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Best Photo Book Makers: 11 Online Services for Creating Lasting Memories

Best Photo Book Makers
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Updated December 27, 2023

Ever since smartphones came around, it’s been way too easy to fill up virtual photo albums with countless snapshots from everyday life. However, that poses the question, “What do you do with all of these photos?” Instead of having those priceless photos of your newborn or a milestone family vacation sit in your camera roll alongside glimpses of your favorite dinner, you can transform them into a tangible item using a photo book maker to keep in your home or gift to someone else for a special occasion. 

For a beginner, using a photo book maker might sound a bit intimidating since there’s a lot of options, customizations, themes, and pictures to sort through. That said, the best photo makers streamline the process to have everything ready with the click of a button or two. Some photo book makers these days even have “smart assistants” ready to make the book for you in minutes—go figure. 

We’ve compiled a list of the best photo makers (and what to look for before you order) to help make the process easier for gift-giving season and beyond.

What to consider when choosing a photo book maker

Price

The price of a photo book varies based on how many pages, the type of paper, finish, and the cover selected. There’s usually an additional upcharge for additional pages added and the size decided upon. Many companies have discounts and sales available like 50% off photo books, so you’ll want to keep an eye out for that while you shop.

Level of difficulty

For individuals who aren’t graphic designers, the thought of putting a photo book together may seem daunting. However, the best photo book makers have easy-to-follow templates to choose from or the option to work with “smart assistants” that essentially make the books for you. It might seem that this automatic option may hinder the chance to personalize your photo book, but that’s usually not the case. Many brands have features where you can still enter specific text, paste clip art, and select certain colors and finishes despite having the format done for you. 

Delivery speed

The delivery speed of photo books varies based on the individual companies and manufacturers. In general, most companies note a range between 8-13 business days for the photo book to arrive at your door from the time when the order was placed.

Our top picks for the best photo book makers

Easiest to use photo book maker: Paper Culture

When it comes to finding the easiest photo book maker to use, Paper Culture comes to the rescue. To start, you’ll browse through a variety of different themes and select the one that best suits your needs—baby, memories, graduation, holidays, travel, and even wedding. Once that’s finished, all you have to do is select a cover, size, and personalize it. You’ll be directed to an intuitive design platform where you can drag and drop images, add text, choose colors and write captions. 

Not only is Paper Culture easy to use, but you can feel good about using it. With every purchase, the brand plants a tree in your honor, so you’ll be helping the environment at the same time. 

Specifications:

  • Starting price: $40
  • Book sizes: 8 x 8 and 8 x 10 inches
  • Shipping time: 8-11 business days
  • Paper options: 100% post-consumer recycled paper
  • App: No

What we like:

  • Made from eco-friendly materials
  • Variety of themes to choose from
  • Can adjust text, font, layout, designs, etc.

What we don’t like:

  • Expensive shipping

The bottom line:

Paper Culture is the best photo book maker for those who are looking to hold onto memories for years to come in an easy and environmentally-friendly way.

Easiest to use photo book maker
Paper Culture

Paper Culture

Paper Culture is the best photo book maker for those who are looking to hold onto memories for years to come in an easy and environmentally-friendly way.

Best budget photo book maker: Nations Photo Lab 

Photo printing services can get expensive, but Nations Photo Lab has photo books starting as low as $19. All of the brands’ “Buzz Books” have a soft-cover and 40 pages which can be filled with different images. These are ideal for baby pictures, vacation photos, and even family portraits. Since this is a budget-friendly find, the logo will be on the back cover, so it won’t be as polished as the other options, but it’s still a valuable option. Sidenote: If there are a few photos that you’d love to see on your wall, Nations Photo Lab offers a framing service when you order your prints.

Specifications:

  • Starting price: $19
  • Book sizes: 5 x 7, 6 x 6, 8 x 8, 10 x 10, 8.5 x 11, 12 x 12 inches
  • Shipping time: 3-10 business days
  • Paper options: Classic semi-gloss, classic linen, classic pearl, lay flat semi-gloss
  • App: N/A

What we like:

  • Can customize cover material, page type, orientation and color
  • Easy set up to align pictures
  • Various size options

What we don’t like:

  • Upcharge for additional features (UV coating, color correction, etc.)

