Beautiful, hardcover photo books were once reserved for published photographers. But thanks to print-on-demand technology, you can make one for less than the price of a memory card.
When I share my pictures with others, I use a variety of media to show off my work. The computer screen is a natural display, especially for digital slideshows. And colorful, 4” 6” prints are always welcome. But the one format that really lights up smiles is the hardbound picture book on glossy, archival paper. The first thing I typically hear when I hand such a book to a friend is, “You made this?”
Yes, I did. And you can too, easily. I first heard about these books from Apple CEO Steve Jobs when he debuted iPhoto, a digital shoebox for Mac OS X users. For a while, it seemed you’d have to borrow someone’s Mac if you wanted to create these books. But not for long; Windows users can also now build their own printed masterpieces, and just as easily.
I want to give iPhoto (http://www.apple.com/ilife/iphoto/) its due here, because this digital-shoebox application has popularized hobbyist book production. You have to run Mac OS X to use it, and it’s part of Apple’s iLife suite of programs that includes iTunes, iDVD, iMovie, and GarageBand.
Making a book in iPhoto is easy. Create an album of pictures by selecting File→New Album and dragging images from your master iPhoto Library into it. Once you have all the pictures in the new album, arrange them in the order ...