A Digital Dilemma: Family and Event Photo Albums & Books

updated Feb 24, 2019
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(Image credit: Sarah Dobbins)

I’m finally assembling a photo book from my wedding, which happened this time last year (the first anniversary is paper, so it’s cool, my parents haven’t printed their choices of photos from that day either). Working on a photo book has gotten me thinking about what it means to have a tangible compilation of important photos versus one that only lives on your computer.

I love revisiting my parents’ photo albums. There was their 1970s wedding, my brother’s infancy, my infancy/his toddlerhood, and family trips to Arizona and Alaska. Sitting on the couch and looking at an album with my mom, who will never have a Facebook account, is the best platform for laughing at my dad’s brown tuxedo, my brother’s fuzzy baby head, and my unfortunate preteen glasses. 

I like to think that once I have kids I’ll have sharpened my photo printing game so that I can have real albums or books to share in person. At the same time, of course it’s always convenient to be able to share albums with far-flung friends and across extended family with tools such as Picasa or sites such as Facebook. For someone like me who’s clearly not good with event-specific albums, I like the idea of yearbooks, which I first heard of through Young House Love.

If you’re considering making a photo book, check out Apartment Therapy reader recommendations on printing services here.


  • Capturing Your Baby’s First Year…in Print
  • How to Create a Family Yearbook: Controlling the Chaos of Digital Photos
  • Where Pixels Meet Paper: Creating a Book of Your Instagram Photos
  • Manage Your Photo Collection Like a Pro
  • 4 Photo Gifts to Make/Buy for the Holidays
  • Turning Your Photos Into a Book
  • Where Pixels Meet Paper: Creating a Book of Your Instagram Photos

Image: Sarah Dobbins