Have you ever looked at the photo library on your computer, after you’ve uploaded 75 pictures off your phone of your niece’s 1st birthday, and thought “What will I do with all of these?” Usually the answer is nothing, which is the beauty of a photo book. It’s an opportunity to share the best of all your special moments.

Whether you’ve digitized your photos with EverPresent or you want to start with your more recent, digital photos, it’s a shame to let those memories live on a computer.

Here are 5 tips from our design department to help you get started:

1. Find a clever way to organize.

Not all books are created equal, your photos don’t have to be in chronological order! Decide in the beginning if you want your book to go by month, milestones or even years depending on the span of your archive. Find interesting ways to mark the changes. Have your children write the month or year on a piece of their artwork, hand write them instead of choosing a handwriting font or maybe you’d rather only note the change by doing a full page spread in between seasons of your family in the snow or on the beach.

2. Cut it down – it’s easier than it seems.

This is about the best memories. The most inspiring photography books are the ones with the most beautiful photos. I’m sure in your photo collections there is a multitude of random landscapes, blurry or dark photos and photos that just aren’t interesting. You don’t have to include them all. Most books are a combination of really amazing photos that take up a full spread and smaller groupings of photos. Make folders of photos you have to have and then the maybes and begin separating them into the timeline you’ve decided on.

3. It’s not about perfection.

It’s important to remember that you’re going to have these books for a long time. After you invest all the time and the money, wait eagerly for it to arrive and watch with pride the first time your family “oohs” and “aahs” over it – you’re going to treasure it. So when you are choosing the perfect photos, don’t always be looking for the perfect moment. Families that are perfectly well-behaved all of the time are a myth so include the best tantrums, spills, dirty faces and photobombs, so you can laugh about them later.

4. The devil’s in the details.

Photo books are the perfect gift for any occasion
If you don’t run a full time blog, or consistently write in a journal, it’s difficult to look back on any given day and remember what you were doing, who said what and how you were feeling. A photo you took 6 months ago, could mean little to you today. Look around the house or at your calendar to jog your memory, you might remember something worth including. Adding in a scan of an invitation, your child’s artwork or a ticket stub can also be a creative way to add a little extra to a group of photos.

5. Try to make everybody happy, but don’t forget yourself!

In between all the weddings, baby showers, birthdays, play dates and more that we snap pictures of everyday, it’s not always easy to remember to turn the cameras on ourselves. While you are making sure everyone gets plenty of page time, make sure to leave space for family photos and photos that you’re in also. Have your family write down some memories of an event that you spent mostly behind the camera, and include the story with the photos. You’ll appreciate being in the book later!

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