How to Make a Lightroom Photo Book (Fast and Easy!)

Inside: Video tutorial and detailed instructions on how to make a Lightroom Photo Book in minutes!

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How to Make a Lightroom Photo Book

Imagine your family 60 or 70 years in the future…

“Remember our trips to the beach?” your grown son says to his siblings.  “We built sandcastles and played in the tidal pools.  Such great memories…” 

“Mom took some amazing photos.  I remember how much I enjoyed them on her phone.  She loved to take photos – photos of us. 

Man, I wish we had them now.

lightroom book templates

Your grown daughter chimes in, “Oh yeah, remember how we used to set off fireworks on the beach at sunset?  Dad would let you boys light them. You begged him to buy fireworks every year.”

lightroom book tutorial

“I know we had some great photos of that.  Mom took such good photos.  She poured her heart into her photography.  Sure wish I could see those photos now,” she sighs.

Ask yourself: in the future…

Will your kids have your cloud password or the hard drive where all your photos are stored?

What if technology changes? Will your old photo files be unreadable on new technology?

Would your kids think to transfer your photos to their own storage system?

How tragic would it be for your photos to die a digital death on a corrupted or outmoded hard drive, or to be lost with your cloud password?

Printed photos are a beautiful memento you can send with your kids into the future, and the best way to ensure all your photographic memories are accessible down the road. 

diy photo book tutorial for lightroom

But if you’re a mom, you don’t have a lot of time to spend printing your photos.  You need a simple and streamlined process for managing your photos – from upload to print.

A Blurb Photo Book Is The Answer!

Lightroom provides the solution you need to get your photos organized and printed efficiently.  It has a built-in photo book function that integrates with an album company called Blurb.

Some initial setup is needed before you create your first book, but once you’ve done it, creating albums will be easy and fast.

Get started with this Lightroom Photo Book Tutorial: (and don’t miss the video tutorial at the bottom of this post):

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Step 1: Organize Your Photos with Keywords

Lightroom is an amazing tool for organizing and editing photos.  I highly recommend it!

After you’ve edited a photo in Lightroom, switch over to Lightroom’s Library Module and toggle open the Keywording tab.  Assign your photo a keyword.

Here’s how I do it: for the photos I want in my yearly album I add the keyword “Year Album.”  For example, “2018 Album.”

Lightroom photo book tutorial

When you add this keyword to images you edit throughout the year the number of images on the keyword list grows.  

When you want to see all the images with a keyword at once, go down to Keyword List.  Click on the small arrow beside your keyword on the right.  

This will bring up all the images you want in your album in one click!  Easy-peasy!

lightroom book tutorial

Step 2: Create Your Album Layout

Next, click over to the Book Module to lay out your album.

Inside the Book Module you’ll see all your photos at the bottom, ready to be put into your album.

how to create photo book in lightroom

The book module will auto-fill your book with the photos you’ve selected.  If you don’t want it to do this, go to your computer’s menu in Lightroom and choose Book – Book Preferences.  Uncheck “Start new books by auto-filling.”

Now you’ll need to do a little setup. This will save you so much time down the road. 

Your future photo printing self will thank you for this.

Follow These Steps:

1.  Click on the Book Module

2.  Under Book Settings, choose “Blurb Photo Book.”  I recommend the Standard Landscape book with a hardcover for durability.  If the price worries you, you can choose a soft cover, or join Blurb’s e-mail list.  I order when they run a 40% off sale.  Check out Blurb’s paper, cover and format options here.

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3.  Under Auto Layout, click “Clear Layout.”

4.  Click on the dropdown menu beside Preset and click on “Edit Auto Layout Preset.”

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5.  Choose your album layout. You have multiple options.  I recommend keeping it simple.

Here’s how I do it:  I’ve created a layout preset with one large photo on the left and 2 smaller photos on the right.    

A Blurb photo book must have a minimum of 20 pages, so if you didn’t have a lot of photos you could choose a one photo per page layout.

Or, if you had a lot of photos, you could choose a 4 per page layout to keep costs down.  

I recommend the settings below:  

Lightroom photo book templates

Give your layout preset a name before you click DONE.

Step 3: Fill Your Blurb Photo Book and Make Adjustments

Select the preset you made from the drop-down menu, and click on Auto Layout. 

Your Blurb photo book will fill in seconds!

Lightroom photo book tutorial
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If you want to make any adjustments to your album you can.

If you want to switch out any photos, it’s easy. Drag up a different photo from the filmstrip and drop it where you want it.  

Click on individual photos to adjust the zoom or crop.

Click on the circled options on the bottom left (see above screenshot).  This will allow you to see the whole album, one spread, or one page at a time.

Related: How To Use Your DSLR Camera

And Your Lightroom Photo Book Is Done!

Lightroom will sharpen and optimize your images for your album.  What a tremendous time saver!

You can save the photo book and wait to print it later (in case you want to wait for a sale) or go ahead and upload it to Blurb.

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Overheard 60 Years In The Future…

Your grown daughter sighs with happiness as she flips through an album from 2018.

“These photos take me back to the beach.  The sand, the wind – the LOUD fireworks.  Mom loved us so and she loved to capture our childhood.  It means so much now.  I treasure this album.” 

Be the mom who leaves her kids tangible memories of their childhood.

Blurb Photo Book Video Tutorial

Watch this video to see how fast and easy it is to create a Lightroom photo book: 

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