Making the Family Photo Album

I take a lot of pictures. A LOT. 

I know I’m not the only one always whipping out my phone to capture precious moments with my son, husband, parents, in-laws, friends, etc. It’s so easy for me to document these moments, but so hard to revisit them anywhere but cyberspace or a digital device. With my son already developing a relationship with technology that makes me slightly uneasy, I don’t want him to think the only place photos exist is on or through technology.

When I was little, photos were printed.

Time was taken to write on the back each photo to indicate who was in it, where it was taken, when it was taken, etc. Then the photo was placed in an album. I’m lucky enough to have several albums put together by my parents and grandparents. I treasure them because I know they are labors of love. I can sit with my son and flip through them and tell him stories about when I was little. I want my children to have the same means of sharing memories. 

That’s why for the past several years, I’ve made photo albums.

It started with a friend who was into scrapbooking. We went on a spring break trip together and when we returned, we made scrapbooks of our adventure complete with pictures, receipts, brochures, etc. 

My scrapbooking continued. Every major trip, vacation, or adventure I went on, I made a small album. Slowly, technology made the whole process easier. I went from sifting through and cutting apart the twenty-seven or so pictures my Kodak disposable camera provided to taking thousands of digital photos and printing only the best.

In the last few years, I’ve turned to online apps and programs (Shutterfly, Walgreens, etc.) that will literally arrange my photos by date and allow me to add bits of information and decorate with ‘stickers’, and other embellishments. 

I’m not going to lie- it can take a good deal of time to create an album with the kind of attention to detail that I’m looking to achieve. It’s a means to show my family how much I love them and I take great pride in my end result. 

In order to make the process easier. I’ve come up with a few strategies. 

  • I make ONE annual family album. This forces me to look through all of my photos and narrow them down into the best and most significant ones.
  • I upload photos to my preferred photo-book creating program about once a week. I upload any and all photos that I might want to use down the road. (They will be distilled later as I edit.)
  • My husband and I share ONE photo-account. When I upload my photos, I also upload his.
  • I start creating and editing the album early in the year. If I do it a little at a time, it makes the whole process a lot less stressful and overwhelming.
  • I use the short cuts provided by the photo-book program. The pre-designed pages are perfect for things like holidays, seasons, etc. They are a HUGE time saver.

I leave my current album on our coffee table. It’s amazing how many times my husband, son, and visiting friends or family have picked it up and shared a smile or recounted a memory while looking through it. Memories making memories makes all the time I spent preparing the album worth it.



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