Would you agree that getting started on a photo album is often the hardest part? You have a hot mess of photos and all you want is just a little bit of sanity in the form of an album. My advice…take it one step at a time.
Step One: Define your project. DON’T try to tackle all of the pictures you’ve ever taken in life all at the same time. You will quickly be overwhelmed and likely give up. Choose a defined period of time or better yet, a defined project like a vacation or an album for someone you love. Success will bring you back. Click here for some types of albums to think about and some album ideas.
Step 2: Select your photos. In a perfect world, all of our pictures are in one organized place. If you don’t have this, put it on the to-do list, and STAY FOCUSED ON THIS PROJECT! I am really good at choosing other people’s pictures for albums, but I’m easily distracted by my memories when I’m sorting my own. To overcome this, I set up a folder (digital or paper) and start pulling pics that I think I MIGHT want to use and set a timer to help keep me moving. Sometimes you don’t know which pics you’ll want to actually use until you get them pulled and you begin to tell the story, so don't worry about pulling more than you're going to use.
Step 3: Choose an album. Quality is important when you are choosing an album. Don’t buy the cheapest one you can find. It will fall apart quickly and most importantly, it won’t preserve your precious memories. Look for acid free and lignin free on the labels. Also, be cautious of the digital photo book providers that offer unbelievable deals. There might be a reason for that.
There are 3 main types of albums:
Digital Albums - Made with a software program on your computer or online. Digital albums are great for people that don’t mind using the computer. With digital, you have the option to be creative if you’d like or get a project done very quickly. One nice thing about digital is the ability to order multiple copies. My favorite software is Panstoria’s Artisan. A fan favorite of the online programs is Mixbook.com.
Slide-in/Pocket Albums – These are great albums for just gettin’ it done! I love doing digital albums for events/vacations, but when it comes to my everyday pictures, I love to just slide them quickly into a pocket. It’s important when you make slide-in albums that you leave a pocket open now and then to journal and tell your story.
- Traditional Paper Scrapbook Albums – I’m so jealous of some of my friends who make beautiful paper scrapbooks for their families. They are often works of art…but they don’t have to be. There are some quick and easy albums that are “pre-decorated” and all you have to do is slap the pictures on them. Scrapbook albums are great if you have time, love to be creative, have a lot of memorabilia (fyi-you can scan memorabilia for digital albums, as well) and you don’t like using a computer.
Step 4: Dive in! You can do it! My strategy is to put the pictures in the order that I think I want to use them, then make a rough list of the pages I would like to see in the album. This WILL likely change, but it speeds things up to have a plan.
The biggest gift you can give yourself is scheduling time to get it done. Don’t just try to fit it in the cracks of your day or you’ll become frustrated. Need some encouragement or need some help to get it done? I’m here for you! I’ve NEVER heard anyone say…”I wish I wouldn’t have created that album full of memories.”
You will be SO glad you did and likely touch some hearts in the process!