Annual Photo Album

Sometimes it is the most random things that I share offhandedly on social media that get the most interest. When I posted a story a couple of weeks ago about organizing two years worth of photos, I got tons of messages back. I responded to each person, but thought I’d share here as well.

For starters, I still print photos! I have one album of every single year since John was born (going back to 2004).

I set a recurring reminder on my “To Do” app to order the photos every January. (That being said, I kept moving 2017 to the next week for so long that I ended up doing both 2017 and 2018 at the same time this January.) Knowing that my album holds 300, I go back through the year and pick just 300 to get printed. I try to capture the highlights – trips, sports, family, friends, events, school, holidays and even a few of special dinners or home decor projects – essentially things I think I would love to look back on from my childhood. Of course all of these are stored digitally as well, but there is something about flipping through an actual photo album that I love. (Coming from the girl that sill reads actual books…)

The pictures always arrive in no particular order, I first organize them chronologically and then just slide them in while watching TV.

I used to pick up my albums at Sam Flax (anyone remember that fabulous brick and mortar on Howell Mill / pre-Prime days?). When they closed their doors, I found a similar style at Target and for the last four years I’ve ordered this one on Amazon.

It’s nothing fancy, but it holds enough photos for a year and has served me well. There is space on every page for a note but I don’t do that. For the covers, I might go back and design something cute one day, but as of now every single one just has a card slipped in with the year written in sharpie.

I also got a few questions about organizing my digital photos. Since I blog, I do go through them – both from my camera and my phone – on a very regular basis. I delete anything not worth keeping on the spot. I also go back at the end of the month and delete any random photos I have saved from blog work – screen shots, pictures of dinner rolls, etc. I have them saved by year and then in folders by month. We have a huge external drive that I back them up to once a year when I do the photo albums.

So, none of that is rocket science but I thought it was worth sharing. If you have any great photo tips feel free to share them!

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8 thoughts on “Annual Photo Album

  1. I don’t know if you do this but my grandmother always labeled the back of ALL of her pictures. Who was in them, the year, the location. She was religious at this but I am horrible and I need to catch up. Its easy not to do because you know right now everything about the pictures but in the future you may not remember or you or other family may have no idea who those people are. The pictures may get separated from the album. It is wonderful to look at all of her old pictures and know who was in them. It’s a piece of history that does not get lost.

    I do love that you print the pictures and this is project that I need to get started! I always am concerned that the digital pictures will get destroyed if something happens to a drive.

  2. I love that you still print pictures! I do from time to time, but have no real system. I think I’ll make this a goal going forward.

    Thanks for sharing! xo

  3. Sam Flax is now located at 1495 Northside Dr. I just called and they’re open. I was seriously considering hari kari had they no longer been open.

  4. I’m really behind the times — but were do you get your pictures printed? I have no idea about how to go about this but I really do want to take the pictures off my phone and computer. Now they are on the cloud and I’m having a real hard time getting them to transfer. I made the mistake of deleting them from the “gallery” since I thought they were safe in the cloud. Sorry to bother you with this and you can ignore if it’s too complicated.

    1. Hi! I print mine for albums at Shutterfly. I always wait for a coupon code or promo. Never pay full price! For nice photos that I want to frame, I do the matte prints from They are really nice!

  5. I also back up my photos on an external drive, but also save my photos on Shutterfly and on Google. Unlimited storage on Shutterfly, and basic storage is free on Google, with upgrades available, starting at around $20 per year. Very affordable and convenient, with an added bonus of having all your photos at your fingertips, using the sites applications on your mobile phone. I have all my photos organized by “album”, consisting of year. It’s amazingly organized and super easy! And with Shutterfly, you can make yearly photo albums, among so many other things, and it’s a cinch :)

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