The bottom line:

Nations Photo Lab has simple, budget-friendly options suitable for those not looking to spend close to $100 on a photo book.

Best budget photo book maker
Nations Photo Lab

Nations Photo Lab

Nations Photo Lab has simple, budget-friendly options suitable for those not looking to spend close to $100 on a photo book.

Best photo book maker for beginners: VistaPrint 

If you didn’t go to school for graphic design or photography, then you’ll want to opt for a photo book maker that’s easy to use. For beginners, VistaPrint offers a wide assortment of photo printing services, including photo books. Unlike other companies, VistaPrint has a “Smart Assistant” available to do the grunt work for you by picking the best images, removing duplicates, and creating eye-catching page layouts that best suit the design aesthetic. 

For easy access, VistaPrint has software that allows you to work on your book both online and offline whether that’s at home or on an airplane — there’s no right time or place to bring those memories to life. 

Specifications:

  • Starting price: $13
  • Book sizes: 5.5 x 4, 8 x 6, 11 x 8.5, 8.5 x 11, 5.5 x 5.5, 8 x 8, 12 x 12 inches
  • Shipping time: 10 business days
  • Paper options: Standard matte, standard glossy
  • App: No

What we like:

  • Smart assistant available for design help
  • Ability to create photo book offline
  • Can have up to 120 pages

What we don’t like:

  • Limited themes available

The bottom line

VistaPrint has the best photo book makers for beginners with its self-explanatory design system and limited options to prevent feelings of overwhelm. 

Best photo book maker for beginners
VistaPrint

VistaPrint

VistaPrint has the best photo book makers for beginners with its self-explanatory design system and limited options to prevent feelings of overwhelm.

Best value photo book maker: Mixbook

Although photo books can be expensive, there are makers that are worth the price. Mixbook has templates for nearly every occasion and person you can imagine—baby, birthday, kids, adoption, wedding, pet, etc. Choose from different layouts with up to eight images per page and the ability to add text and stickers to enhance the overall look. For more intricate options, the brand has worked with different designers to create templates and designs for multiple occasions with bright colors, fancy fonts, and other small details. 

Specifications:

  • Starting price: $9.99
  • Book sizes: 8 x 6, 8.5 x 8.5, 8.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping time: 11-14 business days
  • Paper options: Everyday semi-gloss, signature matte, premium lustre
  • App: Yes

What we like:

  • Numerous books for different occasions
  • Can include up to 400 pages
  • Uses ethically-sourced paper

What we don’t like:

  • Doesn’t arrive with protective covering

The bottom line: 

Mixbook has a wide selection of high-quality photo books to choose from at reasonable prices, so you can make one or two without spending too much. 

Best value photo book maker
Mixbook

Mixbook

Mixbook has a wide selection of high-quality photo books to choose from at reasonable prices, so you can make one or two without spending too much.

Most aesthetic photo book maker: Artifact Uprising

Whether it’s for a wedding photo album or birthday gift, you might be interested in finding an aesthetic photo book maker to make your visions come to life. Artifact Uprising has nearly 15 different design layouts to choose from for its photo books whether you’re looking for something more minimalist or bright and fun. The brand’s best-selling Everyday Photo Book is a solid choice with its premium fabric binding and foil-stamped linen cover. 

Books are available with 30, 40, or 50 pages and have simplified layouts for a clean look for effortless browsing and viewing. If you’re not happy with your order, the brand will work with you to make it right, so you can have a momento you’re satisfied with now and into the future. 

Specifications:

  • Starting price: $62
  • Book sizes: 7 x 7 inches
  • Shipping time: 10-12 business days
  • Paper options: Mohawk Options 100% PCW
  • App: Yes

What we like:

  • Durable fabric cover
  • Includes quality guarantee
  • Can use mobile app to make the photo book

What we don’t like:

  • Can’t add/remove pages

The bottom line

Artifact Uprising has elevated photo books available for purchase made with quality materials and satisfaction guarantee.

Most aesthetic photo book maker
Artifact Uprising

Artifact Uprising

Artifact Uprising has elevated photo books available for purchase made with quality materials and satisfaction guarantee.

Best themed templates photo book maker: Shutterfly

While many brands have different layouts, Shutterfly has a wide variety of themed templates to pick from. Aside from the classic travel, wedding, and family books, Shutterfly has other themes available like those for Disney vacations and personalized story books. These types of books are great for kids who want to be the star of their very own story. 

