How to Design a Family Photo Album

Do you print your photos?  I’m not just talking about the photos I take, I mean those super cute shots you get with your cell phone while going about your daily life as well.  I do — and I encourage all my clients to print as well.  Digital files are fundamentally not an archival medium — files can get corrupted and then they’re just… gone. Never mind the technology changes we’re likely to see by the time our grandchildren are looking at these photos. Photos printed on archival materials can last for generations, preserving your family’s story. 

The first step to making a photo album is to have your photos at least somewhat organized (I offer a free webinar to help make this a less overwhelming task — you can check it out here.).  

Once you’ve gotten your photos organized and narrowed down to the favorites you want to include, the next step is to figure out how you want to tell your story!  Because that’s all a photo album is — a way to tell a story.  When I was little, I used to LOVE to look at the album my parents had made of their wedding [events/packages], hearing over and over again who everyone was, seeing that they got married in my grandparents’ backyard, and hearing stories about relatives I never got to meet because they passed away before I was born.  

What story do you want to tell?  For my own family, I like to divide it up into more manageable chunks — I do an album every year of our adventures just during that year.  I choose to organize it chronologically (hint: this also helps it be less overwhelming — I can design the January pages at the end of the month, and so on, so by the time we get to December it’s almost all done). 

You don’t have to do it that way though — you can organize thematically instead, telling the story of a trip you took, or an album for each child (personally, I did this for each of my kids’ first year — there are so many milestones that didn’t quite fit in the family album and I wanted them to have something special that was just theirs).  

You can print out your photos and scrapbook them, or you can print them all in a book (this is what I prefer so they can’t fall out over time!).  Places like mpix.com offer templates to help you set up your pages — I encourage you to not put more than 4-6 images per page so you can really see and enjoy each.  If you need help putting together an album from your session with me, just let me know and I’d be happy to do the design work for you!

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