AdoramaPix Photo Book from Text Messages

with 71 Comments

Do you ever look at a photo and get a flash of inspiration?

Caribou River

When my son texted me this pano photo of his road trip through Canada to Alaska, I had an instant vision for a surprise photo book—using his text messages and photos for the content and journaling.

I  right clicked on each photo attachment and chose an option to save. Then I copied and pasted my son’s text message into a document to use for dates and journaling.

It helped that his return would coincide with his birthday.

What better excuse for a gift book than a birthday, right?

FYI: I did consult with my son shortly before his birthday to make sure I had all the information correct and that he was pleased with the choice of photos and layout of the book. It was still a surprise, and his input and corrections were valuable.

My motto: If I have to choose between surprise and getting the details right, I’ll side with the details every time!


Choosing an Online Book Printer

I knew instantly that this book had to be done by AdoramaPix.

Why? Because it was going to be a really special book.

It would contain lots of eye-popping scenery perfect for stretching seamlessly across two pages, so I definitely wanted a lay flat binding.

Meziadin Lake Provincial Park

Here’s a better view of the lay-flat spine.

Lay Flat Spine

I also wanted excellent quality and color.

Yup. It had to be AdoramaPix.

Alaska Adventure book


I’m fairly new to AdoramaPix. My first project, a heritage book, was a more traditional scrapbook. I’d already finished designing it before I was introduced to AdoramaPix.

When I decided to use AdoramaPix, I did alter a couple of the heritage pages to take advantage of the lay-flat binding, but the Alaska Adventure book was the first time I used the lay-flat feature as part of my design from the very start and on almost every spread.

I love designing that way!

I love the freedom to place photos across the center without worrying about losing part of the photo.

Designing with lay-flat pages


Scrapbooking Elements

The heritage album I made for my mother was a traditional scrapbook in every way.

The Alaska Adventure album was for my son, so I kept it spare and simple in more of a “photo book” style, but I did add some scrapbooking touches:

I used a layer style photo edge that was slightly grayer than the white background to give the photos a finished look. The layer style also had a very small drop shadow.

Occasionally I added scrapbooking elements to my pages. Here I used a banner with word art.

word art and photo edges
Word art from World Travel by HGD by LaurieAnn

I placed an American flag on the page that told about my son crossing the U.S./Canadian border into Hyder, Alaska.

American flag
Flag by Linda Sattgast

I also selected road signs from photos to use as elements. The fact that there are fewer elements makes them all the more appealing when you see one.

signs selected from photos

Type is also a design element. I kept the type the same throughout the book, using Abadi Mt Condensed Light Regular in different sizes for the titles, dates, and journaling.

Repeating design elements like the photo edge layer style and consistent type treatment makes your book feel professional and cohesive.

Consistent type treatment
Swirl from World Travel by HGD by LaurieAnn


Printing My Book

AdoramaPix has lots of great book sizes to choose from. I used the 10 x 10 inch size for the first time ever, and it was perfect!

I’ll definitely use that size again.

Here’s the printed book standing up. It had 74 pages. The paper is slightly thicker than routine photo books, which makes for a sturdy and glossy look.

Alaska Adventure book standing up


Did My Son Like It?

Did he like it?! He loved it!

For years to come he can relive his grand adventure every time he opens this photo book. They’re his pictures and his stories.

Stories to pass down to his kids and grandkids.

And to think it all came from text messages.

My son at the Salmon Glacier


Gift Books

Want to give a gift someone special will adore?

Consider creating a photo book or scrapbook about that person. It’s sure to be their most prized gift of the season!

Need some inspiration?

Get a boat-load of ideas, tips, templates, covers, and how-to’s in my class, Picture Perfect Gift Books now on sale for 25% off through midnight Eastern Monday, November 30, 2015.

Here’s what one of my students said about the class:

“Linda’s templates made my book a breeze to create, unlike the others that I have made!”
Joyce Schardt, Camdenton, Missouri

When you create your book, consider using AdoramaPix to print it. Here’s what one of my Picture Perfect Gift Book students said about her experience with AdoramaPix.

