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Photo Printing Challenge | Month 2 | Softcover books

printing challenge, photobook


Navigating a simple book design program, creating a beautiful photobook and learning from the results are my goals for this second challenge.

The photobook challenge

A very focused, totally fun, (no excuse) 12 month “display your photos” challenge for those of you who keep saying you want to print your photos but never get around to it!

Each month we will concentrate on one activity from start to finish and you will end up with printed images you can be proud of and share, share, share.


You’re busy, I’m busy, we all have a to do list a mile long so i will keep this challenge manageable and fun. The idea isn’t to start, get bored and/or overwhelmed then give up. The idea is to start AND FINISH each month’s challenge so we can enjoy the results. (If you don’t get it done we’ll poke fun at you… for your own good!)

I will give you extra tips, inspiration and encouragement for completed projects. You can share your progress and images with everyone by using the hashtag  #getitdonephotochallenge For added support and ideas join our FB group Getitdonephotochallenge


Challenge 2

Our second challenge is making a fast and easy softcover book. This book took me less than an hour to make. I love using the book building software that is provided. It does have some limits but the autofill feature helps get most of the design struggles off your plate. Great for a first attempt. I readjusted some of the layouts and resized some images for balance but there were a lot of layouts I liked and kept as is. Some of them i wouldn’t have thought off but liked enough to do again in a futur book


As always, try to stick to the challenge rules!


The Rules:


  • Make lots of mistakes!

  • Perfection is not allowed.

  • When in doubt, over brighten.

  • KISS … keep it simple stupid!

  • No font folies! Pick one then move on!

  • Keep with the time frame.

  • Don’t over stuff, less is more in design!

  • This is art, not science so don’t overthink things.


“You can’t use up creativity, the more you use, the more you have.” - Maya AngelouClick To Tweet

Why this project is so important.


  • It’s a smaller book so less planning and work involved

  • You start getting a sense of what works and what doesn’t with less risk and expense.
  • You can highlight a specific subject or special event such as a trip, a birthday a holiday. You can also hyper focus on a theme. I’ve done a macro flower book, a water themed book, a pet book and i even had one of just my boys roughhousing!
  • Great way to practice
  • It makes a unique and thoughtful gift.

This project will give you great insight on how to design, it will give you great ideas for the next project and it will motivate you to sort and organise your photos in the future. ***Post about how i sort photos

Action Steps


  1. Click this link to Pikto (Canadian)

  2. Choose “books and albums”

  3. “Softcover photobooks – square”

  4. Select  size and paper. I choose 8×8 cuz it’s my favorite size (also only size available) and i choose 100% recycled Matt paper because everything i print is matt. Just a preference. There is no right or wrong here. I also chose a Matt cover.

  5. Click the create now button and you’re in!
  6. From the image folder select the photos you want to use start with 20 or so. You can always go back for more based on what you need to make your design better.
  7. Click the autofill option. It may ask you to add more pages if you have too many photos. Say yes. You can always delete pages later. It will not autofill the cover. That has to be done by you.

  8. Go through the design page by page. You can reorder the pages, change the layouts or switch and resize individual images

  9. Once you are happy with your design add a date on the first or last page. Because this is a small softcover book there is no space on the spine which is where i normally put the date and title.

  10. Move on to the cart and check out now… don’t put it off!


The results

I used Pikto, a Canadian printing press. My little book was 25$ Canadian but with shipping and tax it cost me $45. I think i added a few extra pages. The book arrived well packages in 8 business days. (May take longer to USA ) I love the thickness, the feel of the paper, the saturation of the images. I like the velum inner page. It did print a bit dark which is quite normal as computer screens are so bright that any other media will seem darker by comparison. You can easily fix that issue by giving your images an extra brightening before you design.


Here is the most recent softcover book in my collection. I love these smaller books! They are so easy to share with friends without boring them, my kids love to have a few copies in their rooms and they are especially handy when you have too many awesome photos of one subject or event to narrow down. They also make a fantastic portfolio book if you are a creator of things.

 photobook sample

photo book family photography

family photo album ideas

photobook soft cover thin pages sample

summer family photo album how to


A few more examples of the soft cover books that I’ve made.


Now we want to see your fabulous soft cover project. In a few weeks your book will arrive in the mail. Make a small FB or Instagram video and tag it with #getitdonephotochallenge2 check out what others create, be inspired, comment and encourage. Keep it positive.


Share this post If you like it! FB, Pin, email.  Do you know photo enthusiast who might like this?


If you can’t wait for the next installment of our “get it done photo challenge” leave us your dets and we’ll send the full 12 months challenge in your inbox today!

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