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Featured Stories

Amber Gauthier
January 27, 2021

Photography and Picture Books

Photography and Picture BooksIn this digital age, many tend to forget how widely used and cherished photography and picture books are. Yes, technology has continued to progress so photos look great on your screen but nothing beats the gratification of flipping through pages and reminiscing about past memories.

Creating a photography book or picture book takes careful thought and planning, so continue reading to find out more about creating and printing your next book.

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What is the difference between a Photography Book and Picture Book?

Photography Book

Photography books are mostly made by professional photographers trying to showcase a body of work in one place. They make great gifts and are frequently sold for up to $35 a piece, which is an excellent return investment (ROI). A common photo book size among landscape photographers is a Landscape (horizontal-bound on short edge) 11” x 8.5” because the format fits best with the ratios of their photographs. This means that they have less cropping to do to their photographs. We also see a lot of 8” x 8” square photo books and 8.5” x 11” portrait photo books.

Perfect Bound Photography Book

Photography books are a great way to display a unique arrangement of colors and textures present in photographs. Juxtaposing full images with up-close detail shots and/or solid swatches of color are recommended to help guide the viewer to the intended meaning of the photo book. All of this is very simple to do in our photo book design tool.


Picture Book

Picture books make great gifts for family members, friends or employees. They are usually full of photographs from a certain event, a person’s life, vacation, school year, business trip, etc.

Picture Book PrintingSome examples of a picture book are as follows:

  • Birthday Picture Book
  • Baby Picture Book
  • Travel Photography Book
  • Landscape Photography Book
  • Anniversary book
  • Memory Book
  • Family Reunion Book
  • Wedding Picture Book
  • & so many more!

Learn More: Photography & Picture Book Printing


How can I design my photography or picture book?

Photo Book Maker

Here at PrintingCenterUSA, we have a FREE online photo book maker that would be the best option for you if you don’t have a design program to use. It has easy drag and drop images, and the images can even be uploaded directly from Facebook!

There are predesigned photo layout templates that you can just plop your image into instantaneously! To show the layout template options, select the page you are working on, then click “layout” on the left hand navigation of the design tool. Layout options will appear.

You can add text to your photo book as well to caption your images if you’d like. Simply choose a “with text” layout in the layout section and it will be easy to edit from there!

Free Photo Book Maker


What steps should I take for creating my photography or picture book?


The first step would be to sit down and outline a solid plan of attack. Will you have editors proofreading and editing your book? Do you need a graphic designer to help with your design?

Once you figure out those, you can continue on by mapping out the specifics of your book - how many pages you will need, what will go on each page, how many images you want on each page, will you be including any heading or paragraph text blocks, etc. 

Photo Book Maker

If you're wanting to brainstorm layout design, you can browse the available themes and photo templates in our photo book maker. These make it extra easy for you to just upload your photos into a template you select upfront. If you upload your photos in sequential order, they will drop into the theme in that order (like magic)


Learn More: Best Photo Book Ideas 2020


Choosing Your Size

When choosing the size of your photography or picture book, you must first think about what the sizes of your images are. Do you want them to be full page images or will you be placing multiple images on each page? As we mentioned above, a popular size among landscape photographers is a Landscape 11” x 8.5” book because the format fits best with the ratios of their photographs. This means that they have less cropping to do to their photographs. We also see a lot of 8” x 8” square photo books and 8.5” x 11” portrait photo books.

Photography and Picture Books

Choosing Your Paper Stock

Another huge decision you need to make is what paper stock you will be choosing for the cover and inside papers. Sometimes this can get a little overwhelming with all the options offered, so you may want to order a free sample pack first in order to touch and feel the papers.

Depending on your personal preference, gloss and matte text paper will showcase your pictures and photography just right. Gloss text will make your colors appear more vibrant, but will have a glare. Matte paper will still make your colors pop, just without that extra shine. Some customers also enjoy an uncoated look, which mutes the colors a bit. If you have a cover weight cover paper (recommended), you may want to consider adding (UV) High Gloss finish to your cover. This helps provide an even higher gloss finish to the front and back covers, along with protecting against scratching and scuffing caused by frequent handling.

Gloss Paper vs. Matte PaperOur recommended paper combination is 100# Gloss or Matte Cover for the cover paper and 100# Gloss Text for the inside pages. If you have chosen a gloss cover paper for your cover stock, we highly recommend that you add a UV High Gloss finish for extra protection and to make your colors pop even more.


Choosing Your Binding

The third most important photography or picture book spec to decide upon is the binding type. Our most popular binding types are perfect bound and saddle stitch. We also offer spiral or wire-o, but these are not a common selection. We do not offer hardcover books.

Binding depends on if you have a budget and how many pages are in your book.

Perfect Binding ($$)

If your photography or picture book has more than 28 pages and up to 2" thick, perfect binding is the recommended binding type. It is the most popular binding type for photo books because it provides a durable, high quality attractive look that can’t be matched.

Perfect binding is the type of binding you see on magazines and softcover books at the store. It has a square spine that can be printed on and if the page count is high enough, you can also add text to the spine.

Perfect Bound Photography and Picture Books

Learn More: Perfect Binding Explained

Saddle Stitch Binding ($)

Generally, saddle stitch binding is our most popular binding type across all products because of its low cost. But don’t let the price fool you - saddle stitch booklets are still very professional and high quality. If your photo book has between 8 and 92 pages (including cover), saddle stitch can easily be the right binding type for you. 

Learn More: Saddle Stitch Binding Explained


* TIP *

It is very important to use high resolution (300+ dpi) images in your picture books and photography books. Since the main point of your book is to showcase quality photos, you want to ensure they don’t print pixelated or fuzzy, which may happen if you images have a resolution less than 300 dpi.

High Resolution vs. Low Resolution

Printing a photography or picture book is a great way to share your passions, big life moments and more. PrintingCenterUSA is here to help you create a masterpiece with premium paper and binding options that you will treasure forever. We also offer an easy to use, FREE photo book maker right on our website. Our vibrant colors will help you create a memorable picture book that you can give away to friends and family or sell in order to make a profit.


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