Cross-Country Move, 6x9 photobook

Cross Country Move Photo Book: The Technical Design Stuff

This is the third post in a series about the photo book I made to document our cross-country move from Southern California to Indiana. You can view all of the posts in this series here.

Photoshop Template Design

Before I began building my photo book, I created a Photoshop file with a series of 6x9 inch master pages that I would use a template for all of the spreads in the book. 

Master page designs: day intros

For the purposes of the book, each day is a chapter and they all begin with the same layout design. I kept the left page pretty clean, with a circular-masked image, a day-number heading, and a sub-heading that lists:

  • the city we began the day in
  • the one we finished in, and
  • the miles in between


I kept the rest of the pages pretty simple, creating space to tell the story of each day (as documented my DayOne App) and to display large images. I wanted to tell the story of the day as a cohesive story, as I usually wrote it in a single setting after we checked into the hotel each night.

While I used image collages a few places in the book, I primarily chose to display my images at 6x9 (full bleed, single page), 12x9 (full-bleed, 2-page spread) and 9x9 (square-cropped image that is full-bleed on one page, only).

This is a photographer preference. I think images have an emotional impact that is proportionate to how large they are displayed. I prefer to collage images only when the grouped images tell a greater story together than apart. Usually, these are a series of images taken close to the same time:

Or, images connected in theme, color, tone, or texture:

A Look at all the Page Templates

Below, are screenshots of each of the layouts as they appear in Photoshop. 

You may have noticed two collage layouts toward the end. These are Press Plate 38 and 39 pre paislee press. I plan on doing a tutorial soon that explains how I use Photoshop's linked smart objects to incorporate templates that I purchase from other designers into my photo books. I'll update this page with a link to that tutorial when it's done.