When putting together a family photo album, it’s easy to only concentrate on the photos of our family.
If you work on traditional scrapbooks, you’re probably used to including tangible items and memorabilia in your books. But when creating a digital album, it’s equally as important to make sure these sentimental items get included.
Scan and/or take pictures of these keepsakes and incorporate them into your book with photos that go with them. Years down the road you’ll be so glad you did!
1. Growth Chart
When I make marks on the growth chart I make sure to include dates and the age of my children. I love being able to see the progress over a year and compare my kids’ height when they were the same age.
I don’t photograph all schoolwork and artwork, only the things that really tell a story about my child. Maybe it was the first time they drew a recognizable person, or used scissors to cut something out. But if it has her handprint on it, it’s automatic keeper.
3. Mother’s Day and Birthday Cards
We do handmade cards in my house, so if my kids are giving me a card for a special occasion, chances are they made it with love, and even if it gets discarded down the road, I know it’s in my photobook.
4. Vacation mementos
Whether it’s the scorecard from a game of putt-putt, a strip from a touristy photobooth, or a shell your child found on the beach just for you, it should go in your book along with the pictures from the trip. These items are what round out the images and make the stories in the book more personal.
My kids come home with a lot of artwork with handprints on them, and I love every single one. But it’s also a good idea to get a plain white sheet of paper and have each child do a handprint outline. Lay a quarter next to the handprint for scale, and snap a quick photo.
6. Birthday Questions
Around each of my child’s birthdays, I ask them a set of questions that are the same each year. I write down their answers and then format them nicely in Photoshop. I save them as jpeg files and then include them in the same section as the birthday photos.
7. Birthday Gifts
Speaking of birthdays, after each birthday party I like to lay out all the gifts they received and take a big picture where you can see everything. How cool would it be to look back and know everything you received for your 5th birthday?
8. Special Event Programs and Invitations
From dance recitals to birthday parties, if it was something that was important to my child (or me) and I have photos to go along with the event, I’ll make sure to take a picture of the program or invite. Those details are priceless!
9. Handwritten Notes, Cards, and Letters
Handwriting is powerful, and not much means more than a handwritten note or letter. Hold on to the sentiment forever by snapping a picture of it and including it next to a picture of the person you received it from.
10. Concert Tickets
My husband’s and my favorite way to spend a date night is at a concert. Before the concert I always snap a picture of the tickets so I can include it in our book, along with pictures from the concert.
11. Photos of Your House, Inside and Out
Some of my favorite childhood pictures to look at are ones of the house where I grew up. I love looking at my old room, and what my backyard looked like and I want my children to enjoy the same.
12. Random Doodles and Love Notes
My 5-year-old is starting to write random things on random pieces of paper all over the house, and it brightens my day when I find one of them. A quick snap with my cell phone ensures it will brighten my day each time I look through our photobook.
13. Smartphone Selfies
My kids love taking my phone and sneaking in selfies. Upon upload, keyword the selfies with a unique tag and then group them all on the same page in your photobook for a fun selfie grid.
14. Holiday Groupings
Holidays are some of favorite days and I love documenting not just the holiday but all the mementos associated with the holidays. Valentines received at the school exchange, Halloween candy that’s been organized and sorted, and toys that Santa has left for the kiddos.
It may sound a bit morbid, but when someone we love passes away, there’s not much that we can use to actually document it. If the obituary in the paper features a nice write-up about the loved one, be sure to cut it out and take a picture of it. Obituaries can be helpful in the future, as well, especially to those interested in genealogy.