Yearly Photo Book Ideas

Creative Yearly Photo Book Ideas via


In addition to our yearly family photo albums, I make a photo book for Boo stocked full of memories. I just finished 2011:

How to make a yearly photo book via

My method/thoughts on photo books:

1. I complete the books about 10 months after a year has ended. I like for them to be January 1st through December 31st. It’s an OCD thing. The delay also allows time for missing photos to show up.

2. I compile memories, quotes, etc by going through blog posts, Facebook posts, and even just browsing photos. I usually cut and paste snippets into a word document in order of date.

3. I organize my photos, artwork, etc by month before starting my project. I work on the book by month….sometimes skipping around to the easy months first and then coming back to the hard ones.

4. I never feel bad about going overboard on pages. The bigger the better and I don’t think there is a price I can put on family memories. My books (through iPhoto/ usually cost about $75 to $100 each. It seems like a lot (especially when ordering multiple copies) but I would rather have a photo book over a few trips to a restaurant!

5. I  save the photo book as a PDF (“Print” as a PDF in iPhoto) and back it up to a hard drive or CD and store in a safe place.


Here are a few things I added into this years book:

Boo’s Self Portraits:
Boo asked for a mini tripod a few years ago and she had so much fun taking self portraits. When I would look at the camera I would be surprised by hilarious snapshots she’d taken of herself. I made them into a collage (using and then loaded that collage as one photo into the book template:

Photo book ideas: Self Portraits via

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The Lil Journal Project | Day 16

My dad was always adamant about me working… I always had the most random of summer jobs: I worked at a law firm, I was a caddy at a golf course, I packed beer, I was a cocktail waitress, I worked at county vital records for company research, I valeted cars…..and I even worked for free at times just to learn things… the business of picture framing.  I sure do have a lot of great stories to remember…..and I just wish I remembered more.The Lil Journal Project Day 16 (Mapping out where you've worked) via liblueboo.comToday….start a timeline in your journal where you can start logging the jobs you’ve held throughout your life.  [Read more…]

Photo Book Ideas

I finally finished Boo’s book for her grandparents from 2010. Now I can actually get started on 2011. I fill her books with everything under the sun so I thought I’d share a few pages in case you are looking for some ideas! I keep it simple but full of fun information Boo might want to know one day….no fancy digital scrapbooking but a HUGE book of photos, quotes, drawings and memories. I’m a “collector” as you can tell….I get pretty OCD about not leaving out a single thing.

All year long I write memories on slips of paper and just throw drawings and other items into a box. Then I sort it out at the end of the year. Just remember to write the date on things!

I use the Mac Photo book program because it’s easy to use through iPhoto but there are lots of different book publishing options out there! Leave a comment if you are really happy with one of them….I’d love to know because I get asked all the time about alternatives for non-Mac users.

The cover of this year’s book:



Little snippets of milestones addressed “Dear Sienna”:




Beautiful moments:


A collage to remember activities from a special day:

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Mac Photo Books

I love my Mac. I really, really love my Mac. I love iPhoto. I love Photo Booth. I love iWeb. It makes everything so easy because all the different programs “talk” to each other. Today I realized that I probably need a memory upgrade. I guess having over 4,000 photos and a couple hundred hours of home movies has started to slow down my trusty little computer. That 4,000 doesn’t even include anything from 2007. I already archived those on DVD and sent them to my husband’s office in case the house burns down!

Sorry, this post is starting to sound like a Mac commercial.
Now the real reason for this post….Mac photo books. I love how easy these books are to make and the quality is unbelievable. Once I set the book up by clicking and dragging photos and adding some text, I hit the button “Buy Book” and the published photo book magically shows up on my doorstep a few days later. (Okay, so I had to enter some credit card and shipping information when I first set up my Mac two years ago.) I use iPhoto to make a memory book for Sienna’s grandparents each Christmas. I include all my favorite photos, Sienna’s scanned artwork, and excerpts from my journal.
If you don’t know me then you don’t know that I am obsessively organized. I save everything, label everything, file everything, write down lists of everything….I have notebooks, upon notebooks of stuff. I just have this “thing” about preserving a story, a legacy….it is super-crazy-OCD-nostalgia (read my 2003 artist statement and you’ll see how out of hand it gets at times). When it comes time to put the photo book together each year I have a really hard time narrowing down what to include….I almost have a nervous breakdown when doing it because I just want to include every memory, minute-by-minute. In a perfect world my yearly photo book would be 10,000 pages long (and would probably cost $10,000).
Below are some excerpts from the 2008 book. I couldn’t post the whole thing because it was just too large a file. I hope it will give you some ideas for your own book.
Excerpts From Sienna 2008 Book 

Excerpts From Sienna 2008 Booklilblueboo

If you don’t have a Mac you can download software products such as My Publisher or Kodak Gallery to make a similar photo book. There are so many different things you can do with these programs. Here are just a few ideas….please share more if you have them!

Child’s Art Portfolio: Scan all your children’s drawings and artwork. Add titles, dates and descriptions.
Family Recipe Book: Take pictures of all your favorite dishes and include the recipes.
Story Book: Let your child draw the pictures and dictate the story to you.
Memorial Book: When my grandfather died I took all the best pictures of his infectious smile, the ones with his funny hat, with his roses etc and made huge displays for his wake so that everyone could remember him that way. My next project is to make all of those into a book with the beautiful eulogy quoted throughout.