Our Family Photo Book

How to Create Annual Family Photo Books

Last year I had this idea to get my pictures off my devices and onto something tangible. In the olden days (like five years ago) I would order prints of every picture I ever took. The good ones would make it to an album if I ever found the time, and the bad ones went into a photo box and collected dust. I quit printing pictures in bulk a couple years ago and would just print photos I intended to frame. The problem with that is, I still had thousands of pictures on my devices that weren’t getting seen. They were archived in our history but in order for me to actually get to enjoy those past memories, I would have to sift through thousands of files on my computer. Two Christmas’s ago I had a photo book of the girls printed as a gift for my mom. I loved it so much, I had the idea of creating an annual family photo book – one that we can pull out and flip through the memories from the year.

Family Photobook Review

Last year was my first year compiling such a book and I learned a lot. This year’s book is infinitely better because I made a point to organize my photos better so that I could find them easily when it was time to put the book together.

For the 2016 family photo book, I used My Publisher after previously using Shutterfly for my 2015 book. Between the two, My Publisher is my preference because of it’s layout options.

Okay, here’s a quick tour of our family photo books.

2016’s book

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The first page is a piece of vellum or film which is a nice touch.

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I started off with some highlights from our year. Then went right into pictures, 100 pages worth!

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I love the variety of collage type layouts My Publisher has available.

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I included many of these Instagram style pages that capture much of our every day moments. Most of them are photos that I’ve snapped with my phone on a normal day.
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Both the front and back feature full images.

2015’s  Book
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This book from Shutterfly is much smaller, I believe it’s a 10×10 with a front cover image but no image on the back cover.

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To my memory there was still a variety of photo layouts that you could choose from. The quality of the book wasn’t as high as the book from My Publisher. The pages were a bit thinner, and they do not lay flat.Family Photobook Review-10
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I look forward to filling up this shelf with our photo books year after year. My only wish is that I had the year titled on the spine of the book.

While I was doing my research I found multiple services that provide programs to create your own photo book. Here are a few.

For your convenience, there are affiliate links below. That means, at no additional cost to you, I may make a small commission on your purchase. Thank you so much for supporting MHB. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

Mypublisher – Has a program that you download onto your computer that allows you to easily upload and place photos into the book. Look for coupon codes. I believe I got my book 60% off my book.

Shutterfly – Has a bunch of layouts and style options for your book. If you are looking for something more fancy or “scrapbook-ish” this might be a better fit for you.

Blurb.com – I’ve heard nothing but good things about Blurb.com – I started out creating my most recent book on Blurb but I wasn’t as impressed with the variety of page layouts. I just took another peek at their site and I’m intrigued by their mini books that you can order from their app. That would be great for those phone pictures!

Mpix.com – Another option. I use their services for photo printing and their prints are the highest quality.

Have you ever created a photo book? Which service did you use?

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  1. Lovely photos Chelsea and so good to see albums of photos coming back.
    One thing I used to do when I was raising little ones, was monthly to draw around Dad’s hand
    put Mum’s hand inside the outline of Dad’s and draw around it, then do the same with each
    Different colours for each person and their hand named and dated, great to watch the changes
    of hand print, one year we did hands and feet. Now the “Children” are doing the same with their
    little ones and loving going back over their childhood books.
    As to doing something on the spine of your books, come on Chelsea you’re an artistic, creative lady
    go for it!

  2. Wow!!!I loved the album and the layout. i was looking for a photo book and this seems to be perfect . I liked shutterfly will definitely give it a try. Thanks for sharing.