With so many photos cluttering up our smartphones these days, it can be hard to spend any time looking at them or arranging them into collections to remind us of important events or celebrate different stages of life.

That’s where photobooks can be an excellent option: they take digital photos and turn them into printed versions, beautifully arranged in themed albums. Here’s how to make a photobook online.

What you’ll need

There are very few requirements for assembling your photobook. All you need is access to the pictures you want in your album (it's probably best if they’re already downloaded to your PC), plus an internet connection so you can use one of the many excellent printing services.

We’ve already put together a roundup of the best photobook services, so you can find out in advance how much you can expect to pay and the variety of themes and books available.    

With these in place, you can set about creating your photobook. Here’s a general guide to the process. While we’ll use one photobook printing service as an example, the method is usually the same across any of the other sites.

How to create a photobook

After you’ve chosen the service you want to use, go to its website and select the Photobook section. Somewhere on the page you’ll have the option to Make your book or Create your book. Click this and you’ll enter the creator tool.

How to make a photobook: Begin the process

The first thing to decide is the style of your photobook. There should be various formats available that have differing numbers of pages as well as specific themes. These can include weddings, a newborn baby, holidays and many others.

Choose the style and size of the one you want, then click the Make This Photo Book button or equivalent. 

How to make a photobook: Make your book

At this point, you may need to create an account; these are free and enable you to save the Photobooks so you can retrieve them later on.

Now you’ll need to upload the photos you want to use. Some services prefer them to be on your hard drive, while others can use online options such as Google Photos, Facebook or Instagram. If you use one of the latter, you’ll need to grant the service access to your photos. Choose the method most useful to you, then upload the images.

How to make a photobook: Uploading photos

With the photos uploaded, you can begin arranging your photobook. Most services will have an autofill feature that automatically places your images into the pages but if you prefer a more hands-on approach, you’ll be able to rearrange them by dragging and dropping them into the correct panels.

How to make a photobook: Arrange your pictures

If your photos are too low resolution, the creator software should warn you so you can choose a more suitable alternative. Generally, this is more of an issue for full-page layouts. If you go for a collage effect, you can get away with a lower quality image without the picture looking grainy or fuzzy.

How to make a photobook: Low Resolution

If you want to see how the whole book will look, try opening up the All Pages view so you can check you haven’t doubled up any pictures or put similar ones next to each other.

Most services also give you the ability to add background colours, text or stickers, all of which you can select from the side menus. All edits are non-permanent, so make as many changes as you like, experimenting with ideas, knowing that you’re not stuck with them until you order the book.

How to make a photobook: Birds' eye view

When you’re happy with your creation, click the Review and Buy (or similar) button, which will give you any final options such as matt or gloss finishes for the pages and cover.

How to make a photobook: Complete the process

Add the complete photobook to your cart, check out and you’ll soon have the printed versions of those old photos in your hand.

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