It’s that time of year. Once the holiday madness dies down a bit, I like to reflect on the previous year’s photos and start to cull together my top picks for a photo book. I’ve been doing this for the last few years now and I find it to be a great way to enjoy my photos in a more tactile way.
It’s easy to treat our snapshots as mere ephemera, but if you’ve ever flipped through old photo albums from when you were a kid, you’ll realize the power a photograph has to transport you back to a time and place — regardless of the perceived quality of it at the time of capture. That shot of your mom or your sister with a mouth full of birthday cake (or your brother baking a pie) might seem like a throwaway, but if it’s one of a very few from that time in your life, it can be priceless.
Beyond the nostalgic value, there’s a more practical reason to do this too. As the volume of photos we create increases exponentially, so too does our need to manage these files. Because of the work I do, I have a redundant back-up process in place for my files. But for your mum or your aunt Marg, there’s likely no organized file management happening. Enter the photo book! It’s a convenient storage and display medium in one compact, durable package.
I heartily recommend this exercise for everyone, regardless of how serious you are about photography. There’re countless online services available and most will produce great results. The online layout tools are easy to use and the prices are incredibly reasonable for the quality of book you can create (and there’s a really good chance of getting a deal — often up to 50% off). Personally, I use Blurb (primarily because of their Lightroom integration), but just about anything out there will do the trick. So what are you waiting for?