How to make a photo book in iPhoto

Yesterday I started on my annual photo book. I started doing these on my Mac 3 years ago now – we had a family Christmas away with all of my family and as I was official photographer I decided to make each family a book of photos from the week away. Everyone adored and cherished these and my girls still spend some nights flicking through them on the couch. While I have literally thousands of photos online on my blog – I NEVER print them. Never get them in albums and this yearly project has forced me to collate a year, choose some shots and make them into a book. If we have a fire – these are the things I will be grabbing (along with my lappy, hard drive and children…let’s not forget the kids).

I make my books through iPhoto. Did you know you could even DO that? I didn’t until someone showed me! So I’m going to show you! The quality, turnaround and price have been excellent for me – not to mention the fact that all my photos are already in there ready to go. No uploading to an external site. The image size is at full re too which means that the prints in the book come out perfectly.

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To start with open iPhoto and go to FILE – NEW ALBUM.


A pop up menu will appear – go along the top options until you get to BOOK. Name it, I just choose PICTURE BOOK then select CHOOSE. You are now ready to go!


I’m sure you could play around with lots of options in here but I am pretty basic and stick with a plain background and only mess around with the layout options. You need to drag across from your EVENTS section the photos you want to add into the book. I just click the event and drag it across to the book I have created that will be on the left hand side menu under KEEPSAKES. Once you see a little green + sign you will know it’s been added in.

The events you have added will be added up in the top menu. It’s a matter of selecting which image you like and dragging it into the book layout below. You can change the layout of each page on the bottom menu (5th one across) by choosing a template that has 1, 2 3 or up to 10 images per page. You can also write words in there (for me I choose basic descriptions as I am DONE with the writing about stuff at this stage of the year).

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Once you are done with your book (remember you can in extra pages if you need them) you hit BUY BOOK. It takes a little while to get it processed, then you enter bank details etc (it’s all done through your iTunes account) you are done! The book is saved under KEEPSAKES in your iPhoto so can order more if needed down the track. It takes about 10 days to be delivered which isn’t bad considering it’s from the other side of the world and then you have a beautiful photo album for your year. All nicely put together, to keep forever.

They truly are so special.

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There are a number of other companies that you can use that make photo books. Snapfish, Albumworks, Blurb, Momento etc that you can try out if you don’t have a Mac. It’s a good idea to start a new book now…and each time you import an event to your iPhoto try to tackle that layout in the book there and then – a little each time will make a lot in the end rather than doing the whole book at the end of the year (like I do). It’s like my BAS…I swear I will do it as the months go, little by little rather than a quarter at the end…but it never happens!

Do you have photo books? Have you made one through iPhoto before?
Or do you print your photos out old School style?
Anyone still making a photo album from 2001?


  1. Gail Virgona says

    Agree agree agree. We have done a few of these for ourselves and family and everyone LOVES them. When our beloved puppy died a few years ago we made one and our kids still flick through it and love remembering their Mack. We haven’t been good at doing a regular one. Must get onto that. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Urgh… I just printed 1200 from the past few years the old fashioned way from Harvey Norman. And when they turned up, they were completed jumbled – world trip in with Christmas in with Bali in with wedding in with EVERYTHING. Not to mention that the quality is rubbish. I am officially a photo book convert.

  3. I so need to do this … and nice little sneaky shots of our fabulous weekend for Mrs W in there!

  4. YES!! This. Thank you. I knew there HAD to be a way but was too lazy to look. Yearbooks have been my aim for the past few years and I never got around to doing it. Maybe this year will be THE year.

  5. I’ve been using snapfish for years, but I recently bought lightroom, and you can do it on there too, and then order them through Blurb. Also super easy.

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      I am going to attempt Lightroom this year for my photos. I never process them and I feel like it might be time!

  6. Right! That was the kick up the bum I needed!
    Thanking you! x

  7. Almost worth converting to a Mac just to do photobooks! You’ve inspired me!

  8. I do mine through big w and they’ve always turned out great. I have a lot of catching up to do though! I still have photos in envelopes from our honeymoon 10 years ago that need to be put in an album!

  9. Mrs Tiddlypip says

    Snap! Over the last 2 posts you’ve just nailed my 2 biggest ‘to dos’ for 2014. New recipes & getting the photos up to date. I’m hoping by the end of the year I’ll be up to the photo book a year. Unfortunately the start point is 2002…have got as far as the eldests christening. Just 3 kids & 11 years..shouldn’t take to long??!!

  10. Janette McDonald says

    Yeah, thanks Beth. I’ve just spent the last 7 hours making photo books when I should be packing to move home. (It was the perfect distraction). xx

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      Oh God sorry…I know…once you start you get stuck in a book vortex and come out HOURS later. Good luck with the pack/move.

  11. Lisa Mckenzie says

    I don’t have a mac but everything else is apple but this is a great idea Beth x

  12. We have a photo book from our wedding but still need to organise and position the printed wedding photos into the old school album – we’ll be celebrating our 7th wedding anniversary next month. I better get a wiggle on!

  13. MotherDownUnder says

    I do the exact same thing! In fact my 2013 book just got delivered yesterday!
    Toddler C gets his own book every year and then we take a special family trip or there was some other big event, I generally do another book.
    I love going through my photos and picking those to put in the book…funnily I always pick photos that aren’t on the blog because I feel like I don’t want to double up even though I never print the photos from my blog.
    You can also edit photos directly from the book…so if you put one in there and want to make it lighter you can access the editor without having to back to your events or album. So easy!

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      Exactly – I have all our personal, special family ones that rarely make the blog and that’s just the way I like it!

  14. ahoy.jenni says

    Hey thanks for that, I had no idea my Mac could do that. I am addicted to Snapfish, I’m a book making addict but I do have issues about uploading to the external site, because who then owns your images?
    I also print out some photos and whack them in a random album, but certainly don’t go to the effort I used to a kid, making photo albums. But the photo books are such a hit. I recently themed a book of pictures from a weekend away with friends in a Where’s Wally style, it was very funny.

  15. I have made some for special trips and a memento for each kid about living in Dubai but still have but a vague aim to do an annual one! I used. Snapfish originally but once I got my Mac I converted – so much easier and quicker.

  16. My MIL lost everything in the Black Saturday fires, between our collection and Nannas collection I was able to get together enough childhood photos of my husband to make a photobook through Momento to replace what she lost. It’s a great idea, need to get me a Mac though.

  17. Cath @mybeardedpigeon says

    I just found this out the other day too. I have done picture books for big holidays but used snap fish, I wasn’t 100% with the quality really and loading pics onto snapfish took forever. I am going to do one, and yes like you said, as I go along I will sort my pictures for the year… (Maybe)

  18. Margaret Elvis says

    Thanks for trying but once you got to EVENTS I was completely lost and I don’t use iTunes so that rules me out of having a picture book. I do store my photographs in iPhoto but I can’t get it to work for me apart from storing photos and they are spread out all over the place. One day if she ever has time to spare I will ask that daughter of mine for her help. I think you younger people are so wonderful the way you use modern technology but it came along too late for this oldie to take full advantage of it.

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      Oh Mimsie! You did well to get where you did…I’m not sure how it works with the no iTunes account thing…good luck!

  19. Byron Pugh says

    I love your blog! Thanks Beth!

  20. I’m doing this NOW – motivated by your one thing a week mojo. Thanks x


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