Family Photo Albums: Cost Breakdowns & Tips

Two years ago I wrote about my obsession with using the MyPublisher software for my photo books. Well, nothing has changed. 🙂 Their prices have stayed consistent, their deals are fantastic, and their quality is phenomenal.

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My life in photos, 2008-2013

A few pro tips:

  • When you’re checking out, SKIP the upgrades at first because they offer them to you for a discount just before you finalize your purchase. For example, I got lay flat pages and super gloss printing added to my book for $14 instead of $35 for my most recent order.
  • Sign up for their mailing list and wait for their best deals to come out. I’ve learned over the years to design my books so that they are ready to go, and then I wait. Because I tend to use the full 100 page quota for my books, I wait for their 70% off sale (a Classic Hardcover with Photo Finish with up to 100 pages for $35 instead of $115). They run that particular sale about once a month. Basically, don’t wait until the last minute to make your book – if you have the time to wait 4-6 weeks MAX, you should be able to get a great sale price. Once I add in my extras, taxes, and S&H, I usually get 50-60% off the book in total.
  • Pay for the lay flat pages! I will never order another album without it. It’s so nice to be able to see each photo to the very edge in the middle of the spine.
  • Don’t be afraid to mess around with the layouts on each page. My ‘style’ has changed a lot in the 7 years I’ve been making these books. I prefer larger pictures & less text as a general rule, but I do like having the info pages in the front of each yearbook which detail the major events of the year.
  • Less is more. I wish I’d have included more larger pictures in the earlier books, but now we have SO many photos of the kids (like, 5000+ a year, easy) that I delete delete delete. I delete when I take the pictures, I delete when I’m looking back through them, and I delete when I’m prepping to make the albums. I try really hard to get below 1000 photos on my computer before I attempt to make an annual photo book with 400-500 photos in it. Try to think about which pics you’ll truly want to remember and look back on someday. It’s too overwhelming to have 10 photos (or even 2-3 photos!) of your kid in slightly different positions/facial expressions. The people looking at your books will just skim the photos if you put every dang pic in. Keep your favorite and delete the rest. You’ll thank me later!

Cost Breakdowns That Show the Value of Waiting for Sales!

  • 2014 Family Yearbook…I need to get working on this one!
  • Auntie Jaime Memorial Book (3 books – 88 pages / 87 pictures)
    • $51.91 ($155.74 for all 3 books – a savings of $248.48)
  • 2013 Family Yearbook (100 pages / 415 pictures)
    • $66.17 (a savings of $80.19)
  • 2012 Family Yearbook (100 pages / 510 pictures)
    • $61.83
  • 2011 Family Yearbook (86 pages / 400 pictures)
    • $61.83
  • Harvey’s 1st Year (78 pages / 391 pictures)
    • $60.60
    • He had a lot more pics than Stella’s book because his was a daily photo project and hers was a weeklTy one. his is one of my favorite books I’ve made. <3
    • Includes a page of his “firsts” since I didn’t make a traditional baby book.
  • Stella’s 1st Year (26 pages / 66 pictures)
    • $36.76
    • Includes a page of her “firsts”
  • Family History Book (13 books / 100 pages each)
    • $72.74 ($945.68 for all 13 books)
    • I won’t share this one online because it has the full names of every family member on my Mom’s side, but it is a COOL book that I made when my Grandma’s Alzheimer’s started worsening. She loved looking through it, and we printed extra copies for each of the cousins and/or families as well. if you’re interested in how I did it, shoot me a message and I can send it to you personally.
  • Our Honeymoon (40 pages / 90 pictures)
    • $52.63
    • This was the first book I ever made and it shows. Ha! I still love having all my photos printed and in a book to look through!
  • Our Engagement/Bridal Shower/Bachelor/Bachelorette/Wedding (71 pages / 221 pictures)
    • $112.13
    • This was a larger format book – the “Deluxe Hardcover”
    • I REALLY wish I’d have included more photos in this and maxed out the 100 pages allowed. I remember being worried about money at the time – but really I should have maxed out the book and waited for a better sale. Ha! Live and learn.

I’ve made a few other small flip books as well, but those are the major books I’ve made.


One of these days, I’d love to also get my Colorado pre-marriage life photos in a book. The goal is to get December 2004 – July 2008 photos scanned and put into one book as well, since before moving here I had everything printed out and hand scrapbooked through college (no WAY do I have time for that anymore). There’s an entire section of my 20s (age 22-26) that’s not in albums right now though, and that makes me a little sad!

As a disclaimer, MyPublisher has no idea who I am and did not compensate me for this post. I just love the books and people ask me all the time what company i use for my photo books, so there you go! They do not do referral links, but I could send you a referral email that would give me $20 if you order a book and sign up through that link, so feel free to let me know what email you would sign up with and I can send you a referral email if you’d like. 🙂


  1. Oh my gosh, girl, you amaze me! I REALLY want to make one of these books and have been meaning to! Maybe your post will push me to do it! Is there a link that I can use to get you credit for purchasing one?

    1. I can send you a referral email and I’ll get $20 credit if you make one. 🙂 Not as easy as a link, but I can totally do that!

      1. Yes, please!!! I need some motivation to get this DONE!!

  2. WOW, those are incredible! Have you ever used Shutterfly? I’m working on a pregnancy journal from them now (and I’ve used them before for photo books too)…just curious to hear your thoughts on the comparison of the two if you’ve used both. Do you have a referral code?

    1. I have used Shutterfly, and I think the MyPublisher albums are better quality. Shutterfly actually acquired MyPublisher last year, but their books are still printed differently as far as I know. I can send you a referral email – which email should I use?

      1. Thanks for the tip…I’ll get started on MyPublisher for my pregnancy journal!

        1. I sent the email!

  3. mcmissis · · Reply

    Add this to the list of things you blow me out of the water on 🙂 What a task! Your family is so lucky to have these.

  4. Can I just hire you to make mine? I feel like this is something I’m never going to get around to, but I want to so badly!!

    1. LOL, I wish I had the time, I totally would! Maybe that’s a new business idea… 😉

  5. Wait, if shutterfly acquired them, can I print their fancy book from my shutterfly account so I don’t need to reload pictures? I might be about 6 years behind in photo books but I do mean to catch up. Soon. I should get on that.

    1. And can you email me a referral link? I should try this anyway, uploading or no. Can you find me ok?

  6. Because of your obsessive posting a couple years I ago I totally got into it! I’ve done both My Publisher and shutterfly and yeah, I think My Publisher is better quality. So, I need to go back to using it. It’s kind of a pain though because of the way the Photos app works on my Mac. It’s so much easier to upload to Shutterfly using their extension!

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