Leaving photos unorganized or untouched will only ever end up be really annoying, especially if you have snapped thousands of pictures over the years and they are starting to occupy precious storage space. This is why most people either download their photos into dedicated folders on a hard drive or use software to sort pictures for them. Adobe Lightroom is one such program, except with the added bonus of allowing its users to manipulate photos to their liking, too.
But even if Adobe’s solution is a playground for photo sorting and customization, it’s still very likely that the pictures stored there will just end up being forgotten. It doesn’t have to be that way, though, as not only does Lightroom have a built-in digital photo book builder, but if the right photo printing service is used, then the project can also be turned into a physical photo book for you and anyone else to enjoy.
Creating Photo Books With Adobe Lightroom
Although it isn’t as advanced as most of the photo book editors of professional photo printing services, Adobe Lightroom’s Book module is an excellent tool for putting together simple yet stylish photo books with just a few clicks. In fact, the program does at least provide the most important features commonly associated with photo book builders, such as adding and removing pages, modifying layouts, using text boxes, swapping and moving photos, changing the background, and so on.
In addition to that, the software also has a brilliant autolayout feature that can automatically fill out the book the moment the desired photos are selected, but it is also able to place the pictures based on personal preferences. And if that’s not enough, due to the fact that the Book module is fully integrated with Blurb – the same way in which Shutterfly works alongside Apple Photos – there is also an option to specify the photo book’s physical attributes, too, whether that is the cover, the size, or the type of paper that the pages will be printed on.
Video Tutorial to Adobe Lightroom's Photo Book Editing Features
Exporting Adobe Photo Book Projects
Option 1: Creating PDFs
Admittedly, the best option to have photo book created in Adobe Lightroom printed is by turning it into a Blurb project but actually the program can also convert projects into PDFs that can then be used as a base for a photo book in a third-party program. This way not only can the photo book easily be shared with others, but it also opens up the option to rely on other photo printing services such as PrestoPhoto – whose base prices are cheaper than those of Blurb – and AdoramaPix, the editor of which is one of the most advanced on the market. Funnily enough, Blurb also allows for its registered users to turn PDFs into photo books, but in this case the total number of pages – including the front and back cover – has to be at least 22.
There is one catch, though, and that’s the fact that Lightroom exports projects to two separate PDF files: one contains the book’s cover, while the other is the book’s contents. This could be a little frustrating at first but, thankfully, both PrestoPhoto and Blurb can seamlessly merge those separate files into one, while AdoramaPix automatically recognizes the book’s first page and turns it into the cover – which can then be edited further with the online builder. However, regardless of the chosen photo book editor, it’s best to take the advice of PrestoPhoto and make some changes to the project before exporting, like increasing the JPEG quality to 100 or setting the file resolution to 300ppi.
Option 2: Exporting to Blurb
As mentioned, Blurb’s service is integrated into Adobe’s Lightroom, but that compatibility isn’t limited to just the customization options present in the software. In fact, when the project is finished and you click on “Send Book to Blurb…”, then all you need to do is sign into your Blurb account – or create one on the spot – and the Lightroom project will be automatically converted into a Blurb project.
Once the export is completed, there are multiple options to choose from. The book can be edited further within the online editor – or Blurb’s advanced downloadable software, BookWright – turned into a convenient eBook, published to the company’s own webshop, or have a physical copy ordered right away.
Best Photo Books of 2020