“I just received my book today and I’m thrilled. AdoramaPix did a wonderful job with the printing. All the photos look exactly the way they did on my computer, which makes me very happy. I can’t wait to get started on the next book! I am thrilled with your class videos and also for introducing us to AdoramaPix. I love the paper this company uses for its pages, and I love the lay flat book!!!”
Jean Thomas, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Thanks, Jean. I couldn’t agree more.



Good news! is offering our readers an exclusive 25% discount on all 10 x 10 Hardcover Photo Books valid through December 14, 2015. That gives you plenty of time to create a photo book (using the magic formula outlined in Linda’s Picture Perfect Gift Books class), get it uploaded, and have it sent to your home in time for Christmas.




Here’s an opportunity to win a FREE 10 x 10 photo book (up to 26 pages) from From now thru Monday, November 30, 2015, toss your name into our drawing. Here’s how:

==> 2 Ways to Enter the Drawing (DRAWING HAS ENDED)

Hint: You can do both ways for a total of two entries into the drawing.

  1. Leave a comment below this blogpost answering this question: What story about you or a loved one is begging to be told in a beautiful scrapbook or photo book? For example, I need to finish a heritage album of my ancestors while my mom (almost 88-years-old) is still able to help me with the historical details.
  2. Comment and tag a friend (or two) on our Save & Win Facebook post featuring Linda’s review. 

===> WINNER: Terry has been contacted. Yay!

What to expect:

  • The winner is responsible for shipping costs of the photo book.
  • The winner will be contacted via email and announced at the end of this blogpost Tuesday, December 1, 2015.BLANK


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71 Responses

  1. pattya
    | Reply

    I am putting together a book of my son-in-law’s retirement from the Coast Guard. This would be perfect for that project.

  2. Debbi Rodgers
    | Reply

    My father passed away last year and we have been looking to make a book of photographs we gathered together for the funeral. We wanted a way to share them with the whole family. I love the book idea.

  3. Laraine
    | Reply

    We just took a 3 week trip to the UK that fulfilled many must see places from books, movies, tv, and plays–some I’ve wanted to visit since 4th grade.

  4. Linda McGue
    | Reply

    I really need something to motivate me to finish a scrapbook for my daughter of her first 27 years (up to when she got married) – she’s 52 now. I only have a few pages to finish and am having trouble finishing it.

  5. Sharon Love
    | Reply

    I would like to help my niece make a memory book for her mother.

  6. Connie K.
    | Reply

    I would use it to make a baby book for my daughter.

  7. Tiffani
    | Reply

    My dad’s main love is showing beef cattle, and he has enjoyed having his grandkids do that with him. I have been wanting to get pictures of those events printed in a book for him for some time.

  8. Linda S
    | Reply

    I traveled to Italy in April and sang in a choir in several cathedrals, including St. Peter’s Basilica. I would love to put together all the photos for a beautiful book about the trip.

  9. Chelli Purcell
    | Reply

    I love the look of pictures spread across both pages! It would be great for a photo book of the Katy Trail bike trip my husband and I took!

  10. Ann
    | Reply

    I would like to do a book in tribute to my grandson who lived just shy of 8 months. He was quite the trooper in his fight to beat Leigh’s disease.

  11. Joyce Schardt
    | Reply

    I had almost completed an album documenting our trip to China when I discovered Adoramapix. I am currently in the process of redesigning the pages to take advantage of the flat spread. I have ordered four other books already and can’t say enough praises for the quality and customer service.

  12. Kay Morrison
    | Reply

    I enjoy taking photos of my yard and all the animals, flowers and other living things that live there. Would also like to do a book about my daughters early years.

  13. Terry Hess
    | Reply

    I love photography a good way to show off my pictures.

  14. Carol
    | Reply

    I have traveled to Europe and really need to document those memories.

