In response to my doomsday prediction that the total mass of all scrapbooks and photo albums will eventually exceed the weight of the planet earth, Mary Bell offers her tips for creating a Highlights Album.
Perfect for everyone!
If you have never done an album telling your family (or personal) story, or if you are finding that you are not keeping up with your albums, this is the one you CAN do.
Although I have already made albums for my personal and family stories, this Highlights Album is special in its own way. It is a summary that I will always be able to keep current each year as well as an index to my more detailed albums.
My Highlights album records only the most important events of my family’s life in a very brief form. By using only one side for each year, I cannot use the many photos that I have. I need to pick the ones that highlight the most important events of the year. This is very liberating!
As I planned my album, I made sure that I included photos that fit the events that I had chosen to highlight. Different people could focus on different things, but here are mine, and remember you would only use one photo of these things:
- Our wedding,
- Each baby’s birth,
- Each house we’ve lived in (and the cost of renting or purchasing if known),
- Major religious ceremonies,
- Graduations (HS, college, and grad school),
- Our children’s weddings,
- Our grandchildren’s births,
- Major accomplishments,
- Major vacation of the year,
- Family group picture each year—usually the one we sent with our Christmas cards.
How do you make this album?
First a few decisions: What size and style album, how many sides each year, and what do you consider your “highlights”?
In our traditional Creative Memories albums, if you make a title page, and then use one side per year, you could get 79 years in one album!
If you have not already done a family or personal chronological album, you might want to do a double-page spread (two sides) for each year.
If you choose to use a double-page spread per year, you could put 39 years into the first album, and then start a new album at the 40th year mark.
After these decisions are made, the rest is EASY! At the end of the year, I look at my calendar to determine the most important events of the year or since I am using digital photography, I can scroll through the year’s photos on my computer. I select the events that best represent my year and get the photos printed or use them to make a digital Page Print and get it printed.
Wouldn’t you love it if your parents had done such an album? A book telling just the essentials of where they lived each year of their married life and when each child was born, etc. would be amazing!
People who have seen what I’ve done have been very excited about the idea of this kind of summary album. Who cannot find time to pick out a few photos from the previous year and stick them into an album? If this were done annually, it would take about an hour to complete. If you wanted to do a more inclusive album later, this summary would be the guide. But even if another album were NEVER done, at least you’d have your life story in a brief form.
My Highlights album is the one my children want a copy of, and if my house was burning down, and I could grab only one thing—it would be my Highlights Album!
Mary Bell 11/12