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Creating a photobook: Step 4

Updated: Jan 12, 2021

Welcome to Step 4!

If this is your first visit to my "Creating a Photobook" blog, then you may want to start at the beginning, by clicking here

So remember back in Step 2, you “created an album” on your chosen photobook

website? ✅👊🏻

And then in Step 3, you chose your photos and uploaded them into the online album? ✅👊🏻

Well…now, in Step 4, it is time to actually upload the photos into your photobook!

This genuinely is me. Inside!

At the end of this step, you will have uploaded your photos into the book and will have nearly finished your AMAZING FABULOUS WONDERFUL creation!

(Step 5 is adding text and a few final checks, so this bit is the time-consuming step!)

This step deserves a name. 'The Big One'. Or even better....a Spanish name, so that it sounds even more impressive. How about "El Grande."

The "putting the photos on the pages" step.

You have chosen your photobook size & know roughly how many pages you need (due to the number of photos in your online album.)

So first and foremost, click "CREATE YOUR PRODUCT" (which in this case, is a PHOTOBOOK. 😁 )

Top tips:

Personally, I prefer to use a computer/laptop to create my photobooks, because it can be quite fiddly on my phone. And i find it easier to add text.

Also, keep saving your book. 🙏🏻

Regularly. 🙏🏻

I have heard horror stories about people not saving. 😫 Makes my blood run cold!

So...i'm ready to start putting my photos on the pages. But how?!

You start with 'The Chronology Question'. 🤔

This is the photobook equivalent of 'The Meaning of Life' question. It's a big one.

It's the 'which order do I put my photos in' question.

Personally, I’m big on chronology, as I like my photos in a specific order. 🤓

However, not everyone is like this. So you now have two choices:

a) To Smartfill.

b) To not Smartfill.

And here's the difference...

a) To Smartfill:

Most photobook's website software allows you to "Smartfill”, which is quick and easy.

It takes seconds. If you click the Smartfill option, then the website decides which of your photos go where. And which size they will be on the page. And which order.


It's genuinely that easy. 😇

(My friend Helen smartfilled 3 years worth of photos, from her phone, into 3 books and it took her one hour! No text, mind. But it is quick!)

So why choose Smartfill?

If you are short on time.

If you just simply want to get the photos printed into a book and that's all.

If you are relaxed about the order of the photos.

If you want to add text (in Step 5), then make sure there is some space near your photos for a text box. Most websites allow a little space for this. But just be mindful of it.

Top tip:

If you have bought a 100 page book credit from the website (as i mentioned in Step 2) and your 100 page book should cost £35.99, do not panic if your "book total" looks like it'll cost over £100 once you have Smartfilled! Your credit will be applied at the Checkout. As long as the number of pages you have created, is the same number as what you have paid for in advance, it'll be fine.

So, if you're a Smartfill kind of person, and you've chosen this option, then proceed straight to Step 5 where you can add text! Yes, you read that correctly! Step 5 is all yours!

b) To not Smartfill:

If, on the other hand, you want to put your photos in chronological order, you need to do it manually. 🤓

Some websites understand the “date taken” data, but others don’t. I'm afraid to say that this has possibly been the most frustrating part of the process for me. But it just requires a bit more time and patience. 🙏🏻😇 And it WILL be worth it.

So if you are creating the book manually, then you need to think about which photo you want where.

So, how do i work out where to start putting the photos?

There are different ways to do this...

My Mum tends to get a notebook out for this and makes notes with the image numbers.

I tend to start, by putting the 'early' photos at the beginning of the book, then the 'end' photos at the end. Then I have a rough idea of which others photos go elsewhere. You simply drag your photos individually onto each page.

It is time-consuming, which is why you’ll be glad this is a small project.

Eating lots of chocolate also helps this process.

But you’ll be creating the photobook just as you want. It will be worth the time and the investment (both emotionally and financially!). You will reap the rewards when you get your perfect photobook back in the post. Plus it'll stand the test of time, i promise!

And you WILL get better at this with time. Guaranteed.

So I know i have the choice of page layouts and putting photos where I want. But I have more photos than pages. Which page layout do i chose?

You’ll see the website's options for page layouts, so you can have 2, 3, 4, 5+ aperture options. (Aperture literally means opening. Imagine you've got an old fashioned album, with holes to stick your photos through.)

So, you can get quite arty with this bit!

I think that one big photo on one page looks great, with a few photos on the opposite page.

I used to make the mistake of having dozens of photos on one page, but I think it's hard to see them! So now I put less photos in the book. I'd rather there be less photos but larger, than more photos but smaller. Here I should have just chosen one or two photos, rather than lots of similar ones...👇🏻

There is often an option to “Hide used photos”, which is really handy when you are manually creating your book. It lets you see which photos you have left. And it minimises the duplication risk.

(Wow – that sounds like a movie.

The Duplication Risk, starring George Clooney.

In cinemas this Fall.) 😆

Stop. I digress. Other things to consider...

You can move the photo around within its aperture - plus you can often zoom in on the photo. Just highlight the photo, then click the "Edit" button.

Also, if you've made a mistake...don't forget the "UNDO" button. That button is your friend!🥰

Couple of extra tips:

👉🏻 Keep it simple.

👉🏻Don’t be afraid of white space.

So…here’s your handy checklist:

Decide whether to Smartfill or Manually fill ✅

Insert photos on each page ✅


Check duplication ✅

Save Save Save ✅


That is genuinely the time-consuming bit.

Once you have done this, then all you need to do now, is head to Step 5 for the final bits.

And BIG well done on completing Step 4! 🎊👏🏻

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