Who Else Wants to Make a Photo Book?

Well, I have a tip for you! Click to open the book above and also click on the icon next to the blurb logo to make the book open full screen.

On your next excursion, do a little creative planning to bring back vacation memories that you can joyfully show off when you get home. With a little forethought of image taking, you can have fun making a Blurb self-published book of bookstore-quality. Now how great does that sound?

Well you don’t actually make it, you design it! Is that not the fun part anyway? You bet it is. I made one and am receiving it Tuesday by FedEx. I am so confident you will be pleased with your awesome creation, that I am saying so right here.

Vacation not in the cards?  Just give those flower shots a place to really shine, literally, on Premium Papers that come in matte or lustre finish, bound in a photo-wrap hardcover book.

Do you have blog posts worthy of print? Bet you do, so bind them up into a book. Add a few of your best stories, your best illustrative of photographic images, and make your blog a coffee table star.

This post is not meant to sell you anything, except maybe an idea or two. It is written to encourage you to take your photos, whether it be garden critters, colorful flowers, family and kids, or a scenic vacation, and publish them to a hardcover book, one in which you display or give as a gift.

I know many of you have made calendars before, and this is not much different having templates and simple tutorials to follow. I did not use the application on the Blurb site though, but I did take a cursory look at it and it looks rather easy for beginners.

The tutorials guide you through the process and also show you how they make your book. It is not cheap by any stretch, so really think about what means most to you.

I am a member of NAPP like I mentioned a few times before. As a member I get many discounts and the one I get for making my book gets me 25% off the cost of production. It is a good savings. What I suggest to you is to Google Blurb Coupon Codes and you will find places to get them listed. It will at least save you the cost of shipping and handling.

I made my book in a photo application called Lightroom, made by Adobe. Lightroom has a built in book making app in the professional photo program which allows me to take my edited images and place them in template pages.

Screen Capture of the Lightroom book making design window. It shows the start of my book Niagara Falls – Through the Seasons. Winter leads off the year. Some pages have text blocks ready to load copy.

I can add any text or titles of my choosing, and when finished, send it right to Blurb.

Boat Dock at Island Restaurant

A few of the images in this post are in the book, like the one above and some I posted in Scenic Sunday .

Pygmy Goats

This is a book to record my memories as I saw the sights we visited. I was a guest of Carolyn and Micheal from Carolyn’s Shade Gardens to her family’s home on Cliff Island. Carolyn and I toured quite a few tourist attractions, but also explored the islands’ nature spots.

My post here today is to show you what can be done with your images to make a memory book of your own. I had the book printed as a proof, mainly to see the quality of the product.

I have other ideas to make it a useful book as well. Even as a proof, my book is getting quite a number of views on Blurb, which makes me think editing my book to a recipe book might be a profitable idea. At the cost of these books, I was surprised to see so much action on my book. Nice thing is, even though the book is listed online, I can still revise it to my final print edition.

So what other ideas are there?

I have a collection of New England recipes that I collected when I lived in Rhode Island for almost two years. I plan to make the dishes, photograph them and add them to my book, making it a more fun and useful publication. Like I did in these images of New England Clam Chowder, but only more expressive and yummy pictures.

If I thought about it when I was on the trip, I would have photographed the dishes in the restaurants where we dined. It was not until I got home before I thought of doing the book. Had I thought ahead, I would have jotted notes down to add commentary and thoughts from the trip.

View from Portland Observatory


Portland Observatory

Think about it for your next trip. Or look to where you live. My next book, will be on Niagara Falls. I am just getting together the images to show the Falls through the seasons. If you do a book, plan ahead and have a theme like my recipe theme, blog theme or seasons theme. It will make it a much more interesting book for your guests to read when they spot it proudly displayed on your coffee table or kitchen counter.

Admiral Peary House

Is this not a homey kitchen in the Robert E. Peary, Eagle Island home ?

Lobster Buoys

I can smell the lobsters boiling or baking right now. Oh I have recipes for those babies too.

About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at: http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com
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35 Responses to Who Else Wants to Make a Photo Book?

  1. Les says:

    I flipped through your book and was stopped by the picture of the sailboats in golden light. My goodness!

