Centre for Continuing Education

Digital Photo Bookmaking Course

Photography. Focus your creativity.

Learn Photography the smart way with Photography courses at CCE, the University of Sydney.

Limited Time Only | 25% off Photography Courses

From 3 September – 31 December inclusive, receive 25% off any Photography course.* The discount will apply automatically on checkout.

*Enrolments made as part of this offer are non-refundable. This discount cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.


Learn how to produce a professional-looking commercially-printed photo book. Beginning with a set of your own hand-picked photos (approx 200 images), learn about the different book companies offering this service, the types of paper offered, book bindings, and cover styles. View samples from some of the best companies on the market. Learn about the different product options and costs, as well as the advantages and disadvantages each product might offer the consumer.

Participants will learn how to make their own page layouts using free software from Momento, an award-winning printing company based in Sydney. Students will also learn how to identify and create good page design, how to access and use custom fonts, create and save custom backgrounds and how to add textures and special effects to give their book project a unique, personalised feel.

The Process

The concept behind this class is to assemble as much of the book as possible in one day, learning how to add special effects and design flourishes as you go, then to take the entire book file home, finish the project off in your own time and, before you commit to paying for it, send the tutor a PDF of the book for critical feedback. If mistakes are picked up, or indeed, improvements suggested, you can then make corrections, and upload once more before paying. A second pair of eyes makes all the difference to the success of your book project.


Upon successful completion of this course, participants should be able to:

  1. Identify the difference between book styles, as well as paper types and cover stocks offered.
  2. Work with basic page layout templates.
  3. Create, save and use their own custom page layout templates.
  4. Perform basic but significant tonal improvements on their RAW or JPEG files where necessary.
  5. Apply creative page design techniques to their book projects.
  6. Apply background transparency using .png files.
  7. Manage the colour outcomes of the print process.
  8. Be fluent with photo retouching techniques to make this, and future book projects even more spectacular.
  9. Upload the finished book file (PDF) to the tutor’s website for comment and critical feedback. Feedback will be delivered in the form of a video recording that’s privately shared via Vimeo.


This Digital Photo Bookmaking course covers the following topics:

  • Learn simple and advanced page layout techniques
  • Overview on what qualities different book companies offer
  • Pick up a great range of tips from a tutor who has worked as a graphic designer, editor and publisher for 15 years
  • Work with supplied, or custom page templates
  • Learn how to create high impact page design
  • How to add, edit and manage text
  • Stretch panoramas across a double-page spread
  • Fading pages to another colour (i.e. black-and-white to colour)
  • Creating page breaks and section headers
  • Making custom contents pages
  • Work with irregular image shapes using the power of PNG files
  • Using software FX filters, and other post-processing special effects
  • Exporting the book project (so you can take the file home to finish off the project)
  • Uploading the book project to the Internet to the print company using the same (free) software
  • Providing students with support should they choose to finish their books at any time after the class has ended.

The software we use allows you to export the finished book as a watermarked PDF document – once finished, this is uploaded to the tutor’s Dropbox account and reviewed – so if there are ‘issues’, you can make the necessary changes before paying for the final product.


More than one hours' worth of QuickTime video tutorials will be distributed during the class for reference in future projects. The tutor also supplies a 20-page full colour booklet on book preparation, design, options and adding special effects.

Before the Course

To make this a productive event, it is suggested that students decide on the following before the class begins:

  • Choose a theme for your book: This could be ‘wedding’, ‘family history’, ‘big trip’, ‘recipe book’ or even ‘diary’.
  • Decide on physical format for the book: What size do you want it to be. Once chosen, it is tricky to change (note: not the same as page count, which can be changed at any time).

Check the Momento website for cost. I recommend hardcover image wrap books. These are where the cover photo is physically bonded and wrapped around the cover board, rather than the dust jacket cover type which is separate to the book and includes inside flaps. The latter is also a nice option, but is prone to damage. You won’t need to make a decision about the cover type until you upload and order.

What You Will Need

Please bring a USB or portable hard drive with a library of 200+ carefully chosen JPEG photos for your project. The book software we use only accepts JPEG or PNG files. Ideally these should have already been edited so the colour and contrast look good.

It’s not a good use of time to be sorting through your images during class. Please get them sorted beforehand.


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Small class sizes
  • Free, expert advice
  • Student materials – yours to keep
  • Statement of completion

What others say.

  • This presenter loves the profession and teaching, and has a great sense of humour. I now know how to make a photo book and I love it.

  • Committed and enthusiastic instruction with honest and constructive feedback.

  • A great presenter and I learn so much from their courses. I learnt so much about putting a photobook together and got advice about things I had not even realised I needed to consider. I am now confident enough to tackle more photobooks.

  • Although no one finished the project, the presenter assured us of his input and availability prior to us committing to sending off the final version. Very good after sales service!

  • Really enjoyed the course, particularly the tutor. Would definitely consider another day course and recommend to family/friends.

  • Course was very informative. Great hands-on.

What others say.

  • Whilst a lot of content is included in this course, which is good to cater to all levels of competence with students in the class, the teacher allotted sufficient time to practically help each student individually.