Everyone has a collection of digital photos on their computer. Many people have printed out their digital photos at least once to make physical copies for themselves or others, but the task of printing your photos often seems too daunting and time-consuming. Photo books are an easy way to overcome this dilemma. You can print in bulk, customize the various aspects of the book such as paper type and cover quality, and they’re inexpensive! Depending on your needs, it may take you hours versus days for a photo book even in large quantities.
However, it can require quite a bit of effort and work to print a photo book – even just one. You must decide on what you want your final product to look like before you begin building the book, plan out where you will print your images and which lab will scan them. Once the photos are ready for scanning, you must prepare for the printing and mail-ordering process, resulting in multiple steps along a long timeline and often requiring more than one visit to a certain facility.
The process of printing a photo book can be broken down into several steps:
1. Collecting your photos
This is the most time-consuming step. First, you must locate your digital photos and organize them chronologically, or by theme if that’s important to you. If you don’t have a lot of time to spend organizing, you may rely on one of many online photo-organizing services that work with popular social media sites such as Facebook.
Once you’ve selected your photos and organized them into separate folders or albums, it’s time to decide which photos will be used for the book.
2. Editing your photos (if necessary)
If you’ve uploaded your photos to a social media site, it’s very likely the photos have been edited. While some sites allow you to upload raw photo files, they typically offer adjustments such as crop or brightness and contrast that can be applied once the photo is uploaded.
If you want to retain the original quality of your photos when printing an album, it’s best to leave them as-is if possible.
3. Sizing your photos for printing
You can either print one photo on each side of the finished book or pattern your photo and place the same number of photos in an album. The cost is the same either way, so if you choose to use a small number of photos, it’s less expensive to do this instead. You’ll need a way to layout your photos for the person who prints them to have enough room on each page.
4. Designing a book layout for printing
Rather than hand-designing your photo book, you have several options for designing your book.
There are a lot of templates online that can be used as a starting point for your photo book. They often have placeholders for different sizes of photos and are available in different templates to match the type of book you want to make. These templates can be customized with text and images depending on your preferences.
5. Ordering the book from a photo lab or digital photo printer and setting delivery and shipping options
An essential part of the photo printing process is ordering the book and preparing for shipping. Most photo labs or printers allow you to place your order online. You’ll be asked to enter your address, shipping information, as well as payment options. Certain printers may require you to mail in the photos once they’re printed- which adds an additional shipping step to an already lengthy process.
So, How long does it take?
It takes a long time to print photo books. Depending on how many books you order and the size of your photos, you might be looking at 10-14 days before your book arrives on your front doorstep. If you’re ordering from a printing laboratory that allows you to mail in your photos, the process will add a week or two to wait for your book to arrive.