• Jeannine Tuffin

Your first photo book?

Updated: Jul 9, 2021

Here is how to get started

A 30-page photo book, which reminds the girls of their special time and bond with their pet lambs.

I've been designing photo books for the past 15 years and love doing so more and more with every single photo book which gets completed. The satisfaction of seeing my family, especially my daughters, holding that keep sake filled with their life stories in their hands is immense. And for me, it feels like to get the chance to close an open chapter in my mind or put events and experiences into their places (also in mind). And most of all, I created another backup of our photos and family stories.

Seeing people going through their photo books over and over again, sharing their stories with one another and giving them peace of mind of having their life stories or family photo books printed, motivates me.

If you would like to start your own photo book, I would highly encourage you to do so. Your children will love them. A big hurdle for me, as a German perfectionist, was to let go of perfect! Just get started. And don't feel pressured but enjoy the process. When I look back at my first photo books, oh well, I would do things differently now, but I still love them.

Brainstorm possible photo book ideas.

TIP: Experiment. Start with a small project, like your last summer holiday or your favourite road trip. Have all these photos in one location. So you don't feel overwhelmed. Get a feel for things. That way you build up your confidence and up your skills for bigger stories, like a year book. Jot down ideas for topics for your first photo book and get specific as you narrow down your most favourite stories you like to tell (download list here). And then get started.

PB Worksheet - 1 - Story & Goal
Download PDF • 47KB

I created this photo book for my daughters (actually, each girl got their own photo book as they both had their own lambs) of the time we had spring lambs to look after.

The scope: 5 weeks in spring (September - October)

The audience: my daughters, who cared for the lambs

The deadline: Christmas (December)

The photo locations: Phone & Computer

I already crafted my timeline and workflow before we picked up the 2 days-old lambs from the farm. We knew it will be a very special time and we will only have them for about 5 weeks, or whenever they outgrow our urban garden.

Every day I took photos with my phone, and some days also with my DSLR. I made it a habit to download all photos every evening on to my computer into daily folders. Then I copied the ones, which would make it into the photo book, into a separate folder on my desktop. Every evening. That way, 5 weeks came by, the lambs left for the farm again, and I was ready to start creating the photo book. As all photos were in chronological order, it was a breeze to upload the photos into a program and put the story together.

There is no right or wrong. And you will change things and your style as you keep making photo books. Same for me.

Happy Photo-booking,