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The family photo album


Stick-on letters and numbers identify the spine of this album. It contains family photos taken in 1982 in Pennsylvania. Your albums can be as clearly identified.
Stick-on letters and numbers identify the spine of this album. It contains family photos taken in 1982 in Pennsylvania. Your albums can be as clearly identified.

One of the effects of the digital photography revolution is that so many photographs end up remaining in a digital format, without being made into prints that can be placed in an album, held up for individual examination and discussed with family and friends away from a computer's monitor or a digital photo frame.

Everyone enjoys a family album or an album of holiday pictures. Who doesn't like handling a photographic print? It is a good idea to treat your most representative digital photographs in the same way as people treated negatives or slides before digital photography, and have them made into 4" by 6" prints that can be physically handled, sent to people who don't have a computer, framed for display on your home's walls or on an office credenza and, most importantly, placed in your family album.

Family albums have a wonderful habit of growing as the years go by, especially if they have been integrated with older albums from your parents and grandparents. Before long, your first album fills up and you need a new one.

FIND A DESIGN THAT WILL LAST

It is a good idea to plan ahead, and select a style of album that will still be available when you need it in future for new additions. An album that has a conservative look to it, and that is highly popular, is likely to be around for a while. An album that contains some sort of gimmick may not last too long. You might regret buying it when it comes time to get a second ot third album, and you discover the style is no longer available because the fad ended. Besides, the most-popular albums are usually produced in such large quantities that they can be priced more reasonably.


THE RIGHT ALBUM PAGES

There are many kinds of pages for family albums. Some have a sticky coating that keeps your prints in place (requiring careful placement to keep the prints aligned); others (especially very old styles from our parents' early days) require you to paste diamond-shaped holders on the page into which you slip the print's corners, and others may have pre-manufactured frames behind which you slide your pictures.

You can find many album styles in most photo shops, department stores and discount stores. An album with loose-leaf type rings that open to accept plastic sheets with 3.5" X 5" or 4" X 6" slots (common print sizes) in which to slide your prints is probably your best bet. It is easy to insert and remove prints, something that occurs regularly when people view an album.

With the right album style, you can mix and match three or four sheets that hold different-size prints, including 5" X 7" and 8" X 10" enlargements. Larger albums for bigger prints are hard to find, and impractical for most family albums that you will want to fit on the shelves of a bookcase.

These clear plastic pages fit a loose-leaf album binder, and are available in sizes that hold 3.5
These clear plastic pages fit a loose-leaf album binder, and are available in sizes that hold 3.5" X 5, 4 X 6, 5 X 7 or 8 X 10-inch prints on both sides.

A good album numbering and contents-identification system is something for which you'll always be thankful.
A good album numbering and contents-identification system is something for which you'll always be thankful.

IDENTIFY YOUR ALBUMS FOR EASE-OF-USE

Family albums can be identified to help you quickly find the pictures you're looking for. Most of us tend to start at #1 and work our way into the future. One good way of identifying them is to use sticky vinyl letters and numbers, available from most stationary and art supply stores, on the album's spine. Choose a strongly contrasting color if you want the letters to stand out.

Numbering your albums in chronological sequence will help you keep them in order on the bookshelf. Marking them with the placename (town, city or country) where the pictures were taken (if most were taken in one area) and the year (or years) makes it convenient to find a specific picture when you need to.

Your pictures can also be easily identified (see Labeling prints) so you will always know which particular album to return them to when they have been removed.


If you haven't had a family album up till now, and want to get started, you may be surprised at the enthusiastic reaction from your family and friends when they see what you have begun. You will be delighted to find everyone, especially your kids and visiting relatives, turning the pages, laughing at the memories invoked by the pictures and generally enjoying the fruits of your labors. A family album quickly becomes a keepsake that no computer monitor can match.



Further information...

Labeling prints