  15. Sharon Calhoun
    | Reply

    Actually your book inspires me to do one for my son and his adventures while in the military. He has travelled to Spain, Greece, Japan, and he is now stationed in Alaska with all the beautiful scenery shown in your book.

  16. Judy Wagner
    | Reply

    My daughter turns 40 in a few months. What a great way to remember this part of her life! I have tons of photos of her from a cute daughter to a great Mom.

  17. Sheila Zorn
    | Reply

    I would love to make a book honoring my husbands family. I have collected some wonderful heritage pictures that none of the rest of the
    family have seen and I think a book for each of them would be a wonderful way to share these memories

  18. Jennifer Carmichael
    | Reply

    I think a counting and ABC book with personal photos would be a big hit with my son.

  19. Terry
    | Reply

    The story that is begging to be told is our summer vacation with our 9 year old grandson. We took him on a 4,000 mile road trip through the Grand Tetons,Yellowstone and then on up to the Pacific Northwest where we worked my brother and sister-in-laws lavender farm. He was a pure joy to be with and we learned so much.

    • Jen White
      | Reply

      Congratulations, Terry. YOU are the winner!

  20. Casey
    | Reply

    My mom passed away in September. I made a slideshow to show at her Celebration of Life service (and previously made slideshows for her 75th and 80th birthdays), and as I was looking for photos, I found several that I had never seen before. It would be nice to make a book honouring Mom for my brother, sister, and me.

  21. Sandra Gaubatz
    | Reply

    I need to finish the story of my life while I’m still able. I’m 65 years old and I have multiple sclerosis.

  22. Nadia
    | Reply

    My parent’s are both turning 70 this year and a photo book would be the perfect way to celebrate their lives! Thank you for the opportunity.

  23. JudyD
    | Reply

    We spent three weeks in Sweden, Demark and Norway in the spring (with three people taking pictures). Need I say more?

  24. JoyC
    | Reply

    I would love to do a book for each of my nieces with photos of their maternal grandparents (who passed before they were born)so they would have a visual history of where they came from. Another is my own trip to Alaska and the dear friend I stayed with who has since passed on.

  25. Lana
    | Reply

    I would like to tell the story of our little preemie granddaughter, Laila. She was a little over two months preemie and was in the Denver NICU for 44 days before coming home to Cheyenne on oxygen…

  26. Pat Nielsen
    | Reply

    So excited to start a photo book starring my 25 year old granddaughter. She is 25 and will start a new life next June marrying her fiancé, Matt. She is a fantastic person with a lot going for her.
    This class sounds perfect and has inspired me to just put my fears aside and do it. Thanks Linda & DS staff.

  27. pjscraps
    | Reply

    A boatload of photos from my Caribbean cruise are waiting to be printed in a lovely memory book.

  28. Kristen L
    | Reply

    We just took a wonderful trip to Hawaii. The photos are some of the prettiest I ever took. I definitely want a nice book of them!

  29. Jana
    | Reply

    We did an anniversary trip/50th birthday trip to Alaska this summer. Seeing the book you did for you son has really made me want to get that wonderful trip scrapped!

  30. Ingrid
    | Reply

    I would like to make a photobook for my son, who has just returned from his first overseas holiday with a lovely friend. He has taken some great photos that are begging to be shared.

  31. Iris Baird
    | Reply

    I seem to have numerous ideas for photo books: one for my mother who is 95 years old; one for my oldest grandson who will graduate from high school in May 2016; one for my husband to detail photos of the houses we have lived in, including floor plans, photos of the inside of each home; photos of my husband and me and our 47 years of marriage; a book for my grandchildren so they can see that Grandma and Grandpa were young once, and even their mother and father were young once, too; photos of the cats we have had. But my highest priority is the book for my 95 year old mother.I want to create a book for her, a kind of “This is your life” book. Over the years, she has told me stories about her life. I want to include how she met my dad, her years of teaching, her hobbies. I would include those stories, plus stories and photos of her 3 children, 5 grandchildren, and 10 great grandchildren. Thank you for the chance to win a free photo book!

