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Types of Photo Albums: What’s Right for You?

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Many years ago when my children were young, I started out creating my family photo albums using pocket style albums, migrated to traditional scrapbooking, and now have transitioned yet again to digitally designing my family photo books.  I’ve found making digital photo books  suits my lifestyle best at this point in time, but there are pros and cons to each of these styles.  There’s certainly no right or wrong way to create a photo album, but I feel very strongly that we should be doing something with our photos.  After all, our photos and stories are our legacy to future generations!

Pocket Style Albums

If you want a simple and easy solution, pocket style albums are a great way to preserve your family memories.  Print your favorite photos from the month at the end of the month, slide them in your album, add a little journaling…and it’s DONE!  You can leave the album out on the coffee table for family members to enjoy.

Pocket style albums can be limiting in terms of the number of slots available for vertical vs horizontal photos.  Using your photo editing program, you could crop and print your photos in the needed orientation, but that definitely requires planning ahead.  It can also be more challenging to include different size photos and memorabilia.

Photo courtesy of Lisa Kurtz


Traditional Scrapbooks

One of the greatest benefits of creating a traditional scrapbook is that it is very personal, reflecting your style.  A scrapbook album can be as simple or creative as you like.  There are many decorative options available to personalize your album, and you will find it easy  to include memorabilia and different size photos.  You can journal on a journaling box or write right on the scrapbook page.  Most traditional scrapbooks have page protectors to protect your photos from fingers and drink spills.

On the flip side though, traditional scrapbooking can be time consuming, and the books tend to take up a lot of space.  Tools and supplies add up over time as well, and can be expensive.

Traditional scrapbook album pages that I created years ago!


Digital Photo Books

This type of album also allows for creativity, especially with the design programs on the market these days. Additionally, there is a great deal of digital artwork available online, both for free and for purchase.  I myself used Creative Memories Storybook Creator for many years and loved the program; however I am now working on a Mac and am learning new programs.  Another benefit to working digitally is anything you can scan can be turned into a digital image, so you can include virtually anything in this type of album easily.  When your book is printed, it takes up very little space.  And once you’ve done the work to create the book, you can purchase multiple copies.

However, a photo printed in a digital album can not be reproduced from that album (meaning you cannot scan it and reproduce in good quality), so it’s smart to print your best photos as a backup.*    Also pages can be ripped and drinks can be spilled, so be sure to keep a copy saved in case you need to reprint.

*For more reasons on WHY you should print your photos, read my post 5 Reasons You Should Print Your Photos.


Digital photo books I have created through the years.

Which type of album do you like to use and why?