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The art of storytelling with a photo book

Words by MyFUJIFILM

March 20, 2024

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The art of storytelling with a photo book
We all love telling stories in some form or another. Maybe it’s by divulging a funny anecdote from our day at work, or perhaps it’s by sharing a more sentimental reflection on the life of a loved one. Some of these tales even deserve their own photo story book.

Turning a story into a photo book is a wonderful way to display your favourite photos, get creative with captions and decorative elements, and surprise someone special with a personalised gift. 

There are many great ways to exhibit the photos that make you smile, but flicking through a photo book is something extra special. You have the opportunity to tell a story with your captured memories, and the possibilities are endless.
Why should you tell a story with a photo book?
Photos are magic in how they capture moments. Memories sometimes fade and we forget the small details of a day, but photos immortalise them for us. When you turn them into a photo book, you can also create more than a snapshot of a memory. You can tell the full story. 

You can also gift a personalised story photo book. It’s a way of making someone feel as if they were part of the experience with you, even if they couldn’t be there in person. For instance, you could document your wedding day from start to finish for a relative who lives overseas.

What’s more, a photo story book can reveal more than words can comprehend. For example, you could celebrate the magic of your first anniversary by capturing your special moments in physical form. 

The best part is that a photo book can be as unique as you like, so you can tell any story, in any way. If you’re looking for some inspiration to get started, then you’re in the right place.
How to create a photo book that tells a story 
Below, we’ve shared our top tips for creating a photo story book as special as the memory itself. 
Consider the perfect theme  
Deciding on a theme doesn’t have to limit you. You don’t need to be strict – unless you want to, of course. In fact, choosing a theme for your photo book can help you get your creative juices flowing. Once you have some direction, you might find it easier to decide on your photos, decorative elements, layouts and so on. 

Here are some ideas to help you choose the perfect theme for your story photo book.

- Romantic – You could surprise your partner with the story of your relationship, from your first date to the present day (and all the meaningful milestones in between). Weddings, anniversaries and honeymoons are also tales that deserve to be told.

- Nostalgic – Why not use a poignant time in someone’s life as the muse for your story? It could be a coming-of-age photo book. For example, documenting your child’s journey from primary school to their 18th birthday, or photos of your family through the seasons. 

- Comedic – You and your loved ones are sure to share a long list of funny memories, so why share your top 10 hilarious moments in a photo story book?

- Reflective – Maybe your photo book will tell the story of you achieving your wildest dreams, or pay homage to the lessons you learnt during your year of travelling (complete with gorgeous landscape photos). 

You could also include more decorative themes if you have a specific artistic vision, such as monochrome, to make your photo book even more personalised. 
Plan your story photo book in advance
Some of life’s greatest stories haven’t even happened yet. The beauty of this is that you can prepare a photo book ahead of time, allowing you to curate the exact photos you’d like to include. A great example of this is a bump-to-baby photobook. As soon as you learn of a pregnancy, whether your own or a loved one’s, you can start to document the earliest experiences of parenthood. We also have expert advice for creating a bump-to-baby photobook if you need it.

This isn’t to say that you can’t tell the story of years gone by, however. All you need to do is explore your albums to collate the photos you already have. What’s more, you can digitise photo prints if you’d like to include some. Maybe it’s a baby photo that’s too cute not to share, or a photo of a grandparent from their youth. Whatever the image, we have loads of helpful tips for scanning photos into a story book.

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Think about the story itself 
One of the most important elements of your photo story book is, of course, the story itself. Would you like to create a tale with a traditional beginning, middle and end? This could work particularly well if you’re documenting a trip, such as your honeymoon. Maybe it starts with an early morning at the airport, continues with a candlelit dinner on the beach, and finishes with a blissfully happy selfie.

Or, perhaps you’d like to switch up the order of your photos and work backwards. You could begin with a photo of your loved one on their milestone birthday, for instance, and take it back in time, photo by photo, until you show them as a beaming baby. 

The benefit of creating a photo story book with MyFUJIFILM is that you can change the order of your photos as many times as you like before purchasing. Unlike with handmade photo books, there’s no risk of glueing a photo in place only to change your mind further down the line.
Choose your photo book style
Now you know what story you’re telling and how you’d like it to look, it’s time to decide on the type of photo book that best suits your vision. This will depend on a variety of factors, such as your preferred size. A Mini Photo Book is a fantastic option if you’d like to pop your book on your work desk or coffee table, whilst our Premium Photo Book offers plenty of space for you to create collages or add decorative frames.

Another consideration to make is how many pages you’d like to include. Our Square Photo Book offers a generous 24-80 pages, whilst our Standard Photo Book lets you pack up to 150 pages with your best-loved memories.

You’ll discover a wide range of stunning photo books with different sizes, page layouts and finishes at MyFUJIFILM, so you can make sure your story is as one-of-a-kind as you are.
Select your photos
It’s now time to select the photos themselves. This can be incredibly fun for you, or it might be slightly emotional as you reminisce over happy memories. The key is to sift through as many sources as you can, from physical to phone to social media albums, to help you collate the best selection of photos.

The photos you choose will ultimately depend on the narrative you’re telling and the theme you’ve chosen. However, there are a few factors to consider.

- Quality - Do you want a selection of high-quality photos or do slightly blurry, out-of-focus snaps lend themselves better to your story?

- Posed vs. candid – Would you like a series of posed photos or is your story best told through candid snaps? You could even have a selection of both.

- People vs. landscapes – Is your story based somewhere spectacular? If so, don’t forget to add a few landscapes into the mix.

As mentioned, creating a personalised story photo book with myFUJIFILM allows you to experiment with different photos and layouts before you decide on the finished product. So, don’t worry too much if you’re not quite sure which photos will work best just yet.
Add meaningful captions 
A photo can say a thousand words, but adding your own commentary will make it even more personalised.  Here are a few ideas to kickstart your creativity.

- Dates and locations – Keep it simple by adding the date or location of your snaps to give each one more context.

- Inside jokes – There’s nothing better than adding some inside jokes that only you and the recipient understand!

- Captions – Captions like ‘I took this photo of you because…’ or ‘This is the day we…’ will add an extra-special touch to any story.

- Milestones – Don’t forget to label your story’s most important milestones, such as anniversaries or other special moments.

- Quotes or lyrics – From meaningful songs to snippets of poems, adding some quotes can help you express how you feel. 

With MyFUJIFILM, you can even add pages of text to break up your photos slightly, if this suits your creative vision.
Tell endless tales with a photo story book from MyFUJIFILM
Show the special people in your life just how important they are for your story with MyFUJIFILM. With our wide range of photo gifts, including our personalised story photo books, you’ll find everything you need to turn memories into keepsakes. 

The possibilities are endless with our photo books. Browse our range today to start creating yours or explore the rest of our photo gifts for more inspiration.