How to simplify the creation of your yearly photo books

12inch and 8inch book sample

Photo books are a great way to capture sweet memories from the year. Whether you choose to create a mini-photo book or a hardcover photo book for the coffee table, the process of finding the right photos and creating the perfect project doesn’t need to be complicated. Here’s how to simplify the creation of your yearly photo books to share the message you want in less time.

Make a Plan and Get Organized

organizing photos on the phone

Before you start a new project in the SimplePrints app, it’s important to make a plan for your photo book. That means you’ll need to make a list of the yearly photo book must-haves, including individuals, events, and images to include.

For example, do you want to capture the year in vacations? Are you focusing on specific people like children or grandchildren? Are there any significant events you don’t want to forget? Will the photo book be for personal use or a gift? Will you need multiple copies?

Once you define the focus of your photo book, get photos organized. Pulling together the images you intend to use in a single folder in DropBox or your phone makes the creation process far less overwhelming. And by laying out what you want ahead of time, you’ll save yourself the struggle of trying to remember everything when it comes time to create.

Create a New Project

Catalog Page

If you haven’t already, step one is downloading the SimplePrints app to create photo books right from your phone. Then, once you’re ready to begin, in the SimplePrints app, select “Catalog” from the bottom menu. This will present each project available for customization, including photo books, canvas prints, metal prints, and more.

If you’re ready to begin your yearly photo book, you’ll choose “Photo Books” under project type. After that, your first big decision is whether you want to create an 8-inch or 12-inch photo book. Softcover and hardcover options are available in the 8-inch size, while 12-inch photo books are hardcover only.

Choose Paper Type

The paper you choose to print your photos on will make a big difference in the final product. Depending on your budget for the project and desired look, there are four paper types available.

  1. Standard: The standard paper option is the most lightweight and flexible, perfect for when you’re bringing a photo book as a gift on holiday travel. It’s the best option for everyday books when you’re on a limited budget but aren’t willing to sacrifice quality.

  2. Premium: Best for long-lasting photo books. The heavy-duty quality makes this an excellent choice for gifts, trips, or books that you plan on flipping through often.

  3. Photo Lustre: Lustre brings a more decadent finish to images using a thicker paper that’s favored by professional photographers. The vibrant colors on photo lustre paper make this the best choice for special gifts and books that document treasured events.

Beyond paper, you can also choose between a standard photo book and a seamless layflat photo book. The big difference between the two is the binding. In a standard photo book, pages are bound at the middle with a center crease. But the seamless layflat option opens pages flat when you flip and shows the entire image, creating greater visibility into your most striking moments.

Because of the unique binding, the seamless layflat option removes the dedication page and has different paper limits than a regular photo book, with a maximum of 102 pages instead of 300. The ultra-thick pages need more space and give the photo book a classy, special feel, making it the perfect choice for extra-special events like weddings, graduations, or important presentations like business portfolios.

It’s also worth noting that the level of customization required means you aren’t able to switch from seamless layflat to regular photo books or vice versa.

Choose High-Quality Photos

Choosing pictures

The best option for ensuring high-quality yearly photo books is uploading original images. While it may be tempting to quickly use screenshots or low-resolution photos, uploads that are at least 750 x 750 pixels will create the most beautiful photos for your book.

The SimplePrints app can access photos on your phone or link to social media accounts to pull photos from Facebook, Instagram, Google Photos, and DropBox. That makes it easy to choose high-quality prints and pull your favorite memories from your favorite platforms. Keep in mind that photos can be uploaded in the order selected or by date stamp. So those creating a chronological photo book can simplify their effort by choosing the date stamp import option!

Pro Tip: Import photos from external platforms in small batches. While it may be tempting to drop the whole vacation album of 50 photos into the SimplePrints app, it can make it more tedious to move them around if you want to change your order. Instead, choose your favorites and import in batches of 5-10 photos at a time. And don’t worry if you need to take a break during uploading. The app will show you what photos you’ve already imported so you can pick back up right where you left off!

Customize Your Photo Book

Customization helps bring your stories to life. On each page of your photo book, you’ll be given the option to highlight a single photo or create a collage with multiple photos. You’ll also be able to use stickers, filters, and captions to ensure the photo book captures the feel you want.

From front to back, your photo book is yours to customize as much or as little as you want. The dedication page is fully customizable, and you can upgrade to customize the back cover too. So leave no memory out as you work your way through the photo book creation process.

preview page

Preview Your Book

You can preview the photo book within the app or share it with a loved one for a second opinion. Especially if you’re creating a photo book as a family gift, a sibling or partner might want to sign off before you submit the order for processing.

Submit the Order

Once the photo book preview has the stamp of approval, it’s time to submit the order. During the ordering process, you’ll be able to choose your shipping method. Estimated delivery dates can help guide you toward the most appropriate option, given your timeline. For example, if you need the photo book as a gift for an upcoming occasion, you may choose a faster shipping option to give your package the best chance of arriving on time.

Check Your Confirmation

It’s important to double-check your confirmation email to ensure the photo book has no mistakes and the shipping information is correct. If you find any issues with the photo book content, you’ll have a two-hour window after ordering to make changes by simply choosing the link included in the confirmation email to hold your project.

Please don’t skip this step! We want you to receive the perfect yearly photo book, and the last thing we want is for your book to be incomplete or returned due to a typo or missing information in the address!


looking through photos

Whether you’re making a yearly photo book for yourself or plan to share with loved ones, the best part is sitting with your photo book and reflecting on a year of beautiful memories. By following these easy steps to simplify the process, you’ll be able to design the perfect photo book in no time.

If you have any questions as you create your photo book, our team is ready to support you! Email our customer service team at any time at We look forward to creating with you!

Guest Blogger: Brooke Joly

Brooke Joly lives in coastal South Carolina with her husband and fur babies. She enjoys trying new healthy recipes, any kind of outdoor exercise, and sharing ways to make healthy living approachable through her wellness blog.

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