For added convenience, you can take advantage of the 24-hour designer service which allows a Shutterfly designer to create a photobook for you for free. When it’s finished you can either order it as-is or customize it until you’re satisfied. 

Specifications:

  • Starting price:
  • Book sizes: 8 x 8, 8 x 11, 8 x 10, 11 x 8, 11 x 14, 12 x 12 inches
  • Shipping time: 5-7 business days
  • Paper options:  Matte finish
  • App: Yes

What we like:

  • Free 24-hour designer service available
  • Access to advanced editing tools
  • Vast number of themed templates to choose from

What we don’t like:

  • Upcharge to remove logo

The bottom line

Shutterfly is the best photo book maker if you’re looking for themed templates to bring a keepsake to life outside of your traditional photos and text. 

Best themed templates photo book maker
Shutterfly

Shutterfly

Shutterfly is the best photo book maker if you’re looking for themed templates to bring a keepsake to life outside of your traditional photos and text.

Best for creative layouts: Printique 

Printique takes photo books to the next level with its creative layouts and constructions. For starters, you have the option to choose from a vegan or genuine leather cover in either black, white, navy, taupe, and pewter. In terms of layouts, you’ll notice a variety based on different themes like travel, baby, pets, and more. There’s also the option to browse through classic designs if you’re in the market for something more simple. 

This is great for those who have photos on a variety of different platforms as you can upload them to Printique from Instagram, Flickr, Facebook, DropBox, Google Photos, and Lightroom. 

Specifications:

  • Starting price: $83.99
  • Book sizes: 6 x 6, 8 x 8, 10 x 10, 12 x 12
  • Shipping time: 7-10 business days
  • Paper options: Luster, glossy, deep matte, linen, pebble
  • App: Yes

What we like:

  • Numerous options for different occasions 
  • Simple and chic designs
  • Gift boxes are available

What we don’t like:

  • 100-page maximum

The bottom line: 

Printique is for those creative folks who want a photo book with endless possibilities from the photographs and layouts to the cover designs and materials. 

Best for creative layouts
Printique

Printique

Printique is for those creative folks who want a photo book with endless possibilities from the photographs and layouts to the cover designs and materials.

Best photo books for fast checkout: Walmart

You may be familiar with Walmart for helping you save money on those daily essentials, but you can also get your photo book quickly and efficiently at the mass retailer. Walmart has potential to get a photo book to you for same day pickup depending on the option selected. 

In terms of the structure, the layouts and designs are a bit on the simple side, but they’ll get the job done if you want a tangible keepsake for your nightstand or coffee table. However, there are numerous options available for a cover from a premium layflat to leather cover. 

Specifications:

  • Starting price: $9.96
  • Book sizes: 5 x 7, 8 x 6, 8 x 8, 8 x 11, 11 x 14, 12 x 12 inches
  • Shipping time: 8-12 business days
  • Paper options: Semi-gloss
  • App: Yes

What we like:

  • Extensive selection of themes and templates
  • Same-day pickup available for some books
  • Can have book delivered to home or nearest Walmart

What we don’t like:

  • Can only have up to 150 pages

The bottom line: 

Unlike many other retailers on this list, Walmart has options available for same-day pickup if you’re in a time crunch and need a last minute gift. 

Best photo books for fast checkout
Walmart

Walmart

Unlike many other retailers on this list, Walmart has options available for same-day pickup if you’re in a time crunch and need a last minute gift.

Best photo book maker for young kids: Pinhole Press

There’s nothing better than capturing those memories of your kids while they are young. While you can make an album on your phone, there’s something more sentimental about a tangible photo book. Pinhole Press has a design inspired for a baby’s firsts, so you can keep track of all those monumental moments whether that’s a first loose tooth or a hug from Santa. 

You’ll notice a durable spiral bound construction at the spine and that’ll help make sure the pages stay in place despite tugging and rough housing. In terms of using this photo printing service, you can either upload the images and let the site do the work or manually customize your book—there are options for everyone.

