Documenting Kauai 2014 With Artifact Uprising Photobook


As a memory keeper I love having a variety of different tools at my fingertips to tell my stories.

Sometimes I want a project to be artsy & craftsy and other times I want it to be really focused on the simple beauty of words and photos. I feel thankful that there are options for all the different ways I want to tell my stories.

For my spring break adventure with Aaron to Kauai I decided to do a simple words and photos focused 6 inch x 8 inch photobook.

For printing I decided to try out Artifact Uprising. I've been watching them grow over the last few months and I adore their aesthetic and their mission: inspired by the disappearing beauty of the tangible / bettered by a community of inspired storytellers / driven by the belief that everyone has a story to tell. Tell On.

Ah, yeah.

DISCLAIMER | I connected with Artifact Uprising via Cathy (who has used their services and loved the result) and they offered to cover the cost of a photobook for me to try them out. I ended up going with a larger size book and I ordered two copies and I paid the difference. As always, all views here are my own.


For this photobook I started out with a few things in mind:

  • I wanted full page photos (vs. photos floating on a page of white or multiple cropped images on a page). And I wanted to add quotes to some of the photos.

  • I wanted to use one set of word art used very simply on a white background. I ended up going with Diamonds Are Forever.

  • I wanted this to be a curated collection of photos from our trip. I didn't intend to put every photo I took in this album.

  • I wanted to do a 6 inch x 8 inch size. The soft-cover album from Artifact Uprising costs $22.99 for 40 pages.

  • I wanted to just use the text I wrote up for my blog post.


To begin this project I first cropped and edited all my photos to 6 inch x 8 inches and saved as JPG files using Photoshop. All the photos I used for this book were taken with my iphone and I used RadLab to edit. On some of the photo pages I added quotes or word art (like the cover) before saving.

If you aren't adding word art or specialized text (fonts from your own collection) to your photos you can simply upload them to Artifact Uprising without cropping them first. I wanted full control over the fonts and text.


I also made 6 inch x 8 inch word art pages in Photoshop. I created a new 6 inch x 8 inch canvas (300dpi) with a white background and then placed the Diamonds Are Forever word art in the center of each page.



After getting my images and pages ready I laid them out in Illustrator so I could see and decide on a flow for the book. You could do this same thing with a piece of paper and a pencil. I found it to be really helpful in deciding where I wanted two photo pages on a spread or one word art page and one full photo page.

I did end up going back in and adding a few more pages and photos after laying it out via this visual map.



After I had all my pages saved as JPG's I uploaded them to Artifact Uprising and placed them within the pages of the 6 inch x 8 inch book (there are currently three different soft-cover options for 6 inch x 8 inch photobooks). I selected the first one and removed the text box they have added because my image already had my word-art included.

I thought the user interface was smooth. It was easy to upload and drag and drop my images.

They offer a variety of different page layouts that you can choose from. I changed all the pages into the book to the full-image page so there was no additional cropping of my images.

One thing I did notice is that even when I saved my project as I was working on it, when I would come back to the project I would need to upload the images again (the ones I had already added to the book were saved in the book but they weren't available to me in the images area below the book). That could be something I wasn't saving/doing correctly, I'm not sure.

Other than that it was a super smooth experience. Really so easy and I love the final result.

Here's a look at my completed book:


















Super happy and I would definitely use Artifact Uprising again for future photobooks and for printing.

PS | Also a reminder that the Designer Digitals Quarterly Sale is on right now with 40% off everything in the shop. Check out my complete collection of printables, word art, templates and more here.

28 thoughts

  1. Marie-Pierre

    2014-05-20 09:39:22 -0400

    beautiful! I love the large photos vs. lots of tiny pictures or overlapping pictures. I'm always disappointed when I make a photo book like this at the quality of the photo printing. Often the photos come out with a reddish feel, or they are way darker. Yours look very light and the color look like on original photos. Nice!

