The Reason Why You Should Make Photobooks

Anne Bonfert

Because every picture tells a story

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Credit: Anne Bonfert

“We take photos as a return ticket to a moment otherwise gone.“ – Katie Thurmes

We all have them. Thousands of photographs of holidays, family meetings, and other events. We have them. Far away from us. You want to deny that but it is true. Yes, your hard drive might be next to you. But that doesn’t mean those pictures are close to you. The memories saved with these photographs are far from you.

When have you last picked up that hard drive to scroll through the pictures?

Probably never.

Why would you? Why would you look through old photos? Nobody does that. Scrolling through folders. On your laptop. Staring at a screen. That just doesn’t bring those memories back. And that is why we don’t do it.

The reason why I still make photo books

That is why I still make photo books. Every year. From every holiday I take. From all the travels I do. But also from all the day to day activities. I produce several photo books a year. For myself. For the future. And for others. For the memories I made.

Because those memories are priceless. No money in the world will bring you back there. But photo books will. Because there is nothing more romantic than sitting with your loved ones on the couch and going through old photo books. The stories that come up. The laughs you will have. The moments you share with the people around you. To get back these forgotten memories.

They are just priceless. Because these books are authentic. They are unique. They tell a story. Your story. And the story of the people you stayed on your side.

Photo books can be made — quick and easy

Don’t use an excuse like “I don’t have time for this”. Making photo books has never been easier. You don’t have to go and develop hundreds of photos. You don’t need to use glue to fix them onto pages. Not anymore. You can (my mom still does). But you don’t have to do that anymore.

There are easier ways of creating a photo book. There are lots of different options for making a photo book. Thousands of websites are fighting for your attention. For you to choose their offer. On making a book for you. And they are offering you the full package. You just have to upload the photos and they throw them onto the pages. You can design them by yourself. But you don’t have to. You can let the computer do it for you. If you don’t have the time for it.

I don’t use that feature. I love putting my memories into the process. That is why I am trying to create these photo books shortly after the event. So that my memories are still fresh. So that I can add a word or two to certain pictures. I create my own timeline. And yes, it does take quite a bit of time for me. But I don’t see it as the time I lost. I enjoy making these books.

That moment I receive the parcel on my doorstep. With the new books arriving. It feels like my birthday.

I love photo books. I could spend hours going through them. Because of all the memories I made. Because of all the experiences I got. Because of all the people I met along the way. That is why these photo books are priceless to me. That is why I don’t care how much I pay for them. (And they anyway don’t cost that much.) Because their actual value is much higher. For me. And for the ones I give them too.

Photo books are the best presents

Photo books are not only the best presents you can give to your grandparents or parents. But they are also the easiest ones. I made the book already for myself. All the work is done. All I have to do is when I order it select the number “two” or “three”. Depending on how many people I want to send it to. Easy as that. Just order more examples of it.

I never have to think about what presents I have to buy for my next birthday. Never.

Everyone loves photo books. I know you say that boys don’t. But that’s not true. My partner was the same. He said it’s not for him. But men just don’t like it if they have to look at photographs of themselves as babies. That is what they don’t like it.

If you show them a book of their holiday from a year or two ago it looks different. They will sit down with you. Go through the pages. And most probably start planning the next holiday. Because of all the positive memories they just went through. At least my partner does. He loves the photo books we share together.

And yes, my parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles know what they will get for their birthday. Because I’ve been doing this for years. But they are not disappointed because of the missing surprise. They are excited. Still are. Because they are curious about the new photo book. They are excited about the next surprise of saved memories. Memories in the form of photographs.

“What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that is gone forever, impossible to reproduce.“ Karl Lagerfeld

How it started

Before I round up this article I have to tell you why I started all of this. Because the initiative didn’t come from me. My mom has been making photo books for me and my sister since we were born. I have about 10 big photo books. Where every picture is hand-selected and glued on the white pages. Comments are handwritten. My mom has printed some pictures three times. So that she can fill her own photo book, but also the one of my sister and mine. To fill all three books with these precious memories.

When I got older I started to help her and eventually took over. The whole process of designing a page with the photos, writing notes to it and turning the page over to create the next one. I loved these hours. Hours of sitting on the floor, listening to music and going through stacks of photographs.

Eventually, I did go over to the digital version of photo books. But the original idea and motivation came from my mom. I love going through my old photo books. Also, the ones where I was a toddler. Especially with my grandparents. They have so many memories with those photographs which I obviously don’t have. Because I was too young to build a memory.

But I build memories to certain pictures. Based on their stories. They created the memories I lost. Because of the photo books. And this is why I say photo books are priceless. Because they gave me so much. And still do. Thank you mom for starting it all and documenting the process of myself growing up.

I will never forget the countless times I have been sitting with my grandparents turning pages of these photo books. These memories will last forever.

Thank you.

”I love those random memories that make me smile no matter what’s going on in my life right now.“ – Meena Chakrabarty

Do you have photo books of your past? Are you documenting your life in some way? Let me know in the comments below what you think about this topic.

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I am a traveler. Photographer. Writer. Teacher. Skydiving instructor. Adventure enthusiast. Nature lover. And fell in love with the African continent. My stories go around travel, nature and all kinds of adventurous activities.

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