Setting up a photo album early feels like it will ease some of the anxiety about finishing the whole thing. The idea that the foundation of the book will be set is keeping me motivated already. My plan for this baby book is to remember the little moments leading up to our baby’s birth, the labor process, and the baby’s first year. Since I am only half way through my pregnancy now, this book will be an ongoing project to our baby’s first birthday party. That said, I think this process will work for any photo book. I am just about finished with Volume I of our family album, and Volume II will start from January of 2019 so I am using the same sort of “formula” in that book.
Now, below is that list of components I am trying to include in each album. These help me get set up to plug items in along the way so that some of the more tedious parts are taken care of early on.
Optional though it may be, I plan to always introduce the album on the first page. I choose more minimal covers with not much listed on the outside, so I like to use the first page to open up each photo album.Usually, it will list pertinent dates or people, and a photo or two to get the viewer started. If it’s a vacation album, the first page could have a group shot of everyone who went on the trip, or a blurb about the itinerary. You can start off a school album with a shot of the front of the school along with the years attended. Wedding album? You can just list the date or use a large photo of your favorite moment from the big day.
Volume I (the time when we were dating through engagement and our wedding day) starts with a large photo of my now-husband and I back in our first year. Volume II will include the three of us and I assume Volume III will include the new baby, since they will be yearly albums from now on.
Think about what you plan to make this album for and use that to set up the big stuff in your photo album. It could be broken up into months or weeks, vacations, semesters, special events, etc. If you have dividers you can place those or use one large photo as your divider.If this is a yearly album for your child, you may want to break it up by school years. You could use a photo from the first day of school to divide up the segments, and then fill the in-betweens from there. The same goes if you are in college yourself, tracking sporting seasons, or keeping memories of something similarly set up. In this case, the baby book will broken up into months, so that we can kind of watch the progress Baby Brown goes through month by month. It will include (at the very least) a baby photo at the start of each month, a few things baby is into that month, and height and weight stats.
In my baby book, the first portion will be an introduction to who’s already in our family. I like this idea because it will serve as a reminder of where we are right now. I can talk about myself and my husband, what we do for a living, our ages, and include about my son’s age and current favorites. I don’t know if the baby will be into photo albums but I think it will be nice to get a glimpse of what our lives looked like just before he/she arrived. (Even if it’s just a reminder for me lol.)
Having the same sort of photo placement in between each divided section can make things so much easier when you’re selecting the photos you want to print out. I also find that having a stack of like items that coordinate will make the design more cohesive, but also keep me from rummaging while I work. I buy embellishments that will work well in general so that the themed items don’t trip me up. Don’t be afraid to re-use the same layout throughout your photo album. It will take creative pressure off of you to already have this part of your photo album set and in place. Plus you can always add in little changes later if need be. This time around, I plan to have the monthly divider to start off. Behind the clear divider will be 6×8 photo of Baby Brown with height and weight stats listed on the back side. I’ll be using these or these page protectors in between each divider to show off what we were up to as a family that month and what baby’s interests are that month.I am naturally drawn to neutral colors, but we also decided not to find out if we are having a boy or a girl, so this photo album will continue the color scheme of our nursery (and most of our home). Choosing a photo album color scheme ahead of time will also make it a little easier to decide which pictures to pair together…but I know everyone is not as particular as I am in that department.
MIX IT UP
Photo albums don’t have to consist of strictly photographs. Those of you who appreciate that “scrapbook” aspect can get really creative with this. I’ve found that having a theme or limiting my options to a few selections keeps me from feeling overwhelmed by infinite options.
Paper products other than your photos add a little bit of interest to your album and give your eyes a much needed break. You can use a flyer from an event you attended, tags from gifts you received, or even a receipt. I have even cut up cute bags from items I purchased.
The invitation to our baby shower is going to be included right where I will be including my favorite baby shower photos. I imagine that smaller items like a hospital bracelet will be cut down and slid into a pocket as well.
I added journaling cards so that I can add my little notes here and there. I have been writing quick thoughts to the baby and plan to include those, as journal cards, throughout the pocket page album.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
Thinking about completing an album for a whole year sounds pretty daunting. But if you know that you’ve broken it down by month, and each month is more fill-in-the-blank style, it eases some of that stress ahead of time.Plug in as much as you can beforehand. Add photos and funny notes as they occur. You can always go back in and tweak your photo album if you don’t like something later, that’s what’s so great about using pocket pages.Once you’ve plopped down the foundation for your pages it’ll inspire you to get started, too, share your photos with me! Tag me on Instagram (or email them to me if you’re shy). I love looking at others for inspiration but I think there’s also an accountability when you are planning to share your work with friends.