Specifications:

  • Starting price: $12.74
  • Book sizes: 3 x 3, 5.25 x 5.25, 8.5 x 6.5, 8.75 x 8.75, 8.75 x 11.25 inches
  • Shipping time: 7-10 business days
  • Paper options: Glossy ultra thick paper
  • App: Yes

What we like:

  • Specific books available for kids
  • Handcrafted in the USA
  • Different book options available

What we don’t like:

  • Limited pages available

The bottom line: 

Pinhole Press is the best photo book maker for kids as it’s made to withstand a child’s curiosity and gives them a chance to become part of a story and look at themselves.

Best for fast printing: ChatBooks 

This is the best photo book maker for those who don’t have the time or patience to wait for the mail to arrive at their doorstep. All you have to do is upload your photos and customize the page based on your preferences. There’s the opportunity to choose colors, covers, captions, and layouts, so you can create a photo book that you love. If you’re in the market for memory books, then you can opt for the subscription service where you can receive a mini book each month—it’s a great way to keep a stockpile of photos for years to come without solely relying on a phone or memory card.

Specifications:

  • Starting price: $15
  • Book sizes: 6 x 6, 8 x 8 , 10 x 10 inches
  • Shipping time: 5-9 business days
  • Paper options: Lustre paper
  • App: Yes

What we like:

  • Can have up to 366 pages
  • Professional-grade print quality
  • Subscription option available

What we don’t like:

  • Limited paper options available

The bottom line: 

ChatBooks is an ideal platform for those looking to receive photo books on a monthly cadence with its subscription service. 

Best for fast printing
ChatBooks

ChatBooks

ChatBooks is an ideal platform for those looking to receive photo books on a monthly cadence with its subscription service.

Highest quality photo book maker: Snapfish 

There’s nothing more frustrating than having a blurry photo, especially when you blow it up to fit on a book page. Choose from hard, soft, linen, and leather covers and a variety of themes (simple, wedding, travel, seasonal, for mom, etc.) to complete your book. 

If you’re not familiar with making a photo book, then you’ll want to take advantage of Snapfish’s instructional video that provides step-by-step directions on how to get started. It takes the guesswork out of the process and makes it a pleasurable, not stressful experience.

Specifications:

  • Starting price: $15.99
  • Book sizes: 5 x 7, 6 x 8, 8 x 8, 8 x 11, 11 x 14, 12 x 12 inches
  • Shipping time: 9-10 business days
  • Paper options: Semi-gloss 
  • App: Yes

What we like:

  • Variety of themes to choose from
  • Multiple options for binding and cover type
  • Instructional video available

What we don’t like:

  • Only goes up to 150 pages maximum

The bottom line: 

You can create high-quality photo books with Snapfish thanks to its user-friendly platform and instructional support video. 

Highest quality photo book maker
Snapfish

Snapfish

You can create high-quality photo books with Snapfish thanks to its user-friendly platform and instructional support video.

How we select the best photo book makers

To find the best photo book makers, we researched the different brands on the market and analyzed each one based on user experience, first-person testing, and customer reviews. Our extensive list includes many different photo book makers suitable for different skill levels, occasions, and budgets. 

When is the best time to buy a photo book?

There really isn’t a “best” time to buy a photo book. However, photo books can be a great gift for a special occasion—birthday, anniversary, graduation, or holiday. In an age where everyone is constantly using technology, having a tangible item like a photo book to hold onto can be more special than ever. 

However, if you’re looking to create a gift in time for a birthday, holiday, wedding, or event, always check the photo book maker’s site for turnaround and shipping times. Depending on the service you choose, it may be better to order your book at least 6-8 weeks before the special occasion. 

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is the easiest way to make a custom photo book?

The easiest way to make a custom photo book is to look for a service that’s designed specifically for photography and keepsakes. For example, Shutterfly has a section on their website designated to photo books where shoppers can browse through different themes and options based on their interests. Other platforms like VistaPrint, for example, have a smart assistant available which puts everything together and allows you to put the finishing touches before placing an order.

How much does it cost to make a photo book online?

The price of a photo book maker depends on the brand and the design selected. Photo book makers vary in price starting as low as $13 and can reach price points over $100. You’ll want to keep an eye out for discounts and sales as platforms like Artifact Uprising and Shutterfly tend to have sales on a frequent basis.

Can I use my phone when creating a photo book online?

Some photo book platforms are compatible with mobile devices, but it’s generally recommended to use a computer so you can take full advantage of the settings and other orientations that may be more difficult to view on a phone or tablet.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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