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Anyone still do old fashioned photo albums with printed pictures?


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Hi Everyone,

At this point in my life, I have about 15-16 years of digitals photos stored on a drive in my office.  (All of our wedding photos, baby photos, etc.....  Basically the history of our whole family.  Really important stuff!).  I haven't done anything with these photos because the process of going through them just seems so overwhelming and I've been really busy, of course, as a homeschool mama!  The thing is...it gets even more overwhelming as each year passes and I collect more photos and memories.

Recently my husband has been diagnosed iwth cancer, and he is really sick. Now that we are faced with so much uncertainty about our family, I feel like it is more important than ever to document the moments we have together as a family.   So I am feeling determined to start somewhere and not be paralyzed with perfectionism.  Whatever I can get done is going to be good enough and better than nothing.  Right?

SO--I have decided that I am simply going to start with 2020 and create a "year book"  for each year going forward.   Then, as I can, I will try to work upwards through the years catching up when I can.  And if I never catch up, well at least the situation won't be getting WORSE!  🙂   I just need to decide if I am going to do quick phonebooks or a quick photo album.   My husband says that he prefers the old fashioned photo albums with actual prints.  I know what he means.  I can't quite articulate "why", but those types of books do seem so much more special and important.  Maybe we are just feeling sentimental remembering the old albums we looked as as a kid.

So does anyone still do photo albums?  And if so, what is your process?  Do you have a photo print source you recommend?  And what about an actual album?

 

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Yes, I do! I print from shutterfly or snapfish - whichever has the best deal. I use albums from Amazon that hold ~300 pics. These were my most recent ones:

https://www.amazon.com/Golden-State-Art-Anniversary-Christmas/dp/B0711CMFYZ/ref=redir_mobile_desktop?ie=UTF8&psc=1&ref_=ppx_yo_mob_b_track_package_o0_img

I was good about printing them up until 2014, when my DH was dx with lymphoma (now cancer free). At the beginning of the pandemic, I realized I had about 2000 pictures on my phone, never printed! So I spent the time/money and knocked them ALL out. Now I'm pretty much up to date (well, at least up to this summer). 

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I stopped doing old-fashioned photo albums about 10 years ago.  They are so cumbersome to store and move, and it seems like no matter how securely I thought I put the photos in it, at some point I'd begin losing a few pictures.  That said, if it would be fun for you and your dh to have a traditional album, I think starting with 2020 is perfect.  You can do it like a scrapbook and decorate it too if that interests you.  I do get regular photos sometimes to frame, and get them on places like Shutterfly.  (Occasionally they come back not perfectly centered, but they're generally fine.)  As far as albums, I'd probably just make sure to get an album that holds the photos securely.

Probably when you start going backwards over the years, I'd do them digital...  So much quicker!  And then the books are much slimmer and lighter.

ETA:  When I say "digital" (last lines above), I still meant actual physical books, but when you digitally place them in a book.  That way you still have them as books to hold.

Edited by J-rap
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I am very sorry about your husband.

I usually use snapfish for printing.  For albums, I use a binder with photo sheets like this:  https://www.amazon.com/Ultra-Pro-3-Pocket-Pages-4X6-Quantity/dp/B001OP7D6Y/ref=sr_1_16?dchild=1&keywords=photo+sheets&qid=1606144313&sr=8-16

I use Snapfish because they are cheap and the photos come out good enough.  But if you want them done locally, I'm sure CVS or walgreens or Walmart would be fine, too.  I like printing and having albums, but DH doesn't want me to anymore because they take up so much space - we have 35 years of albums now.  But I prefer viewing them that way over digital and so do my adult kids when they are home.

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I am a scrapbooker and an historian. And I am a very firm believer in print media. 

You are 100% right to be concerned... I will tell you with all honesty, the current most-documented generation will almost certainly go forward with the a shocking lack of documents- our kids are not going to go through all our digital media if something happens to us. So, thousands upon thousands of photos on your hard drive (or worse on cloud accounts with passwords your kids may not be patient enough to figure out.) Are not secure documentation.

Physical photos are the safest documentation you can offer future generations. Photo books are great.

Edited by theelfqueen
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I still do sometimes. I've said that one of my retirement projects is going to be scrapbooking years of pictures. I loved to scrapbook when it was popular: creative outlet, beautiful books highlighting our photos, it gets photos off the screen. Yes, they take up room, but I think they're more fun to pull off the shelf and look at. That said, I have a design background and do simple scrapbook pages and sometimes I opt for the printed photo books (although I'm never as happy with them).

ETA: I think I know why your husband prefers real photos. It's the same reason I prefer scrapbooking to printed photo books and it has to do with texture. It's hard to describe, but there's something different about holding a photo in your hand or feeling the three dimensionality of things on the page.

Edited by mom2scouts
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Project Life https://www.beckyhiggins.com/project-life

You can print right off your phone using the app, and you can create entire digital pages for your backlog. In one weekend I as able to get several years worth of photos done—I highly recommend it for ease, simplicity and quality.

I'm so, so sorry to hear about your husband. You are right to save your memories. ((Hugs))

Btw I take a photo a day, print from the app at home and stick the photos in a super simple album. This year, because I’m having such a hard time journaling, I’m using the center for keeping track of cases and one or two good and bad things about each week. Normally I write more, but this is what I can do right now without getting too overwhelmed. 
 