  2. StacyK

    2014-05-20 10:23:20 -0400

    I really love how this turned out. Very simple, clean and beautiful. As always you have inspired me to do something similar with my vacay pics from last year :)

  3. Carrie

    2014-05-20 10:43:05 -0400

    This is so super cool.

  4. Laura | Artifact Uprising

    2014-05-20 11:05:21 -0400

    Such an incredible step-by-step, Ali! Thanks so much. We are so grateful for your support. Your book turned out just beautifully!

  5. Karen C

    2014-05-20 11:34:51 -0400

    Awesome and inspirational! What a nice thing to pick up and glance through and remember.

    I really like the quotes you used. Are they special to you or did you pick them because they just go perfectly?

  6. Tracy G

    2014-05-20 12:28:29 -0400

    I love how this turned out. What is the binding like? Would it stand up to children flipping through the book countless times? I always make an annual vacation photo book and am curious how this one would hold up compared to the hard bound books I've made in the past.

  7. Katie | Artifact Uprising

    2014-05-20 13:20:12 -0400

    Thank you Ali! We're so grateful for the work you put out in the world, the community you inspire and the creativity you cultivate. cheers!

  8. cinback

    2014-05-20 15:50:35 -0400

    Thanks for the review. I have been debating about doing a book through Artifact Uprising. Now I think I will...

  9. Tinka

    2014-05-20 16:46:14 -0400

    I've seen the books Cathy Z has had printed and I actually suggested Artifacts Uprising to a woman at the retreat I was at this past weekend. Love how yours turned out! Definitely keeping this in mind for future projects!

  10. Cara S

    2014-05-20 17:17:43 -0400

    What a wonderful keepsake - and it's done too! Travel books can sometimes take a while to sort out. I'm about to tackle a book on my daughter's recent wedding in Rome, and with What you and Cathy have done I'm leaning more and more towards this company. Thanks for sharing this.

  11. Maureen

    2014-05-20 21:01:09 -0400

    Good to see that you are happy with iPhone images at 6x8 as I'm strictly an iPhone camera person.

  12. Lacey Meyers

    2014-05-20 22:20:01 -0400

    This such crazy, good timing that you posted this today! I just created my first book with them today for the Day in the Life I did, but was bummed to not be able to add in any of the great brushes I've purchased of yours to help tell the stories. I'm going to follow your lead and make some text pages in PS and add them in. Thanks for sharing, Ali and for the helpful review!

  13. Nita K.

    2014-05-20 22:57:19 -0400

    Wow! This amazing, Ali. Your photos are stunning and I love the simplicity of this book.

  14. katell

    2014-05-21 04:53:21 -0400

    Beautiful photo book! love it!

  15. Angela

    2014-05-21 09:13:19 -0400

    Thank you for sharing your process…the book is lovely. I have just one quick question - I'm not a PS user or photo app user of any kind; just pictures in iPhoto. Do you know if I could upload from my photo library and use those pictures to create a similar project? Thank you.

  16. Erin

    2014-05-21 13:32:23 -0400

    Love the book! My husband and I are taking our first trip to Kauai early fall. We will be there a week and are staying on the south shore. Since you've been there many times, what would you tell us not to miss?

  17. Taylor

    2014-05-21 16:53:49 -0400

    I absolutely love this! It's so perfect, simple, and beautiful!


  18. cindy b

    2014-05-21 18:53:19 -0400

    Love it and the fact that you used the photo with your hair all crazy! :)

  19. audra

    2014-05-22 02:37:18 -0400

    What a beautiful book! Any chance of these diamonds being available as actual stamps? I would love that:)

  20. Colleen E

    2014-05-23 18:23:57 -0400

    Thanks for your detailed examples and sharing your process. It's always inspiring for me to hear how it's done.

  21. [email protected]

    2014-05-27 17:07:42 -0400

    I love these sorts of posts Ali. Love the inspiration they provide to actually do something with our photos :)
    It's been a while since l've done any memory keeping and l'm thinking that a photo book would be a great place to start. Have been hearing great things about Artefact Uprising so will definitely check them out. xx

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