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Just like reading a book, there is something a little nostalgic about having things printed and in your hand to look at. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to display your work nicely on a bookshelf without taking up a ton of space or without spending a lot of time or money? Voila! By making unique photo albums using a digital printing service you can easily and cost-effectively share and document some of the most memorable life moments and look back over the years, without having to dig through boxes of 4×6’s or all your computer files.
12 Photo Album Ideas
Not that you need an excuse to make a book, but it doesn’t hurt to have a special occasion or theme to motivate you. It can be overwhelming sorting through thousands of pictures without a plan, so here are just a few inspirational online book publishing ideas to get you started.
1. Wedding Photo Album
While many wedding photographers provide you with the option of a book to go along with your prints and/or digital files, some do not offer this service (or if they do, it comes with a hefty price tag). While it might have been years since you walked down the aisle, why not take a walk down memory lane and put some of your favorite wedding moments in an album to share with your friends and family? It’s a great way to reminisce about your special day and a sweet thing to show your children when they get old enough to get married too! I personally used Shutterfly to create a photo book right after our wedding, while it was still fresh in my mind, to capture some quotes and the feelings from the event. I’m so glad I did. Looking back almost five years later, it’s still fun to go back in time and feel like I am there all over again.
Best Wedding Photo Books: Artifact Uprising
2. Anniversary Photo Album
Once you are married, why not create an anniversary album to share with your spouse each year? While the traditional anniversary gift is also a fun idea (and hey, paper is for year one anyway) this is another fun tradition you can start. I had this idea after we completed the wedding album and it has been something to look forward to each year. As you grow old together you can build your collection with each year being a new edition.
Best Anniversary Photo Albums: Shutterfly
3. Family Yearbook
Another annual idea is to do a family album each year. Bloggers Sherry and John from Young House Love call it a “family yearbook“, and it’s a little project you can work on when you have more down time over the holidays and around the new year. You can include the height of your kids, teachers’ names, first words and other milestones that you’ll want to remember down the road.
Best Family Yearbook Photo Book Site: Blurb
4. Vacation Memories
An obvious idea for creating a picture book is to capture your vacation adventures. When you travel, you naturally tend to take more photos than normal, so you should have a beautiful collection of pictures to choose from. I like to add in anecdotal notes like restaurant names, favorite meals and statistics like number of miles traveled. Think of it as a little mini tour book for your own personal trips. TIP: Include a map page in the front of the album so you can reference the geographic area, street names, neighborhoods, etc. in the future.
Best Vacation Photo Album Site: Shutterfly
5. Newborn Baby Photo Book
Have a newborn or expecting a child? A photo book is a great way to share pictures of your kids without posting them on social media. Do you remember how parents used to whip out their wallet with an accordion style mini photo album tucked inside? This is the modern-day equivalent. Make a mini book and keep it in your pocket or purse so when people ask about your children, you can do a little show and tell.
Best Baby Photo Books: Artifact Uprising
6. Pet Photo Book
Same goes for pets. We all know that your furry friends deserve a little attention of their own. Have some fun and create humorous captions for your dog or cat on each page to say what they are really thinking. While Fido might not appreciate it, you will thank yourself later when you have a little memento to remember them always.
Best Pet Photo Book Site: Snapfish
7. Birthday Gift
Have a big birthday coming up? A custom album makes an awesome gift for a friend or even for yourself! If for yourself, it can be “30 favorite memories before 30” and can chronicle your life through the years. If for someone else, team up with friends and build a book together as a group gift. I did this for a girlfriend recently. We created an account, shared the log in info and divided up the pages (and work). It was an easy way to give a gift “from all of us.” Plus teaming up with others meant we could splurge on a larger-sized, higher quality book. You can even put a special birthday message on one of your pages or sign the inside cover as a personal touch.
Best Birthday Photo Albums: Snapfish
8. Business Gift
Showcase your skills and create a portfolio of your services to share with customers and/or potential customers. Perhaps you are an event planner, graphic designer, cosmetic dentist or a hairstylist? A book is a great thing to keep out in the waiting room. It is also good to share with your potential customers as a conversation starter about ideas and the types of things they are interested in, all while showing off your work.
Best Business Photo Books: Artifact Uprising
9. Corporate Gift
Sometimes as a company it can be a challenge to think of what to get for your clients. Fruit basket or gift card? Instead of taking the easy route, why not build a book of some of your major milestones and accomplishments together? Do a big campaign or go on a retreat together? Share some highlights, inspirational quotes, and goals for the upcoming year. It’s the gift that keeps on giving and a little gesture that can go a long way in showing your partners you care. Don’t have time? Maybe an intern or assistant can help out!
Best Corporate Photo Book Site: Artifact Uprising
10. Children’s Book
Are you a budding author? Why not take a stab at writing a book! Use photos from real life with clip art or scanned images of your kid’s artwork as the illustrations and create a make-believe story. Kids will love being characters in a fictional fairytale or fable! Have them help by coming up with the story or the different scenarios. You could even create your own adventures series! The options are as endless as the imagination.
Best Corporate Photo Book Site: Blurb
You don’t have to be Martha Stewart or Rachel Ray to have your very own cookbook! Put your favorite dishes or recipes passed down in the family into a printed format so you can reference them easily when you need them. We all know we have plenty of food photos on our cameras. Why not put them to good use? It makes a great family Christmas tradition that everyone can contribute to every year.
Best Cooking Photo Album Site: Lulu
12. Family History Book
What better way to preserve your roots for years to come than to document them? Start with a family tree and then divide it into sections by generation. Scan old photos at home (or at Kinko’s or CVS) and note in the captions the birthdays, professions and tidbits about each person. It’s a nice family bonding activity and you can do it over the holidays. Get your in-laws and/or grandparents talking and opening up about your past so you can share it in the future.
Best Family History Photo Albums: Lulu
Need More Ideas?
Still aren’t convinced? Watch this video by Genevieve Gorder of HGTV to get even more motivation to start creating.
Ready To Make A Photo Book?
While it might be a little bit of a time investment up front, the great thing about using an online service to create a photo book is that you can print multiple copies as gifts or go back and print more later on. Now that you have plenty of ideas to kick-start your book, it’s time to pick a photo company to use. And, be sure to check out our full review of the Best Online Photo Books complete with pros and cons for each one.
Have you made a book before? What service did you use and what was your experience?
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