31 Days #17: How Do I Add a Personal Touch to My Photo Books?

by Lain Ehmann on July 17, 2012

Do you love photo books? You’re not alone! They’re quick and easy, but there’s one drawback: they can be a little impersonal. So today’s question is:

How do I add handwriting and ephemera to a photo book?

I’ve got a bunch of suggestions in today’s video!

Links and Resources in Today’s Video (some may be affiliate links):

YourFonts (convert your handwriting to a font — costs $9.95 but better than the ones you can do for free)

Kevin and Amanda will do a select number of submitted handwritten fonts for free, but it depends on if they think your handwriting is suitable for creating a font to distribute freely. If you want to take your chances, or if you have lovely handwriting, check them out!

Photobook Perfection: Melissa Shanhun taught a fabtastic scrapinar on creating unique photobooks. You can check out the replay for a special price.

simple scrapbooking layouts


  • http://profiles.google.com/scrappinwhenican Lara Read

    Hi Lain!  Thanks for taking the time to answer all of these questions!  You have great ideas but still keep it simple!.

    ? Do you edit your photos before you print them out and put them on the page?  If so what is your process?  Any class suggestions for a simple photo editing process?  What software do you use to edit your photos?  I have Lightroom and PSE. 

    Sorry I guess I have more than one question ;) Seems like the layouts I see online have terrific photos and it would take as long to edit the photos as it would to scrap them.  I would like to make my photos look better before I print them out but I also feel like my scrapbooking process has become too long and I am not getting as much done.  

    Thanks again!

  • rh

    I have never done a photo book, even though I have been sent several offers for free 8×8′s. It just feels so foreign, and until now, I didn’t realize, but part of the reason I didn’t do it, was that I couldn’t be as creative as I wanted. 

  • rh

    Oh, by the way, if you are still taking questions…how do I scrap an event for which I took lots of photos on my own and now have a full-page newspaper article about it to include? (or not.) This was a month-long theater camp ds attended and I’m a little overwhelmed at the magnitude. Usually I can fit everything into a two page spread, and sometimes add a 12×6 insert. If I do a mini book, do I leave the event out of my family scrapbooks or scrap it again? What would you do???

  • Tracy

    Hey Lara… I had the same “problem” and discovered the BEST option in PSE. (I use version 10.) 

    1.   I download my photos into a file where I can find them again. 
    2.  Create another file with the same name as the first EDITED.  This allows me to make edits and still maintain the original photo incase something awful happens :-) 
    3.  Open up PSE in edit mode. 
    4.  Now the fun part:  File > process multiple files> and a new window opens. 
    5.  Fill in the boxes – Source is your photo file. Destination is the file with EDITED added.  On the right side of the screen, I select all of the boxes under Quick Fixes: Levels, contrast, colour and contrast. 
    6.  Then… the magic… click OK.  The photos fly by in PSE and each one is corrected.  Try it. There’s nothing to lose… you have your original photos safely tucked away in another file.

    NB:  There is an instruction option in this screen for resizing.  Two warnings:  First, constrain proportions. This will avoid stretching and other fun-house type results.  Second, PSE doesn’t know the difference between landscape and portrait. As a result, if you select 6″ wide and a portrait photo is in the mix… well it comes out 6″ wide and only 4″ high and looks very strange.  So, you can (a) run the resize at the same time as the initial import knowing that you’ll have to go back and fix the orientation of some of the photos, (b) do a quick run through your file and turn the portrait photos onto their sides making all the photos in the file 6″ wide (or vice versa making them all 6″ high) or, (c)  you can seperate your photos into portrait and landscape files first and then resize as a batch.

    I usually do (a) because most of my photos are landscape. (I think I’m just too lazy to turn the camera lol.) 

    Happy photo fixing!

  • Tracy

    Love the scanning option to get ephemera into my photobooks.  And you are right Lain, you don’t want your photo book to become so bulky that it breaks the back (because then the pages fall out!), but that doesn’t rule out hybrid.

    I will often actually stick in thin/smaller items.  There are fly pages (blank pages) at the front and back of each book where I like to add my room key cards from a trip for example, and I love the little added texture and colour that stickers give the book pages. 

    Hugs,  Tracy

  • http://profiles.google.com/scrappinwhenican Lara Read

    That sounds like a great idea Tracy!  Thanks for taking the time post this instructions I will give it a try.

  • http://digitalscrapbookinghq.com/ Melissa Shanhun

    Hi Lara
    I know what you mean. I hardly edit my photos at all, but when I do…
    I do a 2 minute fix on some of my photos using PSE using quick edit mode. There’s a video about 1/2 way down this page if you are interested to see

  • http://digitalscrapbookinghq.com/ Melissa Shanhun

    RH – you’ll love the Photobook Perfection scrapinar then – I show you how to personalise your pages quite a bit. I love those free 8×8′s Shutterfly sends my way!

  • Pingback: “31 days #17: How Do I Add a Personal Touch to Photo Books?” from @lainehmann of Layoutaday.com | Scrapbook Cutters Video Blog()

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