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Our kids are constantly asking irritating questions like, “When you and Dada met, did roads exist or was there still mud everywhere?” I mean, WHAT? Are they asking if we predated pavement!? Perhaps this is a new version of saying someone's older than dirt. In any case, I've been meaning to create a family album series for AGES, and I decided that the best way to start would be to make a photo book. I can now fend off my children's barrage of questions by handing over tangible proof that Nate and I had a life before they were even a twinkle in our (tired, glazed-over) eyes.

Custom photo book cover

I decided to go with Blurb because they have a plethora of options, including the ability to share links with friends who may want to purchase copies of your book. Blurb even offers the ability to create gift books, coffee table books, notebooks and journals to sell to the public – an idea that we've been toying with for quite awhile now.

But first, family photo books!

Make a Photo Book the Easy Way

A family photo book (from even before you were an official family!)

Gather Your Photos

The idea is a bit daunting, but it's really quite simple to make a photo book. Going through years and years of photos is as straightforward as copying every photo ever into one big folder, sorting by date taken, and then deleting the ones that aren't album-worthy. We decided to compile our whole pre-baby relationship into a single book, starting with when we met and leaving off with our pregnancy announcement photos for kiddo number one. That may not be the most logical way to splice it up…but since this book is for the kids and that's basically how they view our relationship, it made sense to us.

Photo book software

Use Software

Plop them all into Blurb's free, downloadable desktop software called BookWright, and customize or let the software auto-sort it all into place for you. There are a ton of options. If you're really into design, you can even use Adobe InDesign, Lightroom or upload a ready-to-print PDF.

Photo book design

Don't Obsess Over It

I tend to be a bit neurotic, and I knew that I could really get sucked into trying to Photoshop every photo. I resisted the urge, and rolled with the imperfect beauty that was our relationship exactly as it was captured back then. There's no way I could recategorize everything and figure out what event each thing was, so again…I didn't. I simply laid it all out sequentially and stepped back to admire our friends, family, and fun all compiled together.

Photo book paper options

Pick Family-friendly Options

For printing, select options that work for your family. In our case, that meant high quality premium paper and a matte casewrap with the design printed directly on the cover to minimize fingerprints.

Make a photo book cover

We also selected the lay flat option so that the kids can gather around and get an easy view from any angle without jostling the pages. That also let us spread really important pictures between two full sheets without a crease in the middle. We chose a large, 12″x12″ book that could fit five years' worth of pictures in it without getting excessively long in terms of page count.

Family photo book

That's it! It arrives straight to your doorstep and you can spring it on your kids next time they come at you with endless enquiries. Prove to them that you hung out with Mickey Mouse and SpongeBob before they even existed.

That's right, Mickey Mouse is older than you, kiddos. Much, much older.

Later this week, we'll be sharing how photo books can help explain family traditions to kids. Stay tuned!