture of a boy and his grandad playing basketball with a caption underneath.

When your pictures are in place, you can start creating your captions and adding page titles to fit around your images. If you’re a bit lost for words when it’s time to start typing your text, check out our guide on how to tell a story with your photo books for some tips from our copywriters.

Quick tip: to keep your photo book design consistent throughout, try not to use more than three fonts. Pick one for headers and a secondary font for captions. You could maybe use a third for smaller details, like dates, but it’s best to choose one that’s in-keeping with your other two fonts.

Start to add some extras

A photo book open on a double-page. On the left, there’s a photo of a boy playing basketball with his grandad. The book has heart-shaped clip art and illustrations on the pages.

Assets, like our exclusive clip art designs, are a great way to bring your photo book to life. They make the perfect finishing touch to a page, and you can find a design to suit any style.

Add your design features like clip art, frames, and masks last because these are there to complement your photos. Then when you’re customising a photo cover, why not add one or two pieces of your favourite clip art from inside your photo book to help tie your whole theme together?

Quick tip: when you’re happy with your photo book, make sure you click ‘preview’ to flip through it before you add it to your basket. You can do this at any stage too, to see how your design’s coming along.

Ready to order your photo book?

Happy with your photo book design? Click ‘add to basket’. Here you can make sure that you’ve got all the right finishing touches, like glossy pages to make the colours pop and the perfect cover for your photo book. You can even order a second book in a smaller size, so you can gift one and keep one for yourself. Then you’re ready to place your order and get your customised photo book delivered to your door.

start creating

Top tip: save as you go

Remember to keep saving your photo book as you go – you don’t want to lose any part of your masterpiece. There’s a little ‘save’ icon in the top left, so make sure you click that regularly while you personalise your photo book.

For a photo book that’s uniquely yours, try Create yourself – you’ll get full creative freedom and unlimited options at your fingertips. Would you rather create a professionally designed finish without a fuss? Give our pre-designed photo books a try. For those projects where you’ve got too many photos and not enough time, Smart Assistant has got you covered. Not sure which way to use? Read Discover 3 easy ways to create a photo book to pick the perfect route for your next project.