Illustrations & Design,Life,Mom Life,Personal Projects

Luke’s 1st Year Photobook

Luke Book 1

In the future, I want to give Luke more than just a bunch of baby photos, so I decided to put my designing skills to good use; I made him a photobook of his 1st year! It has photos, anecdotes, stories and a lot of other things about him from birth til’ he turned one. Yup, this was also one year in the making and definitely a labor of true love! Haha.

Take a look at what’s inside, and hopefully you’ll also get some ideas for your own baby’s photobook!

Luke Book 2

First, I wanted to show him what life was like before he was born so I included photos of:

  • My growing tummy
  • His ultrasound scans
  • Baby showers thrown for him
  • Preparations done before his birth (clothes being packed, room being fixed, etc.)
  • His nursery

Luke Book 3

His safari room was a different project altogether! You can tell I’m enjoying all these mom projects, right? Hehe.

Luke Book 5

Then I shared about his birth story and about how we prayed for him to arrive safely!

Luke Book 11

Here are our photos when he was born. And instead of attaching the actual hospital bands (that’s probably not so sanitary either), I took a photo of them instead. More tips like this below!

Luke Book 13

I took some flatlays and dedicated entire pages to some of his favorite things like his:

  • Favorite clothes (or mine haha!)
  • Favorite toys
  • Favorite books

Luke Book 13

For his toys, I also included details like who gave it to him and which ones are his ultimate favorites! (And some pictures of him enjoying those toys!)

Luke Book 12

Of course, I have pages for his “firsts” as well! These are his firsts during his first 4 months.

Luke Book 7

Then, I included what his daily schedule was like. And since it changes every few months, I also made another one for when he was much older (at 10-11 months)

Luke Book 6

Every month, I took a photo of him in a white backdrop. Then I used those photos for this section. At the start of each month, I placed a list of his milestones and current favorites. I also used these as decor for his dedication and 1st birthday party!

Other notable things I included (but are not shown in the photos):

  • A scan of his first passport
  • Photos of the first time he got sick (including photos at the doctor’s clinic and his medicines!)
  • Letters from me and Mor at the end of the book

Luke Book 9

Tips on making your baby’s 1st year photobook:

  • Scan his memorabilia: Instead of sticking his ultrasound films, hospital bracelet and other keepsakes ala scrapbook style, try scanning or taking a photo instead. Not only will this picture preserve the memory, but it’s also a neater, cleaner way to keep track of everything!
  • Choose a style and stick to it: Make the colors (choose a color scheme of 3-4 colors only), fonts and decorative elements consistent. This makes your pages look neat, organized and easy on the eyes. For Luke’s, I chose yellow, blue and green, stuck to two fonts and played only with circles and straight lines.
  • Choose only the best photos: I know all those cute smiling shots of your baby are so irresistible but you have to pick only 1 or 2 per set. Give each page a good variety.

Luke Book 8

It’s 200+ pages in total, and I already had to cut a lot of pages to get to that number! Haha! Some people tell me it’s crazy that I spent too much time on this, but being a designer by profession, this is actually something I enjoyed a lot (believe it or not!) Hope you guys enjoyed checking out some of the pages.

I’m now in the process of making his 2nd year book. Any suggestions on what I should include in his next one?

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  • Reply
    June 23, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    Hi Sheena!

    This is beyond AMAZING!
    I am just curious, what type of camera are you using?
    Your pictures are really stunning!

    Also, where are you printing these photobooks?
    I’m planning to have one.

    Looking forward for the 2nd Year Book!

    All the best!

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      June 23, 2016 at 6:28 pm

      Hi Amy, thanks for your kind encouragement!! I’m happy you like it! I actually just use a mix of photos taken from my iPhone and digicam. I bought a mirrorless camera lately but haven’t used it for this photobook. Thanks again Amy!

  • Reply
    December 16, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    Hi Sheena!
    This book is amazing!!! I went absolutely crazy taking photos of my daughter’s first year and loved every second of it, but now I am overwhelmed with all the photos. I would love to do something like this for her 2nd year. Have you started Luke’s next book? If so, what are you including?

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      December 17, 2016 at 8:20 am

      Yes I’m currently working on Luke’s next book but I’m waaaay behind schedule! Luke has a lot more pictures this year because we’ve been taking him out more so it’s more challenging to fit everything now. I’m not sure if I can put a lot of “extra pages”! I’ll keep you guys updated here once I fix it! I’d love to see what you do with your daughter’s book as well!

  • Reply
    July 24, 2017 at 3:41 am

    Hi Sheena,
    I love the book you made for Luke’s first year! I am getting ready to start on my son’s 1st year book. Would you share what program you used to design and print the book?
    Thank you!

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      July 24, 2017 at 8:53 am

      Hi Kendra, glad you like it! I used Photobook Designer, but most of the layouts and backgrounds I made in Photoshop. Then I just transferred. :)

  • Reply
    August 1, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    Hi Sheena,

    This book is SO amazing! Do you sell any of your layouts? I would love to purchase if this is an option so figured I’d ask :-)


    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      August 1, 2017 at 9:16 pm

      Hi Hanh! I never thought of that actually but I can offer to create personalized backgrounds! Email me if you’re interested! It will depend on how many you’ll need and what size :)

  • Reply
    January 3, 2018 at 2:56 pm

    This is amazing! How/ Where did you print the photobook?

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      January 3, 2018 at 7:57 pm

      Used Photobook Philippines for this one but all the pictures, layouts, text were created in Photoshop. :)

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