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Creating a Photobook: Step 5. Final step!

Updated: Jan 12, 2021

This is it. The Final Step! You've made it! Well done. #ProudOfYou

You have so far:

  • chosen your photobook website & created an (empty) album in Step 2 ✅👊🏻

  • chosen your photos and uploaded them into the online album in Step 3 ✅👊🏻

  • started creating your photobook by arranging the photos in Step 4 ✅👊🏻

This Step is the 'Final Touches Step'. The FTS!

I'll be talking you through:

I) Adding text

II) Backgrounds, Borders & Illustrations

III) Check cropping

IV) Image quality & empty pages

V) Cover text, spine & back cover photo

VI) Celebrating your finished book!

Let's get started! Or should that be...let's get finishing?!

I) So, first and foremost, can i add text?

Yes you can! 🎊

You may choose not to do this. That's fine!

But if you do, now’s the time to put 'who you were with/ where/ what you ate' etc.

This is also your “I’ve always wanted to be a Stand-up comic” moment!

You will get funnier as the book progresses! Guaranteed! (I harness my inner "Victoria Wood" at this point of my journey. Bless her soul, the legend that she was.)

Like the time when i was picked as an audience participant for the "Wildlife show" on holiday...and my kids were MORTIFIED! But i couldn't have been happier!

"Move over kids! This is my moment to shine!"👇🏻

Take care that the text isn't going OVER your photo. I was so cross with myself when i got this photobook back, and hadn't noticed that my text was printed over the photo, and not totally on the white background! 👇🏻

Gggrrr!! Pedantic i know... but it still bugged me!

Also, just being even MORE pedantic, remember to check that your font size and font colour is the same throughout. (If this is important to you? #JustSaying!) 🤓

You can move the location of your text box too. Just highlight the text box, until you have the "cross with arrow heads" and drag it to where you want.

If you want to put lots of text in, you may need to move your photos around, to make room for the text box. Just highlight the photos until you have the "cross with arrow heads" and move them.

If the thought of typing your text online worries you, then my neighbour Sarah suggested this top tip. 💡 She orders her book, without text. Then when it arrives, she gets out her Sharpie pen and writes in her text manually! It's quick, no-nonsense and gets the job done.


Now don't forget to spellcheck...

And have you saved yet?! 🤔

II) Backgrounds, Borders & Illustrations

On most websites, you can change the colour of your background.

I tend to keep mine white. Is that super dull? 🤓 Maybe!

But you can often have different background themes, like travel, weather or flowers etc.

Below is a photobook with different coloured page backgrounds which looked great, but sometimes my text was hard to read on it. So just be careful with this option. Make sure your text is a dark enough colour to be seen on your coloured background. You can barely see the text here. It's grey on turquoise. 👇🏻

So in hindsight, it should have been dark blue or black text. It's better here👇🏻:

Just take care on this one!

Now...have you saved your book?! 🤔 I'll keep badgering you about this!

You can add a coloured border around your photos on some websites.

Just click the colour you want surrounding your photo and drag it onto the page.

And you can add illustrations, like hearts, flowers, birds & rainbows etc. Or larger illustrations which partly 'frame' your photo. These are sweet and help fill up empty space.

But don't go too mad on these, as they may detract from the photos.

And they can be quite time-consuming to insert throughout the whole book...but they are a sweet touch.

III) Check cropping

Now you need to check each photo, to make sure that you have not cut anyone off the photo accidentally. This does happen! Just drag the photo across if you have. Nothing worse than cropping off one of the kids in a family pic, especially if it’s THEIR birthday and you’ve chopped them off it!

Also, check that your photos aren't too close to the binding. I've made that mistake before, and you can't quite see who you are looking at.

You'll see that these photos below were of my daughter, dressed up as Florence Nightingale. But on the far right photo, she's on the very right of the image ...and she is stuck in the crease. Boo hoo.

In hindsight, i should have moved the photo over to the left. 👇🏻

Not the end of the world i know, but it did bug me a little bit!

IV) Image quality & empty pages

Check that none of the images are pixelated.

(Most photobook websites will give you a warning if so). ⚠️

Don’t panic if you see that sign.

Just make the aperture smaller on the page. (i.e. if you have one big photo on a page and it’s not good enough quality, then maybe put 2, 3 or 4 photos on that page instead, so they’re all smaller size. Or if you’re doing one aperture per page, just make that aperture smaller. Head to "page layouts" and opt for a smaller aperture.)

The only times when I have this issue, is if someone has emailed/texted me an image from their phone. It may not be high-enough resolution. So if it’s a really important photo, ask them to send it to you again in higher resolution. Then upload it to your online album.

Check for any empty pages, in case you have forgotten to put photos on the odd page. I'm sure you haven't. But i'm just being uber cautious! Most companies give you the warning sign! ⚠️

That reminds me...have you saved your creation?! 🤔

V) Cover text, spine & back cover photo

Put text on the front cover and spine (if it lets you add text on the spine, that is. Not all photobooks do).

You can often put a little photo on the back cover too.

Again, this is normally flagged by the website company if you have forgotten. ⚠️

So…here’s your handy checklist:

Add Text ✅

Check font size & font colour ✅

Spellcheck it! ✅

Choose background ✅

Add coloured borders to photos? ✅

Add illustrations? ✅

Check cropping ✅

Are the photos too near the binding? ✅

Any photo quality warnings? ⚠️✅

Check empty pages ⚠️ ✅

Front cover & spine title ✅

Back cover photo ✅

Save Save Save ✅

Now what I tend to do get all paranoid and check it about 3 times! 🤪 Again and again!

Crazy I know. But once I hit SEND TO PRINT, there is no going back!

So once you’ve done this…now is the time to…drumroll please….SEND TO PRINT! 🎊


You’re now allowed to do a really funky dance around the house!

Or open a window and shout:

“I’ve just sent my first photobook to print. Yes! Me! Sally from number 46. I am amazing”.

Or do a bragging FB post to your mates, saying “Check me. Nuff respect!”

Or even encourage the family to join you in a conga. Around the house. With the dog at the back.

Okay…maybe I’m getting carried away now! But you get the drift. You will feel GREAT!

Next stage is hassling your Postie for two weeks, asking "if they happen to have a photobook package for you?"

This is perfectly normal behaviour.

But one of these days…it will come!

And you will brew up. And sit down.

And smile SO MUCH!

And then you will call in the family and say,

“Yes. Yes. I created this. I am a Superstar!”

And a tear will run down your face. And you will feel bloody GREAT!


Well kind of. On a serious note, your friends and family will love this. Young kids will feel famous! Grandparents will treasure the gift. Families and friends will love them for YEARS to come.

And you.

Yes you.

Photobook Legend of the Highest Order... will feel super smug….for WEEKS, MONTHS, YEARS!

Remember to leave it out on show for ALL visitors and family members to enjoy, as that’ll keep the smugness going! Perhaps prop it up in the front window for all to see? 🤔

Or pop it on your coffee table with all your swanky art books! 😂

Make sure you share it on Facebook for all to see!

And please do post something on my Katie Lucas Photography Facebook page

so I can see it too! 🙏🏻 😁.

Congratulations Photobook Friend. 🎊

You have passed my Photobook Progress Workshop with the highest honour! 🏆

I am super proud of you. 👏🏻

So next step...which project do you want to work on next...?! 😜

(Photo credit: Victoria Wood BBC Website)

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