  32. Andrea
    | Reply

    I have tons of great pics of my darling grandson that are begging to be compiled in a “first 2 years” book.

  33. RobinG
    | Reply

    Family just had visit with Pope in Philadelphia – what a book it would make!

  34. LeeAnn
    | Reply

    I have an almost 2 year old Grandson that I would like to do a printed scrapbook of his first year to give to his parents for his second birthday! That would be so cool.

  35. Monica K
    | Reply

    I need to create memory books to honor my grandparents who have passed. We took several vacations together and I would love to celebrate them and our shared memories in photo books and make multiple copies to give to my siblings and parents. Thank you for gifting one of us!

  36. Mavis
    | Reply

    It’s time I made a scrapbook to recognize all the hard work my neice has put into her horse training and shows. I have the pictures from the last 10 years and they are just begging to be put into a special book for her.

  37. Donna Englestad
    | Reply

    I need to finish a book about my parents and siblings.

  38. Janice Hartman
    | Reply

    My husband is selling the business which he started 27 years ago. I would love to surprise him with a book that shows how his business has grown and with his devoted employees and other associations in his field of trade. His business has been his “baby” for so many years. I know he would be thrilled.

  39. Kimberly
    | Reply

    I would love to design a lay-flat book of our family trip to Hawaii. I have so many photos that this would work for!

  40. Bev
    | Reply

    We have just returned from Italy and Greece. However, our Spring trip to the Baltics needs to be scrapped first.

  41. Gayle
    | Reply

    I would like to make a sisters book for my big sister. She is 11 years older then me and I would like to make a book with the pictures of us together. It would be very special as she is my only sister and I don’t have any brothers.

  42. Michele Kendzie
    | Reply

    I haven’t made any books my kids can take with them when they move out. Now that they’re entering their teens, I would like to consider doing that.

    Thank you for this chance!

  43. Debra Ford
    | Reply

    MY mom turns 80 in February. My brothers and sisters are want me to create a book for her honoring her life. Big job, I’m procrastinating, this could be the motivation I need. Thank you so much for all your advice and examples.

  44. Grace Taylor
    | Reply

    I would like to make a book using my mother’s photos from the 1940s and add the stories that she used to tell us about each one. Looking at pictures used to be part of our Sunday afternoon entertainment. I’d love to make a book that i could share that way with my nephew and nieces.

  45. Debbie Dent
    | Reply

    I have been thinking about a family camping/hiking book. There are stories to be told that I don’t want to loose. Thanks for sharing!

  46. Karen C.
    | Reply

    I would like to make a book of our trip to Russia 2 years ago. Thanks for the chance to win!

  47. Becky
    | Reply

    I want to make one of my college freshman Grandson’s trip to Japan last summer where he stayed with a Japanese family for a short time, then took a class in Anime drawing and production. I will use his text messages the way Linda did for Caleb’s trip.

    I also want to do one of my granddaughter – she is a high school freshman and has a background in sports, soccer, tennis, swimming.

    They’re both hard to shop for, so I think these will be great Christmas presents!

  48. Gayle
    | Reply

    I started a scrapbook style memory album about my aunt, but the family would prefer the more photo book style. This would be perfect!

  49. Lisa
    | Reply

    A couple of years ago, my husband and I went on a train trip around the country (from Chicago to Portland, OR to LA back to Chicago.) I haven’t made the scrapbook yet, but winning a free book would probably get me motivated to finish it! 🙂

  50. Su Hall
    | Reply

    My little granddaughter was sent to live with her father 1500 miles from me. She had lived with me and her mom and brother since birth. Her father wanted her to learn his side of the family, but, her first 6 years were with us. I want to make a book I can send her to remind her of those years we had together and memories I hope she will always hold dear. I have 3 pages made already.
    Thank you!

  51. Terri
    | Reply

    Oh, I have multiple books that I would like to do of our 9 grandchildren and 4 children. We have many band and sporting events, holidays and too many more to go on about.

