The past few years, we’ve really scaled back on holiday gifting and have gotten realllly intentional on what we give, keeping the loved one in mind and their specific personality and needs. One morning we were sitting on the beach, chatting about what to get some of our family members and after throwing around a bunch of ideas, we both lit up at the idea of photo books.
For those loved ones that are hard to shop for (we all have them) and that deserve something special, nothing compares to printing memories in my opinion.
It’s a rare thing nowadays with most of our memories living on hard drives and devices so it’s a lovely idea to bring those memories to life again!
A photograph takes me back to that exact moment and allows me to relive it – the sounds, the smells, the conversations had, the people I was with and in my opinion, that’s one of the best gifts you can give someone.
I often thrift coffee table books and buy them from photographers and artists I admire so this year, we thought why not make our own?
I love having beautiful, tangible photographs in my hand and find myself sifting through coffee table books for inspiration for our home, my photography and for branding ideas. Well designed, printed work is cherished in our household and I think photo books are sacred and amazing.
For these holiday gifts, I wanted them to feel like a mix of art and personal memories so I compiled photos from both Aaron and I’s travels as well as photos capturing our family adventures over the past eight years.
Looking to my favorite books and Pinterest for inspiration, I took down notes on how I wanted it to look and feel. I wanted beautiful textures and light and landscapes, mixed in with laughter and family and events we’ve all attended.
I created a theme in my mind, updated the edits on any old photos and then uploaded allll the photos that I could find that we’ve taken which relates to that specific family member. I took our memories and art, placed them together and made them into photo books for a few of our family members. I can’t wait to see how they come out!
Read my process of how I created cohesive, artful books as personalized gifts below. . .
1. PLAN YOUR THEME
Before you get started, plan out what you want the look and feel of your book to be! Do you want to stick to specific colors, one particular trip, maybe even a specific color/color palette? Do you want the book to be chronological or do you want to mix + match your photos? Let your imagination run wild and consider these things before starting to create a beautiful, timeless book that feels like art.
2. COMPILE ALL YOUR PHOTOS
With the theme of your book in mind, find your photos. I had to look through two different hard drives and airdrop some images from my phone to get all the ones I love in one place! Upload them all before you start with the layouts – this streamlines the process and ensures that all the images you want end up in the book!
3. CREATE YOUR LAYOUT
I think it’s really fun to switch up the layouts so that each page feels different and exciting. To keep it cohesive, I tend to repeat the same layouts every couple of pages – mixing it up between pages of one, two, three, four and 6+ images!
4. PRINT + GIFT
You’ll follow the steps to finalize your project then select your printing preferences! I usually go with matte paper (this is a personal preference) with a linen book cover.