How to Create the Perfect Family Photo Book

(Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you use one to make a purchase, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. In addition, I received free product in exchange for my review of this product. All opinions here are my own.)

If you’ve been around my blog much, you know that I love sharing my personal family photos here. It’s true that this blog is sort of my happy place. :) But if you’ve read what I have to say about wedding albums, you also know that I believe there’s no substitute for physical, tangible photo products you can hold in your hands. Can I get an amen?! Now, of course I can’t create high-end heirloom albums with all my photos—they’d cost me a fortune and take up way too much space with those thick pages! So what’s a photographer mama to do? Make Blurb photo books, of course!

I love Blurb photo books. As you saw in my legally-required disclosure statement above, I’m an affiliate of Blurb, meaning I can be paid commission when I refer you there. But I’ve been using Blurb WAY longer than I’ve been an affiliate. I created my first Blurb book almost nine years ago! These days, I create one book per year, cataloging all the Miller family’s adventures in a way that we love to look at over and over. I’ve gotten pretty organized with my photo workflow, but I somehow managed to leave out some important photos in my 2016 book, and I received a corrected replacement for the purpose of this blog post. Thanks, Blurb! Doesn’t it look perfect on the coffee table? ;)

best family photo book - Blurb photo book on coffee table

There are several design options: 6 sizes, 6 paper types, and 3 cover types. What you see here is the Large Landscape size, which is 13x11 inches. I put a lot of pictures on most of my spreads, so I like that they are big pages! I haven’t tried the softcover option, but the hardcovers are sturdy and smooth. Before kids, I made a couple of books with book jackets, but if you’re a parent, you know that book jackets and kids don’t mix, so I nixed those when Afton came along! And really, they aren’t necessary since you can print photos and text right on the cover! Even on the back!

back of Blurb photo book - Ocean Springs lifestyle photographer

In the interest of full disclosure (even the not legally-required kind, ha!), I’ll tell you that I design my spreads in a software called AlbumStomp. It’s what I use to design client albums, so it’s a normal part of my workflow, and I love it. But if you aren’t a pro photographer, there’s no need for a third-party software at all. Blurb has it all built right into its own program, BookWright. It’s user-friendly, with customizable templates and plenty of helpful tutorials in case you get stuck.

Since my books have a lot of pages, I have opted for the standard paper. I bet the upgraded options are even more fabulous, but I’ve been happy with the thickness and surface of the paper, and the colors look great! If you’re my client, you know I am quite picky about where my photos are printed, so it’s really saying something that I like how they look in these books! ;)

photo book with pictures of baby girl playing at home - Ocean Springs lifestyle photographer

Throughout the year, I organize my photos in folders labeled by month, so I go month-by-month in creating my spreads. I put photos that were taken on the same day or in the same situation on one page, with bigger events like birthday parties sometimes taking up two pages. Most photos are of Afton, of course, but I do include scenery/detail shots that help tell the story, too.

family photo book with cute baby girl pictures with parents - Ocean Springs, Mississippi photographer
photo book with pictures of sunset at Front Beach - Ocean Springs nature photographer

Weekend trips usually take up a few spreads, but I took so many pictures on our trip to Morocco that I think it needs its own book—stay tuned for that!

The best thing about these family photo books is how much Afton loves to look at them! She likes looking at pictures on my computer and phone, too, but it makes me so much happier to snuggle up with her and pore over these sweet memories we’ve made together. Now that she’s a little older, she’ll grab a book on her own and tell me all about who is in each picture, and it’s the sweetest thing! Since we’re far away from family, it’s so important for her to have easy access to frequent reminders of how much she’s loved by grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins she doesn’t see that often. I’ve written here before about my wonderful memories of looking at pictures in my Granny’s basement, and when I see my daughter perusing our own photo books, it feels like she’s carrying that torch into the next generation! ;)

three-year-old girl looking at book of family photos - Ocean Springs lifestyle photographer

Thank you for this gift, Blurb!

So… what do you do with all your family photos? If you like the idea of photo books but have more questions, please ask in the comments below or contact me directly. I could talk about this all day! :)

You can also pin the image below to make sure you can find this info when you need it! :)

How to Make a Family Photo Book - Best Family Photo Books