  52. Yan
    | Reply

    In the 1940s, my father used to play in a soccer league in Singapore with his friends. I have pictures of him and his teammates in their soccer uniforms on and off the field. He died in 2005, but I would like to put all these sepia photographs into an album for my siblings, as well as for my son and nephews and nieces for them to know that their Ah Gong (Chinese for Grandad) was not born old.

  53. Pam
    | Reply

    One of my nieces had a small wedding. The photos were all shot by those in attendance. No photographer to make a book. I told her I would put some together for my wedding gift to her and her husband. This would be perfect!

  54. Lucie
    | Reply

    I need to make a photobook of our trip to the Northwest Territories.

  55. Betsy
    | Reply

    I need to simply tell the story of our parents to leave to our children and grandchildren.

  56. Gen
    | Reply

    My 8 yr old daughter doesn’t have a book yet for the first few years of elementary school. She needs one to remember all the early school years.

  57. Kathy Thisted
    | Reply

    I need to complete my album of my granddaughter’s first year. I just finished her almost 6 yr old brothers yr 1 album paper scraping and am going to do hers digitally and hopefully get it done sooner.

  58. Barb B.
    | Reply

    I’m trying to work on a spring trip to North Carolina for a family get together/family wedding.

  59. Bernice
    | Reply

    I need to finish “my story” for my children to know what my life was like as a little girl,

  60. grannymike
    | Reply

    “Begging to be told…” That is a good question. I love the book you made for your son. It is beautiful. I recently made a book for my daughter and son-in-law about their trip to Alaska, and about ten few years back I made a family-history book. I recently made my first 10X10 Adorama book, and I was instantly in love. I have used quite a few different photo-book makers, and I had two at the top of my list; however, they got bumped way down when I got my Adorama book. It is beautiful from cover to cover, and the quality is incredible. For an special book, I will always use Adorama from now on. “Begging to be tol…” I would like to redo some of the family-history book I made; however, in the time I made it, I was using PSP and I no longer have the originals. Even though my mom had passed away, I was fortunate that she left behind many stories and memories from her childhood. I would still like to push myself to redo it and print it as a 10X10 beautiful Adorama book. And whether I win or not, when I do remake it, I would like to use Adorama when I finally do remake the book.

  61. Liz P
    | Reply

    I have a baby book begging to be completed. Would love to make it through AdoramaPix they make amazing books.

  62. Lisa Block
    | Reply

    This is perfect for a book I started about the birth and 1st year of my grandson. I am putting the book together like a fairytale starting with my son and daughter-in-law meeting, falling in love etc.

    I am so excited now! I was hoping to give the story to them this Christmas since Otto is turning one on Dec 7.

    Thank you..thank you!

  63. Debbie Smith
    | Reply

    I became a grandmother this past year and plan to creat a book of my grand son!

  64. Lois
    | Reply

    I would love to win! I have always wanted to try AdoramaPix but thought living outside the US might be a problem.

  65. Millie
    | Reply

    I need to scrap the building of my husband’s dream of building his woodworking shop. It was his dream for so long and so glad that he got to build it and enjoy it for a period of time. Now that we have moved, it is memories in our minds and photos. I know it would mean the world to him to have it in a book.

  66. bonnie
    | Reply

    The book I need to finish is about our pets. How strange is that? Fact is we had many and we loved and laughed with and at them. We need to keep their memories also.

  67. Kathi
    | Reply

    My story waiting to be told is my trip to Michigan to walk across the Mackinac Bridge on labor day.

  68. Regina Harris
    | Reply

    Story of my family immigrating from Switzerland to America.

  69. Debi Crosser
    | Reply

    I have two that i would like to do now. One is of mom and dad and all heir grandkids. The other is my oldest grandchild from birth to graduation from college. Thanks for a chance to win a free photo book.

  70. PatriciaD
    | Reply

    I am heading to Cambodia in 3 days for the entire month of December and would love to do a book to share my story about that trip.

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