  2. Donna, this is certainly a great suggestion for your readers! I have made numerous photo books as gifts to the grandparents & aunts/uncles from our visits. Often I include recipes of meals from our stay. This year I am making a photo journal book of our garden using photos to document a month by month tour of our garden. I thought about doing one each year so that we can look back at our “successes and failures”, highlights and “before and after” photos. I have not used Blurb or Lightroom. I simply upload my photos to Shutterfly and they have a variety of book formats to choose from and photo & text layout options. I will have to check out Blurb to see how they compare.

    • I never did see any blogger post their books online. I did see the calendars though. I am surprised how many have made books. There is an endless amount of subjects to make a book on, like a blog post has such diversity. You have to post your book after you make it of your garden photos. When I did my end of the year post for 2011 and went month by month, I thought the same thing. This would make a nice book with the images that I selected. But, it took a trip to get the idea, and I did not even think about it there because I was having too much fun. I never used Shutterfly to make a book, but did look into it a long time ago. It is similar and easy too. I used Blurb mainly because I get the discount. Blurb has over a hundred layout options in Lightroom. But the main reason I used Blurb, is that they support InDesign professional layouts from scratch. That is my main interest, do it all myself.

  3. I’m going to wait to click the link to see your book … not enough time to enjoy it right now. I will say that I am in the imagination stage of putting together a book from the photos of our trip to Alaska in July. At the very least, it will make a good Christmas present for the other two couple who made the trip with us.

  4. I made a photo book last year from our vacation to Georgia (I used Snapfish) and gave it as a gift to our grandkids. It was so much fun to create, adding captions to the photos, too. I really would like to do one for my garden — would just be difficult to pick and choose the photos — it’s hard enough to do that for the blog. Ha!

    • I have used Snapfish before, a while ago. It is a nice app. Like Karin said, going month by month is a good way to focus and narrow down the selection. I found that with doing the Falls book by seasons. It was less overwhelming in deciding what to use. I agree. Sometimes it is hard to select images for the blog, that is why I post so many.

  5. Indie says:

    Ooo, the recipe book sounds so great! That’s a nice website, where you can show others the book so they can order it if they want to as well.

    I have made a lot of photo books, usually through Shutterfly (since it’s so easy to get free book codes or coupons with them). The photo books I’ve made are usually about the kids or family history, since they make such great gifts. My husband actually made me an impressive, very large photo book with Apple software chronicling our first 10 years together for a gift once, which I love. Both companies seem to produce fairly nice books. That would be so much fun to do one of the garden some time!

    • Blurb has a book layout for recipes I read somewhere on their site. Books on family are the most popular theme choice I think. I do know Apple had the book making app in Pages right?, but I never used it for some reason. I have Adobe InDesign which is far more versatile to craft one from scratch. They have templates, but it is nicer to create my own. That was a nice gift your husband made. Really a keepsake.

  6. Great idea, Donna. I made graduation books for my kids, and it was great fun and kind of sad, too, to look back at all the sweet memories of them growing up over the years. It’s amazing what we can do these days with a little creativity!

    • I remember in college, we actually made a book, binding and all in one of my design classes. I remember making a pop-out book for kids, it was great fun. Books can be made with all the apps out there so easily. I just wish they were a little more reasonable in price. I had fun picking out layout pages then dropping in photos. I kept changing my mind and re-editing them too. It nice to have your books to remember the kids growing up. I think that is the best use of these books, making memories to keep.

  7. I haven’t used Blurb before, will certainly check it out next time. I have done my photo books with Shutterfly, adequate but not stellar. What a great book on Maine, your photos DO need to be in a book, they are wonderful.

    • Do check it out Janet. They have so many options. I agreed on Shutterfly on quality. When I get my Blurb book I will let you know if it is better. I watched the video of them making the books and it does look pretty nice how they package them to send to us. It is like Mpix that I use for prints, so professional. But the Blurb video did not show the place they assemble the books to look like a big publishing house though. It never could be like those big full color run offset printers, but the quality looks pretty good. I made the mistake of not affixing the right color profile. I use the Adobe color profile and they don’t.

