September 16th, 2013

The Great Photo Makeover: Part 5 Vacation Photobooks

Last month I started the Great Summer Photo Project, an endeavor to get my photos off the hard drive, out of the shoeboxes, and into books and albums where I can enjoy them.

Part 5 is all about making vacation photobooks.

Do it right away

My aunt is a seasoned traveller who has two habits when she returns from vacation: she unpacks the suitcases immediately and she organizes her photos into a vacation photobook within a week or two.

I’ll admit that it takes me few days to sort through the suitcases of six people, but I have started making vacation photobooks right away (click here to see the book I made from my New York pictures). It is very satisfying to get the photos edited, the bad ones deleted, and the images on paper.

So this weekend, in the midst of new school busy-ness and extracurricular chaos, I carved out a couple of hours to make my summer vacation book. Here’s how it turned out.

Big Impact for the Cover Photo


I fret about the front cover. Dramatic landscape? Family group shot? The cover photo sets the mood of everything to come. For this book, I went for fun.

We visited a wildlife rescue centre that has a painted photo wall of an eagle feeding her chicks. There was a single hole for a face, so I bullied my family members to get in there for a shot (I couldn’t convince my teenager).

I photoshopped them all together, creating a cover-worthy image.

Image 1: With a little work in Photoshop, I found my cover photo.

Mixing up candids and beauty shots


While I would love to devote an entire album to my beautiful landscapes, truthfully people want to see pictures of people. In this double page spread, I used a landscape image to set the scene, and combined it with a posed shot and a candid to convey the feel of the day.

Image 2: I set my camera to a very high resolution, which allows me to enlarge the images to the size of a full page.

One great shot


There are some pictures that grab you, and this shot is one of them. My kids were playing on the rocks and I shouted for them to look at me. In a moment that comes as often as Halley’s Comet, they turned and smiled, all at the same time.

Image 3: For really special photos, I enlarged them to take up an entire double page spread.

Photo montage

Image-4-CreekOne day we went on a hike along a creek. I took many photos, all of which were nice, but none knocked my socks off. I created a montage of photos for this day, which collectively make a beautiful impression of the hike.

Image 4: A larger number of small photos can look chaotic. If they are grouped together by day or event, the lighting and colours will be similar creating a cohesive look.

Create your own

Creating a photobook of your summer vacation is a big step toward photo organization. Staying on top of your photos, editing them, deleting the yucky ones, and printing the good ones is quite a small task when you do it as you go.

From September 10 to September 29, London Drugs is offering 40 pages for the standard price of a 20 page hardcover coffeetable book—the perfect offer to get you started on your vacation photobook.


To get started, download London Drugs free software, Home Edition, right here.

Read more about the Great Photo Makeover

Part 1: The Digital Junk Drawer

Part 2: Out of the Shoebox and into an Album

Part 3: Scanning Old Photos

Part 4: Restoring Old Photos


By Angela Ford

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