Q&A on Making a Photo Book

Question and answer session on photo books today, with some examples from my most recent photo book, made digitally and printed by Blurb.

Example of grid layout in my personal photo book from 2008, printed by Blurb. Copyright Hanna Andersson
‚ô• I love this layout! It is another grid example from my personal photo book. I love to snap photos of new stuff.

Thank you for all your kind comments on my Photo Album Book with A years worth of photos. Also check out my photographic inspiration book because 2 is better than 1 that you can get for yourself, as inspiration for your next photo project! I got quite a few questions in the comment section and thought I’d answer them today.

Would you mind sharing how you set your ID document up? I am not super familiar with the program and was wondering – did you set up each page as it’s own file, then convert all files to PDF when done? Then upload to Blurb? Also, are you happy with the softcover? Does it open fairly flat?

My answer: I downloaded a inDesign document via Blurb that had the right size and formating guidelines that show you how big your images can be etc. It only has one spread, but then you just duplicate that spread as many times as you want pages. You can move your pages around, delete or rearrange them at will. You can add many photos in a grid or just one big. The possibilities are endless! I love working in this way!

You can also set up a A-template and apply specific elements like page numbers or a header to “all pages” and then continue to fill your spreads until you are done. So one document for the whole book, and then another one for the cover downloaded separately. There is a “export setting” to download so that your PDF document gets saved correctly. Easy to do but a big document will take some time to save.

To your last question: I wanted the softcover because it makes the book lightweight and easy to carry with me. It opens up well but does not lay flat because of the glue binding, but I don’t mind that. If I make a memory book for a kid (or a book that would need to take more wear and tear) I would not chose the glue binding – but it’s of course cheaper. :-)

Example of grid layout spread of autumn, in my personal photo book from 2008, printed by Blurb. Copyright Hanna Andersson
‚ô• More photos in a grid, all from my photo book Minnesbilder 2008.

How much does it cost? it looks like it’d be super expensive…

My answer: The size I choose is standard portrait 20×25 centimeters (8×10 inches) with 162 pages of color photos. The price is US $43.95 (307 SEK) plus shipping. Just before Christmas when I ordered mine Blurb had a special offer and I therefor payed 38 dollars (271 SEK) which I was very pleased with. Like I said before, it’s very professionally looking and I’m happy with it.

Hey, is that a Pullip doll I see? I have some of those!

My answer: Yes, those are Pullip dolls in my photo album, blogged here. I fell in love with them when I saw them and I think they are very cool, but I do not own any. The ones I took photos of belong to my friend Marika, lucky girl!

Secret Terrabite:
Are you going to sell this one Hanna?

My answer:
Sorry no, not my personal photo book, it will be printed in one copy for me only, but you can check out my Book Store here. The first one I made is private photo album, in Swedish and too private to share with everyone. But I will do try to make a new book this year. I promise! :-)

Example of grid layout in my personal photo book from 2008, printed by Blurb. Copyright Hanna Andersson
More “little things” in my personal photo book: Owl gifts, my cat Smilla, a close up of a garden plant, hard candy and a owl bag my grandmother made.

Tally (not a question but still):
I wish on a lottery win so I can quit working for money. Serious. Greetings to my beloved Stockholm area (I have to tell you: I started to watch silly movies on TV just because they take place in the skargard ;-)

My answer: I know, it’s horrible that we have to work for money! I wish everyone could just come here and craft with me. But it’s true, making any kind of photo album is extremely time consuming. And I have too much time and therefor books like these are born! ;-)

Thanks for the greetings, it’s beautiful now with spring all around. What silly movies did you see? And have you seen Sk√§rg√•rdsdoktorn? It’s a very sweet Swedish series that I saw on DVD a few months ago. I recommend you to watch it if you like sk√§rg√•rden (the archipelago) in Sweden. Love it.

Class dismissed. Now it’s time for you to be Making a Photo Book. Be nice and take care!

5 Responses

  1. Thanks for answering the questions and giving us more information about doing a blurb book. I’m definitely considering it. Yours look great!!!

  2. Thanks Janet! Let me know if you make one or need any additional help! I love making books! :-)

  3. Hi Hanna,
    Thank you so much for your thorough answers. I can’t wait to do one of these with ID. I think the template idea will make things go faster, but still allow the customizing that you speak of. I really appreciate you taking the time to answer the questions and also for inspiring us!!


  4. Hi Hanna! I LOVE getting a glimpse into your design process and into the beautiful finished product. I’ve been thinking lately of biting the bullet and creating a photo book of my own. Please don’t feel that you need to answer if this is an uncomfortable question, but do you have a preference between Blurb & Lulu now that you’ve used both services? I’ve heard good things about both and was just wondering…

    Thanks again for all of the wonderful knowledge that you share with us all! :)