End Your Photo Hoarding with Recap Photobooks

Snap. You just took another photo using your tablet, smartphone, or DSLR camera. But what are you going to do with that picture? Maybe you’ll share it in a text to your relatives who weren’t able to attend Sammy’s dance recital. Maybe you’ll share the photo to Flickr because you captured the most beautiful flower you’ve ever seen. Or maybe, you’ll post to Instagram or Facebook so everyone can know about your latest field trip or vacation.

After that, what happens to your photos?

Be honest!

Most people do nothing with the thousands of photos they capture. Do you panic if your iDrive or Google Photos account loses a photo? Do you cringe at the thought of deleting any photo? It’s your child’s precious moments. It’s your dream vacation or home remodel process.

But really! If you don’t create something with the photos, you are a photo hoarder, and you need an intervention!

I’m here to help.

The solution is to create a Year in Review photo book using a company such as Mixbook, Shutterfly, PrestoPhoto. These services will pull photos from Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, Smug Mug and Google Photos. You can also upload photos directly from your computer. Tell the photo book company only to use photos from one calendar year. Then let the service autofill your pages.

Photo Page created with Auto Fill Option. Look at the young one scared to feed the horse!

Now, if the stars are aligned, your photos will be correctly sorted into the right pages, and your favorite photos will be in the largest spot. Chances are, you’ll need to tweak a few pages.

You might realize you took so many photos of one event that you can barely see the details of the pictures. Remove photos from a page until you are only showcasing your favorite or most important photos.

Make sure your favorite photos are in the largest spots

Then, move your favorite photo to the largest photo spot. A group photo also deserves to be in a large visual box. Browse through the other page design options in the photo book layout editor to pick an option that highlights your photos to your taste.

Make sure you add the details about the events. Even a brief highlight list is invaluable!

Add the context. If the photobook page design doesn’t have a spot for writing, take out a photo and turn that place into text. Or, select a different template. Just don’t forget to add the names, dates, and details about the photos you took. Otherwise, you have a super fancy (though organized) shoebox of unidentified photos!

Once you have pictures and context on your photo book pages, you’re ready to print. Heed this advice – order hardcover books. Yes, the softcover books are cheaper, but they’re less durable. If you have children, grandchildren, or grand pets, they will tear up the softcover books in a flash. The hardcovers look nicer longer and justify the additional expense.

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Okay, many blogs and photo book companies will tell you TO make these books, but few recommend WHEN!

The best time to create a Year in Review photo book in February or March.


You can’t do a Year In Review book in December because the year isn’t over yet. January, you spend time setting goals or scrambling to get back into a routine after long vacations.

Whether it’s Valentine’s Day, Lent, or the approach of warmer weather, February and March tend to slow down for most people. The holidays in those months also invoke thoughts of nostalgia. Use those moments to spend the time to tweak the auto-filled photo albums with the best arrangement of pictures and more details in the text sections of the pages.

When April to November approach, you’re well into the memories of this year, and it’s hard to complete a project for the year before. So, February and March seem to be the sweet spot for successfully completing a photo book of this type.

Bonus Tip: Make a large copy for you and a smaller one for your children:
That way, when they grow up and leave the house they have their own copy
without you having to give up yours or do more work!

Photobook companies make it easy to make beautiful photo books without requiring you to have too much design knowledge. Use them to help conquer your photography addiction.

Within a week, you can have a quick recap of the year before. You will no longer feel like a photo hoarder. Instead, you’re a memory keeper. And the next time you take a picture, you’ll know you really won’t forget that moment.

A photograph of a photobook and the title "end digital hoarding with photo recap books"

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee is passionate about capturing and preserving family stories so no one alive today has to be researched, or forgotten, tomorrow. She has authored 6 how-to books, a memoir, two published family history biographies, and over 60 family scrapbooks. She's an enthusiastic speaker who energizes, encourages, and educates at the same time.

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