Good content, strong design, and efficient workflow are the three critical ingredients to offering profitable photo book design services to our clients.

This course will examine how Pixellu SmartAlbums and Adobe InDesign can be a powerful combination in your suite of professional design tools and empower you to create gorgeous, custom-made photo books for your clients at a profit. In-depth tutorials will build your confidence and set the stage for a comprehensive walkthrough of 3 different workflows using these powerful tools. You will also look at other tools like Lightroom and Photo Mechanic and how they support an efficient workflow.

Take advantage of the Free Trial for an overview of the tools we'll use during this course.

Payment Options

Pay in full or take advantage of our payment plan option.

This course includes:

  • 5 hours of self-paced, step-by-step video instruction divided into 7 modules

  • Downloadable transcriptions for each module to use as reference notes

  • A bonus section including printable workflow diagrams; step-by-step instructions for working with SmartAlbums and InDesign

  • Unlimited, lifetime access to course material

  • 25% off the Pixellu monthly subscription

  • 1


    • Welcome

    • Course Overview 1

    • Course Overview 2

    • Course Overview 3

    • Transcription: Introduction

  • 2

    Module 1: Seeking Sustainability

    • Module 1.1. Case Study_1

    • Module 1.1. Case Study_2

    • Module 1.2. Workflow Analysis

    • Module 1.3. The Big Rocks First

    • Module 1.3.1. Clarify Your Offer_1

    • Module 1.3.1. Clarify your Offer_2

    • Module 1.3.2. Select Your Print Labs

    • Module 1.3.3. Define Your Systems

    • Module 1.3.4. Master Your Software

    • Module 1.3.5. Craft Your Stories_1

    • Module 1.3.5. Craft Your Stories_2

    • Transcription Module 1: Seeking Sustainability

  • 4

    Module 3: Working with SmartAlbums

    • Module 3.0. Working with SmartAlbums

    • Module 3.1. Getting Started

    • Module 3.2. Importing Images

    • Module 3.3 Creating a Spread

    • Module 3.4 Using Shortcuts

    • Module 3.5 Changing Backgrounds

    • Module 3.6 Designer View

    • Module 3.7 Using the Timeline

    • Module 3.8 Publishing a Draft

    • Transcription Module 3 - Working with SmartAlbums

  • 5

    Module 4: Working with InDesign

    • Module 4.1 Getting Started

    • Module 4.2 Setting Preferences

    • Module 4.3 Customizing Your Workspace

    • Module 4.4 Shortcuts

    • Module 4.5 Creating Presets & Templates

    • Module 4.6.1 Understanding Master Pages

    • Module 4.6.2 Using Master Pages & Templates

    • Module 4.7 Creating Libraries

    • Module 4.8 Editing Text

    • Module 4.9 Creating Styles

    • Transcription Module 4.0 - Working with InDesign

  • 6

    Module 5: Developing the Flow

    • Module 5.0 Developing the Flow

    • Module 5.1. Elements Of Our Workflow

    • Module 5.2 Three Workflow Variations

    • Transcript Module 5.0 - Developing the Flow

  • 7

    Module 5.3: Developing the Flow - Simple Design + Titles

    • Module 5.3 Simple Design + Titles

    • Module 5.3.1. Workflow Overview

    • Module 5.3.2. Managing Content

    • Module 5.3.3. Organizing Images

    • Module 5.3.4 Designing the Book

    • Module 5.3.5 Getting Client Feedback

    • Module 5.3.6 Revising the Draft

  • 8

    Module 5.4: Developing the Flow - Simple Design + Text

    • Module 5.4 Simple Design and Text

    • Module 5.4.1 Workflow Overview

    • Module 5.4.2 Managing Content

    • Module 5.4.3 Organizing Images

    • Module 5.4.4 Designing the Book

    • Module 5.4.5 Setting Up the Document

    • Module 5.4.6 Placing Text

    • Module 5.4.7 Cloud Proofing

    • Module 5.4.8 Submitting for Print

  • 9

    Module 5.5: Developing the Flow - Custom Design + Text

    • Module 5.5 Custom Design and Text

    • Module 5.5.1 Workflow Overview

    • Module 5.5.2 Managing Content

    • Module 5.5.3 Organzing Images

    • Module 5.5.4 Setting up the document

    • Module 5.5.5 Designing the book

    • Module 5.5.6 Cloud Proofing

    • Module 5.5.7 Submitting to Print

  • 10

    Chapter 6: For the Asking

    • Module 6 For The Asking

    • Transcript Module 6.0 - For the Asking

  • 11

    Chapter 7: Bonus Material

    • Bonus 1: Workflow Charts

    • Bonus 2: Working with InDesign Summary Sheet

    • Bonus 3: Working with SmartAlbums Summary Sheet

    • Bonus 4: $100 Discount on SmartAlbums by Pixellu

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: I don’t use InDesign and prefer another design software. Will this course still benefit me?
    Whether or not you are currently using InDesign or SmartAlbums, you can definitely benefit from this course if you are looking for ways to streamline and improve your photo book workflow. While we will be learning how to use these design tools more effectively, our overall focus is to present a more efficient approach for producing photo books. We’ll be covering several topics, and the workflows you’ll learn about can indeed be adapted to accommodate other software. Equipped with a new appreciation for what’s possible, you’ll be ready to explore how you can use your design tool-of-choice more effectively!

