Some people make meticulous photo albums, complete with captions and commentary. And some people just toss their paper photos in one big box. Here are some ideas to help you organize those precious paper photographs into useful photo albums!
MAKING PHOTO ALBUMS
Photo albums have sure changed over time! Used to be, the only choice were those filmy strip kind. Remember? The ones that were hard to get just right and lost their stickiness over time? Before those, we had to deal with blank books with glue-in corners.
Now we have pre-made plastic slots to insert our pictures, with places to write notes beside them. You can use cheap plastic mini-albums from Ross and Walmart, or heavy leather tomes from specialty shops. Albums can be purely functional snap-binders to highly decorative works of art in themselves.
Albums can be small enough to hold one trip's worth of pics, or several year's worth at one time! Think about how you would enjoy using these albums...for you to quickly show a certain event to friends, or as a lazy, rainy-day trip down memory lane?
1. Photo Album - Chronological
Most album people just insert photos as they get them, and add new new albums to the shelf as needed. The best thing you can do is date them, in this case: put a date inside your brand new album when you add your first pictures, and then add a final date when you load in the last photographs, usually much later. You can even put a label on the binder's spine for easy reference.
2. Photo Album - By Subject
Alternatively, you can organize your albums by subject: baby album, toddler album, travel album, family get-togethers, landscapes, cityscapes, candid shots, pet album, Christmas/Holidays album, wedding album, grandkids album, retirement album, etc...be creative! And don't forget to label these albums from the spine, as well.
3. Photo Album - Photo Essay
A very artistic medium is a series of photographs that tell a story. Whether you took your photos with an essay in mind, or you discover that you have a theme running through a stack of old pictures you've taken, you can make a delightful keepsake of humorous, artistic or sentimental photo art.
4. Photo Album - Scrapbooking
Some people prefer a big blank book and the time to get creative. You can sit down with a fun selection of photographs, ticket stubs, bar napkins with phone numbers or doodles on them - whatever you have around from a certain time period that strikes a memory - and design a cool momento/gift album. Scrapbooking is huge right now, and you can use tape, glue, stickers, glitter, modge-podge, gold ink pens and other craft items to make your own very unique photo books.
STORING PHOTO ALBUMS
Where you place your albums is a style question. Some place them on bookshelves, or inside the the livingroom credenza. Some people display them proudly on their coffee tables. My wife uses a large, antique pie cabinet to store our albums.
The best place for your albums to live are where you spend your social time. Albums in attics can get heat damage...and I lost my own childhood albums to water damage in a basement. It's best to keep these irreplacable momentos of your life in your own personal area, and near at hand to refer to as needed.
It's also best to store albums up and down, vertically. Your photos can get warped if stored on their sides.
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