A few months ago I waxed poetic about the amazingness of Blurb books on Offbeat Mama, and it dawned on me that sharing this knowledge on Bride could only do good things for everyone reading. When I'm not editing Offbeat Mama, I'm a wedding photographer, so I've made my fair share of wedding albums. While there are plenty of super swanky options to choose from, there are a few key reasons I always end up back at Blurb: it's easy (so, so, so easy), the books aren't made of leather (I have a thing about that), and they don't take up much space — I think wedding albums that can be coffee table books or tucked safely away in your bookshelf are the cutest things ever.
I recently made a wedding album from a set of photo booth shots, and figured that'd be the perfect thing to share with you guys:
What you wanna do
1. Download BookSmart
It seems obvious, but first you need to download BookSmart, Blurb's super-incredible book-building program. It's both Mac and PC-friendly (and you miiiight be able to get it to work on Linux?), and I'm pretty sure you can't make a book on the site without it. It's super simple: upon signing in you'll be asked if you want to start a new book or open an existing one. Assuming this is your first time either with the software or working on this particular book, it should be pretty clear what you choose.
Next you choose a size. I tend to go for one of the two "standard" options — portrait or landscape, but it's all up to you. The next step is picking a layout. I'm particularly picky about how my books look, so I always opt for "Portfolio" since it's super easy to customize. You select your source at the next screen, and then choose a theme. Again, the theme's up to you (my fave is Viewfinder).
2. Import your photos
To me, one of the coolest features about Blurb books is that you can import photos from all over the place: your Flickr account, your computer, Photobucket, Picasa, or SmugMug. The "Get photos" page is the second or third one in the process, and it's pretty easy to spot:
Note: after you've selected your photos, I've found it's nice to have unchecked "used photos" under the filter dropdown menu — that way you'll only see the photos that HAVEN'T been used. If you change your mind about using a particular photo, just replace it with the one that you do want — the original will go back over in the "unused" pile.
3. Get fancy! Or keep it simple
Blurb has tons of cute templates, and you can also wing it and design the book you want. There are all kinds of extras, like themes, backgrounds, and ornaments you can add. In case you can't find 'em, those are at the top of the screen:
Luckily for those who aren't so book-minded, Blurb will also tell you if your photos will fit into the spots that you want — things like photo quality and resolution play a role in this, but I've successfully created books with photos from DSLRs and point-and-shoot cameras. When you're ready to preview your book, I suggest checking "display trim guidelines" so you can make sure the parts of the photo you want in the frame are there:
After previewing, you can select "order book." Your book will then be uploaded to the server, where you'll select paper type (they have "Pro" paper, but I'm always happy with the auto choice) and book style (I love ImageWrap). And lucky ducks, I've got TWO promo codes for ya: you can get 20% off a first-time book by using this link, OR 15% off for return customers (through November 30, 2011). So, folks: happy book making!