  • Q: I have never used SmartAlbums or InDesign before. Will this course give me everything I need to start creating photos books or will I have to invest in some more education time for these tools?
    This course offers step-by-step instructions for using the essential features of both software applications. We’ll also explore some of the “advanced” features to help us improve our efficiency. If you have no prior experience with either program, you can expect to be ready to begin practicing your new skills and feel confident using these tools to create a photo book. As each of us will come to this course with different skill sets and learning styles, I would encourage everyone to continue building on what they learn by taking advantage of the many excellent resources available to us through APPO,,,, and, etc.

  • Q: What is the financial investment for the tools used in this course?
    Pixellu SmartAlbums is a monthly subscription of $16 a month. As a bonus, this course includes a 25% discount on all Pixellu products. Email to receive your code. Adobe InDesign and Lightroom CC are available through Creative Cloud.

Special thanks to our course sponsor, Pixellu SmartAlbums!

Meet Your Instructor

Janet Blunt

Janet fell in love with family photography the day she held her newborn son in her arms. She left her “real” job to stay home with her kids and launched a home-based business selling scrapbooking supplies while the industry was still in its infancy. As digital photography began to take root, Janet set out to master her photo management software so she could help her clients tame their growing volume of digital images. She launched Photopeace in 2012 and today specializes in helping families curate and preserve their visual legacy. Her interest in photo book design has led to some exciting opportunities to work with The Photo Managers producing some of their marketing pieces, including a quarterly magazine for members. Family photos and the stories they tell will continue to play an important role in Janet’s life as she and her husband welcomed their first grandbaby this spring.


5 star rating

Well done!

Billie Meyers

Janet's calm, confident demeanor, her expertise, and her step-by-step instructions make some potentially intimidating subjects very understandable - and NON-...

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Janet's calm, confident demeanor, her expertise, and her step-by-step instructions make some potentially intimidating subjects very understandable - and NON-intimidating. The focus of the course, PROFITABILITY, is important, as I often get so involved in the creative process that time (and hence profitability) tends to fly out the window. I really appreciate the workflow examples using the different tools and the three main categories of photo books. The text transcriptions and diagrams are a WONDERFUL adjunct to the video materials. Many thanks for a job well done, Janet!

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5 star rating

Learn photobook design and workflow specifically tailored...

Pepper Mintz

As a Photo Organizer, one challenge to being pioneers in our profession is that we often have to piece together a wide scope of training information to get t...

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As a Photo Organizer, one challenge to being pioneers in our profession is that we often have to piece together a wide scope of training information to get the specific instructions and guidelines we need to become proficient within one of our income streams. Photobooks are my primary deliverables to clients and I have been searching for a photobook design workflow that is efficient, profitable and creates a high-end product. The course, Photo Books Made Profitable, delivered exactly what I have been searching for - all in one package. The overall objective for this course is to "help you to develop an efficient workflow for managing the process of creating custom photo-books” and it delivers exactly that. Janet first focuses on concepts to build upon in a photobook design workflow, then outlines the right tools for the process and finally, she takes us through a step-by-step analysis of workflow using three tiers of photobook design. Although her workflow is based on specific software, she provides sufficient guidance to enable you to adapt to your own tool-set. The training and support material is logical and thorough - the flowcharts for the three tiers of photobook design are an exceptional resource. Janet is an experienced photobook designer and presents her material in an easy-to-follow and easy-to-listen-to series of videos and written instruction. This course is suited to both the new or experienced photobook designer. I highly recommend it as an investment in a photo organizer's professional development.

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