How to Build the Perfect Photo Album

Don't let your photos sit on a hard drive or buried somewhere on your desktop. Spend a little time planning to create your next family heirloom. Photo albums can be a very daunting task. But with the right help and a little bit of planning, you will have a beautiful album that tells a wonderful story.

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Where do I start?

You may be tempted to start shuffling through your proofs or scrolling through your image gallery. Take your time looking through your photos. It can be overwhelming, but it should also be an enjoyable time.

As you are looking through your photos, take note of the ones that immediately stand out to you. Trust your instinct. Just pick your favorites. Don't worry about categorizing them or dividing up which ones will end up on which page. Just remember that you will eventually have about 50-60 photos in your finished album.

What type of photo album should I get?

With the many options on the market, your first task will be to decide upon the style of photo album. Traditional matted albums are usually bound like a book. The photos are matted on each page with the edges of the photos hidden by the mattes - similar to a framed photo. These traditional albums can have various styles of covers including leather, canvas, or other natural materials. These are very durable and usually last a very long time.

Custom-bound albums are another option for displaying your photos. Often very expensive, these albums have photos mounted directly onto the pages. Due to the nature of their construction, these albums are often delicate and require a slipcase or protective sleeves.

Finally the increasingly popular option prints and feels much like a coffee-table book. Endlessly customizable, these photo albums are printed on a press with the photos printed on the pages like a magazine. The quality of your photos are completely dependent on the quality of the paper of choice.

How do I design my photo album?

Once you have picked out your favorite photos and decided upon the style of photo album, the next step is to organize the photos. Your photo album should read like a book. Each photo should be able to tell a story. Make sure that every important detail is included in your photo selection. Organizing the photos onto each page is important. Remember to balance the style of photographs.

Once you have a good idea of which photos you want to have on each page, step back and look at each page as a part of the whole photo album. Look at the way each photo on the page leads into the next. Spending time to create these meaningful layouts will add a lot of depth to the photo album.

In the day-and-age of DIY projects and Pinterest tutorials, don't feel like you need to go at this alone. Work with your photographer to produce your photo album. You don't want to make simple mistake of printing pixelated images or skewed layouts. The photo album should be something that you are proud to showoff. Remember you are creating your family heirloom to last for generations to come.