This post is in partnership with Album Envy, however, as always, opinions are 100% my own.
Photographic Storytelling with Album Envy: 5 Style Tips that Make an Impact
“Hey, you didn’t send me the pictures from Mother’s Day!”
Oops! I love to take photos, but it feels like I’m always emailing them to my friends and family. Or I get busy and forget that I’ve made promises.
It has become quick and easy to share pictures. Email, texting, and Instagram work well for individual images, or you can create online albums on Facebook and other social platforms. Those are OK for everyday shots, but personal moments and important events deserve something more meaningful and private.
Summer is full of special celebrations and moments to share with family and friends—graduations, weddings, and vacations. This year, why not organize them while the memories are fresh in your mind instead of just adding those photos to your growing digital pile? Show them some love with a special treatment that makes sharing easy and reminiscing a treat.
We often look at photos on tiny screens that can’t do them justice. There is nothing like the experience of holding a quality, personalized book in your hands, whether it’s cute and purse-sized or an elegant coffee table centerpiece. Not only do photo books give special pictures the “weight” they deserve, but they are also a keepsake gift that is sure to be appreciated.
The easiest and best place to start is through a DIY online photo book service that makes crafting your story simple and affordable. But just as all photos aren’t in the same league, neither are all photo book services. Beware of bargain basement companies and offers—don’t put thought and love into your creation only to be disappointed by the low quality, slow delivery, or poor customer service when things go wrong.
Our Album Envy family wants to help you become a master graphic storyteller! We are passionate about photography, and uniquely offer you the quality of books usually reserved for professionals. Your memories deserve the best, and we deliver it at a budget-friendly price. Our range of options and easy-to-use design software will fit your personal needs and lifestyle.
So now you’re ready for the fun of creating a masterpiece! How can you get the most out of your book? Here are has some quick tips for creating an eye-catching, professional-looking photo book that is sure to impress.
1) Consider your audience—who will share the memories?
Choosing the size and style of your perfect book has a lot to do with who will be enjoying it. A present that Grandma will love may look different than the one you create for a friend (or yourself). Do you want a style that is elegant, or casual? Sized to adorn your coffee table, or to carry with you? With a linen cover for mom, or more durable to send to your brother in the Armed Forces?
Companion books may be what you need. For pictures of your wedding or new baby, pair a larger and elegant keepsake Album with a small, portable Photobook of favorite shots to show off to friends and co-workers.
2) Theme—storytelling with style.
Before you begin, take a few minutes to plan design. There are as many ways to customize an Album Envy book as there are unique styles of the photographer. Deciding on a theme will make those choices easy, and result in a more professional and consistent look and feel. The best stories reflect the emotion of the event and the personality of the creator. Should your book be light and bright or dark and serious? Elegant or casual? Funny or reverent? Respectful or celebrating? And with artistic calm or sports action?
Consider size and shape choices too. Your family vacation to the Grand Canyon will look amazing in a larger, landscape book to showcase those panoramic “WOW” shots. A long weekend at the waterpark may result in casual, fun shots that show well in a smaller square version.
The choice is yours. One cue to identifying the right theme is to think about how the moment make you feel? What is it you that you most want the viewer to experience and remember? Include features or accents that are of interest to the reader, or share a bit of your personality. By keeping your audience in mind, you can develop a theme that makes a statement.
3) The outside—covers set the stage for your story.
Its cover will make your book’s first impression. Album Envy offers a range of cover choices that can create any effect you choose. The classic simplicity of a solid cover creates a professional look, just right for graduation or a professional portfolio. A photo cover adds instant recognition, an on-trend alternative to the customary framed photo. Descriptive text imprinting can be added to most covers to make them truly one of a kind.
Our textured papers, elegant linens, and classic leatherettes come in a variety of popular color choices. Because of the beauty of these books, it is common to choose a color scheme to compliment the room where it will be displayed.
4) The inside—where the action is!
Your images are the real stars of the show. Narrowing your choice isn’t always easy–digital cameras lead us to take many more pictures than in the past with film. Evaluate similar shots as a set, and choose the one that speaks the clearest and is most attractive. What makes a great image is a matter of opinion, but some common considerations are a clear focus, true-to-life colors, balanced composition, and the perennial question—does everyone have their eyes open?
While it’s natural to include only the best shots, you may lose some of the contexts that make the overall book more enjoyable. For example, a sequence of similar pictures showing the reaction to a surprise party will help the viewer feel like they were there.
Cropping is always your friend and is easy to create with most free mobile-phone or online photo software. Trimming extra space or distracting elements can dramatically improve a picture (unless you love photo-bombs 😊) Cropping also lets you improve the composition, placing focus exactly where you want it.
Once you have chosen your photos and made any adjustments, saving all the digital files in one folder will make creating online quicker and easier.
5) Layout—the beauty is in the arrangement
Just like any other story, the beginning and end frame your experience. Increase impact by choosing full-size quality images on your first and last pages. A photo book differs from an online album in that the pictures are usually viewed in a fixed order rather than with the option of randomly clicking images. A wedding or vacation story flows naturally in the order that things took place. Using chronological order will help convey “real-time” experience.
Quality online photo book services typically offer built-in templates that allow you to choose the number, arrangement, and orientation of photos on your pages. These are easy to use and are a quick way to get started. Variety is fun, but avoid the temptation of changing the look drastically from page to page. Think of a step-wise approach—soften a transition from one large photo per page to a collage of many small shots with a spread of medium images in between. Symmetry and design consistency are less jarring and will better serve your project overall. Facing pages are often appealing when arranged as mirror images of one another.
Sharing your family vacation to the Grand Canyon? Consider contrasting large prints of the vastness and grandeur with more intimate shots of smaller rock formations or clouds. Remember the emotion you felt, and try to recreate that experience.
If you choose to create a custom layout, try to maintain consistent border sizes and distances between photos. As our eyes see two-page spreads as a pair, design them to support each other. Because all Album Envy pages have a lay-flat construction with no center gap or binding, you have the freedom to treat facing pages like individuals, or as one wide panoramic spread. Play with our variety of layout options to discover what gives your book the right energy and flow.
6) To text, or not to text?
Most photo book services provide the option to add text or captions to your pages. Album Envy design software lets you choose to include text boxes on all pages automatically from the beginning or to add them later, where ever and whenever you like. Captions are a fun way to personalize your book, record the people and action, or set the photos in a specific place and time. A photo book of landscapes from a road trip may be complemented by the date and location, while a family or high-school reunion can include names a Find a description of the action or event. Again, a consistent approach will result in a more attractive presentation.
Now you’re ready to begin…
Whether you’re making an album for yourself or as a gift, creating your own photo books is a great hobby anyone can enjoy. We’re always here to help you along the way. If you have any questions, check out our FAQs and how-to videos at www.albumenvy.com, or view the videos on YouTube and Facebook. Check out our website blog for tips and ideas for specific projects and needs. Or contact us at [email protected]
What are you waiting for? Head over to our website and join the Album Envy family. Let us help bring the joy of photo books to your life!