When guests visit my home, can you guess the number one thing they notice and covet? It’s not the view of our lake through picture windows, not our huge comfy couches, not even our adorable puppy Ruby*. It’s our collection of annual family photo books displayed on the coffee table.
I’ve been creating “A Year in our Life” books of the Herman Family since 2014. Every Fall I select favorite pictures that tell the story of our family. Birthdays, vacations, pets, graduations, friends … but mostly snapshots that capture a moment of everyday life. Selections are narrowed down, pictures are edited, layouts are designed, captions are written, cover images chosen, and usually by the end of January we have a physical book documenting the previous year, to proudly display near our comfy couches. It’s a thrill to enjoy the book when it arrives, but it’s even better to relive the memories years later.
In addition to my own family, I’m honored to help five special clients beautifully document their memories with annual photo books, some going back over a decade to when their first child was born. Each client has custom requests to make the books more meaningful. … photo covers or leather or linen covers?Paragraphs of text or no text? Theme based layouts or strictly chronological?
One client cried (don’t worry, it was a happy cry) when I delivered her first albums. “My kids have never held a picture of themselves in their hands, they’ve only seen themselves on the phone.” Her children love looking through the books so much she orders four copies of every book; one each for her two children to keep in their room, one for the family room, and one to keep preserved in fire safe storage away from “jelly hands”.
Last week I met with a lovely mom who admitted that having an annual family album has been on her bucket list since her daughter was born (18 years ago!) She was so thrilled to finally start the process!
In this era of digital photos, we often forget the pleasure of holding a physical album. Turning the pages of a substantial quality album, enjoying a curated collection of photographs laid out on thoughtfully designed pages is, to me, so much more satisfying than swiping on a phone or clicking on computer files. The year in review album is a time capsule of celebrations, milestones, and everyday memories that my family, as well as my client’s families, cherish.
* adorable puppy Ruby