  8. Judy has done this for all our big family trips over the last couple of years. It makes for a terrific memento.

  9. I love your quaint pictures…that of the window with the greens creeping in, especially. Have to click on that book now. =>

  10. In these days where all photos are stored on hard drives, rather than in albums, my Mum has taken quite a fancy to this sort of photo books. She has made some about her various trips with my Dad, and she treasures the ones she gets from my brothers’ families with pictures of her grandchildren.
    I think they’re a great substitute for the old-fashioned photo albums, and definitely more fun to look through than an un-edited folder with 500 JPGs on her computer…

    I recently introduced her to how she can show photos on her TV, which I guess is the replacement for the much-hated slide show. It forces you to edit your pictures and pick out the best ones, which is something we all should do when we have taken hundreds of digital photos. (Also, it makes it so much easier to show pictures to my grandmother who at 89 doesn’t have the best eyesight in the world. When the pictures are 37″, though, she sees them without problems.

    • I bet she liked looking at the photos on TV. So many of my friends do this. My TV is actually smaller than my computer screen, so sometimes I watch a TV show on the computer! What is so great about all these bookmaking apps is that anybody can make a book with them. Microsoft really capitalizes on it in the TV ads, showing young kids putting together a photo book.

  11. Gardengirl says:

    Fantastic idea! I am a scrapbooker, but this takes it a step (or several) further. It’s definitely something to do with really important memories, or as a memorial for a loved one. Love the recipe idea also.

  12. Jennifer says:

    What a great idea Donna! I bet there are lots of charities that could make cookbooks for fund raising using this idea.

  13. Perfect post! I found Blurb a bit ago, and it is on my “when things quiet down” list. Would like to put the blog in book form to, well leave for the children someday! And then you won my on Maine–I am in love with that beautiful state….I have said many times, I would move there in a spit second if offered the chance. And now I’m hungry for chowder!!!! Thank you.

  14. This is so beautiful that I had to write a quick comment even though I am out of time. More later.

    • Do check it out when you have time. It does not show the book on the iPad until you click to see the blog in the original format, then the book loads. BTW, a big HB.

      • I couldn’t get anything to load on my iPad tonight but I did look through the book while I was still in Maine. The images are spectacular. Have you finalized it? Glad you included those links so I could make sure I have read all your Maine posts. Did you ever do one on the Peary house?

  15. I love this idea. Definitely something to add to the list of things to do.

  16. WOW I love this post. My family and I went to the eastern shore for about 10 days last month and while on vacation the thought came that it would be nice to make a photo book for our family and my mother in law to preserve the memories in something tangible instead of facebook uploads etc. Well I designed my book in lightroom and then exported each created page as a jpeg to Costco’s online photo site. The main reason I went with Costco was because it uses Mypublisher which along with Blurb and Mixbooks gets pretty good reviews plus Costco members get 20% off of Mypublishers listed prices. If you use Costco the standard price for a 30 page 8.5 X 11 is only $24.99 and a 12X12 30 page book is $39.99 and there is no charge for shipping as long as you pick up the book in store. The book I created was 12X12 and 82 pages and the total cost of the book was $80.67. My book came back last Friday and I loved loved loved it. I have used Shutter Fly and Snapfish in the past and they were pretty nice too but I really liked almost everything with the book I received from Mypublisher. Last week I used Google Offers and Living Social to get coupons for Mixbook $10 for a 20 page 8X11 hard cover and one from a company called Bubble Pix $19 for a 40 page 8X11 hardcover photo book. In any case I love how we can use lightroom and automatically export to blurb or export the created pages as a jpeg and use them with any other book maker that we may choose. Fantastic post Donna and I am sure your book on Niagara Falls will be amazing! Come to think about it maybe I will do a blog post covering the book I just received..Thanks for the inspiration Donna 🙂

    • Thanks for the helpful comment. It adds a lot to the post. I was telling a friend today about your comment and using Mypublisher. My friend sent a few more suggestions too. Seems like quite a few options out there. I would love to see a post on our book. Glad to give you the idea for the post.

  17. Love this Donna…another great idea to explore…the book is gorgeous and has my brain swimming with ideas..thanks!

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