the unnatural mother

embracing mother-ing and all its glory – from wet diapers, spit-ups, tantrums to first smiles, hug-a-bugs and sweet cuddles

Lessons learned from my 1st Photobook layout October 31, 2011

I finally got it! Very quick turnaround, I might say. I uploaded my file Friday night and by Wednesday, it had arrived.

It was packaged very well – plastic outside, thick cardboard box and bubble wrap around the whole album. I didn’t get to take a picture of the packaging because I was too excited – I almost tore the packaging apart.

So how was it? Awesome! but not to overate it – you get what you put out there. If you have great pictures, you’ll end up with great pages as well. My advice, take great pictures with the highest or medium setting in your camera so you have room to crop and edit. Also, it’s your layout – so whatever layout you make, they’ll just print it – all with your flaws and errors. The key is to check, re-check, validate and verify your pictures and layout!!! I used a template with design and because I was cramming a whole year of my son’s life into 3 nights working on this album, there were many mistakes (even if I had my husband check it).

Couple of my mistakes:

  • failing to “send to back”. As I said in the previous post, picture boxes can overflow so if you have a large picture that can fit into 3 separate picture boxes, it will overflow (i.e. show in all 3 picture boxes instead of just 1). The trick there is to “send to back” or edit the picture in a separate photo-editing tool. This is good if you actually meant it (just like below) but if not, you’ll end up with the edge of your picture in another picture box. Boo!
Photobook printed material

The upper right picture is actually occupying 2 picture boxes. This is intentional.

  • white spaces! The picture in my picture box did not fill up the whole box so there were white spaces on the edge. Check, re-check and check again! Zoom if you have to! Actually, I encourage it because some pictures seem like there were no more white spaces but wen I zoomed it, there still was – much like photoshop when flattening.

On the other hand, I think they did a pretty good job – can’t really compare as this is my 1st photobook. Print quality is above average (excellent is my highest) and paper quality is something like that of our local magazines (I ordered the default which I think is 170 gsm Premium silk).


Debossed cover

The picture on the cover is not that sharp. The color of the cover is lighter than what I expected/chose during the order process.

See some samples pages below:

Photobook sample

Colored picture on 1 page (picture taken 1600 x 1200 pixels, 180 dpi)

Photobook sample

Multiple pictures in 1 page.

Photobook sample

Lots of layout to choose from

Photobook sample

Black & white pictures


One Response to “Lessons learned from my 1st Photobook layout”

  1. Valerie G Says:

    I still think your book is charming, but you are so right. Check and check again. I have accidentally used a photo twice and on other occasions found one or two typos after printing, in spite of spell checking. Another thing to watch for is photos too close to the trim line or getting lost in the gutter. I learning something new every time I make a photo book.

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