Tips for Creating a Travel Photo book

Six years ago, Lorna Sawatzky (left) embarked on a remarkable trip to India and Bhutan.  She kept meaning to make a photo book because she didn’t want to forget a thing.  But life was busy with travel plans and to be honest, she was daunted by the whole process.  However, this spring when her travels came to a screeching halt, she saw the opportunity to (finally) create her photobook.  Following the step-by-step guide below she finished her photobook in between walking, gardening, Zoom calls with friends and FaceTime with her grandkids.  Lorna is thrilled how her trip has come alive again and is excited to start making more books of her other remarkable trips.

The tips below could help you rescue your photos from your iPad or phone and document your travel experiences in a lovely photo book.

Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your Travel Photobook

Breaking down a big project makes it feel less overwhelming. You can create a photo book in three phases: preparing, creating and ordering.  I’ve outlined each phase and its tasks below so you can follow this guide step-by-step.


  1. Preparing:   Set yourself up for success.
  • Choose the trip you’re going to focus on
  • Identify when you want it done and when you plan to work on it.
  • Select your bookmaking software based on your priorities (e.g. price, quality, ease-of-use).  With so many options, you will find one that meets your needs. See this comparison of photo book companies for suggestions.
  • Collect your photos, journals and other travel memories.  For the chefs, it’s the equivalent of mis-en-place:  have your ingredients all ready before you begin to cook.
  • Build your outline by using your itinerary to organize the flow of your book.

     2. Creating:   Immerse yourself in your memories

  • Create the sections of your book based on your outline (see above).
  • Draft layouts:  This is your first draft.  Focus on selecting your favourite images and build your book page by page.  Don’t slow yourself down with “perfecting” the layouts or adding text at this point.
  • Add text: Once your spreads are drafted, it’s time to go through and add headings and captions.  Use consistent fonts for a professional look.
  • Fine-tune your spreads: Adjust layouts and edit your text. You’re almost done!
  • Edit your photos:  Leave this to the end so you don’t edit photos that don’t make it into the book.

    3. Ordering:  Time to enjoy and share the experience!

  • Review your book one last time.
  • Save a copy as a pdf if that option is available with your photobook company.  This is a great back-up and also allows you to share it digitally with friends and  family at a distance.
  • Place your order (consider ordering an extra copy for a traveling companion)
  • Clear a spot on your coffee table so you can enjoy the book when it arrives!

With this step-by-step guide you can create a photobook of your travels in less time with less frustration.  When you know what to work on next, you’ll be focused, productive and confident.  You may even discover, like Lorna did, it can actually be fun!

Lorna recently wrote:  “I’m now starting to organize my second book and I’m finding it most helpful to outline the book ahead of time.  All these worksheets (not just the videos) you supplied will be most helpful as I continue to do these projects.  Thank you!”

Now on those rainy days or in between walks and gardening you’ll be able to check off each step of your photobook until you discover it’s done!  Happy travels!  Bon voyage!

Want a FREE copy of the Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your Travel Photobook? Go to Leanne’s website and start bringing your travels back to life.

Leanne Lobe helps travellers create beautiful travel photobooks to make their trips truly unforgettable.  She brings her love of design, photography, travel, and organizing together to help people create a book of memories they will treasure for years to come.

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