Week in our lives example: 

F0AF0C82-52F3-49F6-A509-90BB41F94001.jpeg

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1 hour ago, alisoncooks said:

Yes, I do! I print from shutterfly or snapfish - whichever has the best deal. I use albums from Amazon that hold ~300 pics. These were my most recent ones:

https://www.amazon.com/Golden-State-Art-Anniversary-Christmas/dp/B0711CMFYZ/ref=redir_mobile_desktop?ie=UTF8&psc=1&ref_=ppx_yo_mob_b_track_package_o0_img

I was good about printing them up until 2014, when my DH was dx with lymphoma (now cancer free). At the beginning of the pandemic, I realized I had about 2000 pictures on my phone, never printed! So I spent the time/money and knocked them ALL out. Now I'm pretty much up to date (well, at least up to this summer). 

My husband is also fighting lymphoma!  I am glad to hear about your happy ending and praying we get one too!

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I think starting with real printed photos from 2020 onward is a great idea! Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good and all that 😉 If you like the printed photos better than the digital books, then go for it!

But if you want the backlog to just be done and accessible to look at and off your mental to do list plate, I'd consider doing a digitally printed book for the mountain of photos from pre-2020. Forever.com has something called an Auto Book. You can upload photos and print them in books (4 to a page for 99 pages for a total of 398 photos per book) and the program automatically puts them on pages for you. You can change any layout you want, but usually the program chooses the best one for the photos you give it.

My mom took all of her photos - almost 2000 photos from the 1940's to the present - and had them scanned and put on a hard drive so they wouldn't be lost. She kept the originals but gave me a copy of the hard drive. I was totally overwhelmed by the thought of going in to my normal digital scrapbooking program and trying to make traditional books of all.those.photos. But doing four 99 page Auto Books just took one Saturday to upload and arrange and order and now I have all of my mom's photos  printed and we can look at them.

Prayers for you family! ❤️

Edited by Momto6inIN
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27 minutes ago, mom2scouts said:

ETA: I think I know why your husband prefers real photos. It's the same reason I prefer scrapbooking to printed photo books and it has to do with texture. It's hard to describe, but there's something different about holding a photo in your hand or feeling the three dimensionality of things on the page.

Yeah, it is sort of like trying to describe why I like to own an actual book rather than a kindle e-book or something. 

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31 minutes ago, TheAttachedMama said:

My husband is also fighting lymphoma!  I am glad to hear about your happy ending and praying we get one too!

Prayers for your DH. It's a scary thing, even during normal times.

My DH had stage 4 tcell lymphoblastic lymphoma (though with lymphoma, stage 4 isn't quite what it is with other cancers). He had every single complication one can have with his treatment (blood clots, internal bleeding, pneumonia, infections -- you name it, he had it). I don't say that to doom and gloom you, but rather to show that even with those things, his outcome was positive. We just didn't know that those things were par for the course with blood cancers. 

Edited by alisoncooks
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So sorry to hear about your husband!!  I too am very behind on all my photos.  I still plan to do photo albums with printed pictures.  

Creative Memories is back in business.  You could do very simplistic pages where you have room to write a little note, where something took place, who the people are in the pictures, the date.  That, to me, is just as important as the pictures.  Project life is nice too where you can just slip the pics in the pages and they have some journal papers you can get or you can make your own.  Make it simple.

I say this because I cleaned out my parent's home and have all their unorganized hard copy pics in my house.  A project for when my boys are graduated high school.  Anyway, my mom never organized them.  She passed away in 2001.  My dad is 85 and his memory is going.  Some of the pics don't mean anything to me because I don't know who the people are in them.  Of course, I know who they are in all the pics I took during my boys' 15 years so far, and I kept lots of notes about where we were, who was there, important milestones, on my calendars to refer back to, but I want to write these things down so they know why the pics are important.

 

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I'm so sorry to hear about your dh. I am also a fan of physical photo albums, and similarly swamped with years of photos saved on computers.  I don't have a lot of experience with transforming the digital into albums, but I do have recent experience at a family funeral of a woman my age (53), just in case it is of interest for a supplement to albums. Her husband had taken masses of photos over their married years. He had many digitally loaded on a projector during the service, which was wonderful for everyone to enjoy. He also had a lot of loose, printed photos just placed around the room. They were at least 5 x 7 in size. I don't believe they were mounted on anything to up the cost too much. It was really nice to just look around and see all the wonderful memories in full view to enjoy.

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Yes, I absolutely do. Of course, I am old, and probably old-fashioned. 🙂

I'm not diligent, though. I finished one album for each of my two dc last September. They were 41 and 44 years old. ::face palm:: I am now working on an album for me, and then I'll do one for Mr. Ellie.

I know that we think that digital pictures last forever, and they kind of do, but will future generations be able to view them? IDK. Picture albums can be lost, and destroyed in natural disasters, but still, somehow, prints have managed to last for many, many generations; we can look at them whenever we want regardless of what technology is available, or even if electricity is available.

And I have report cards from when I was in 3rd and 4th grades, and my Brownie Scout membership card, and some newspaper clippings, and other memorabilia. They can all go in the albums; making them digital would be a chore.

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I think your strategy is great, and this thread has a lot of good ideas.

Make sure your photos are in albums that won't fade the pictures (not hard to find these days). Make sure you label them. When pressed for time, a "cast of characters" in the front can be a shortcut until you get to the rest. 

While you're making the albums, take time to talk to your kids about the pictures if there are older ones they won't necessarily remember because they were little. 

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