09 Sep 30 + Unique Photo Book Theme Ideas
You’ve heard of writers’ block but what about creators’ cramp?
Creators cramp is something I just made up, just then! Do you like it? Does it resonate? What I mean by this the mental roadblock you hit when creating photo books. You know you want to create a photo book, but you don’t know where to start OR what you should put in it.
Breaking photo book themes down into chapter ideas can be one way to move past the block. By identifying a list of mini ideas, you can see how they can be grouped together as chapters of a bigger theme.
I’ve come up with these photo book theme ideas that I hope will inspire you and get your creative juices churning for your next book.
- Seasons of Love
Telling your own love story can be a challenge. Breaking it down into seasons can help you give your book a nice framework. Those seasons can be metaphorical ones e.g. courting, engagement, newlyweds, young parents, etc or they could be traditional showing your love story through the typical things you do together in summer, autumn, winter and spring. This is a unique gift for your beloved significant which also doubles as a legacy for your children who will likely take the cue for their own relationships from yours.
For those playing at home Seasons of Love is a song from the musical Rent.
- Those were the days
We’ve all said the phrases ‘remember when’, ‘back in my day’ or ‘those were the days’. The simpler less complicated days of your childhood. You could include chapters on your day to day adventures, revel in the description (and photos of course) of your regular play mates, childhood pets or tell the story of your annual summer holidays.
- Festive Follies
Christmas is a magical time of year and it is usually filled with tradition! With tradition comes repetition and with repetition comes the threads of a great photo story.
Gather together all those photos of the Christmas wrapping paper mountains. Tables groaning under sumptuous feasts! Why not include the recipe for grandma’s Christmas pudding!
- From Me to You
Take your pick of any special relationship:
- From mother to son
- From mother to daughter
- From father to son
- From father to daughter
- From husband to wife
- From sister to brother
- From brother to sister
- From daughter to mother
- From daughter to father
- From son to mother
- From son to father
- From grandchild to grandparents
- From bride to matron of honour
- From groom to best man
- From parents to bride to be
- From parents to groom to be
- From best friend to best friend
- I think you get the idea
Record the story of why that person is so important to you. Recount stories of special shared moments, events and adventures. Pass on your hopes for their future along with your own learnings and wisdom.
- A Jumble of Journey’s
If you never got around to capturing each individual trip you’ve taken in its own photo book, why not create a book dedicated to the travel adventures of your lifetime (or for each decade depending on how lucky in travel you have been). I am envisioning a world map with pinpoints and wonderful rich stories from across the globe. Were you a bower bird collector of tickets and brochures? Be sure to scan those in and include them in your book!
- School Days
More than just the official school photos, a school days book can be filled with all those mini moments that come with school life. Book Week, science projects, mufti days, camps, awards and presentations. Capture the story of favourite subjects, teachers and projects. Reflect on friendships that were forged and if they continue to this day.
- Furry Friends
Our pets are such an important part of our lives. Why wouldn’t you dedicate a book to them. Include stories of choosing them, bringing them home, picking the perfect name, why you love having them in your life and all the everyday adventures you share with them.
- A Tribute
Most memorial services today will include a photo slide show full of meaningful images of a passed love one. By adding the stories to match those images in a legacy or life book you can pay tribute to their memory in a special tribute book.
- Artists Archive
Anyone with a pre-schooler in the house (or avid artist like I do) will have been faced with what to do with kids’ artwork. I love the time spent bonding over the choices of what to include in an artist’s book. Scan your favourites and compile the stories of how the ideas were formed.
- The Annual
There are those of us that love to create an annual photo book for our families. But how do you make that book creatively unique to capture the readers interest and not just a January to December kind of affair?
One of our favourite methods for theming a photo book is the A to Z – you can read more about that here.
You can also apply the ‘seasons’ technique mentioned earlier to an annual book.
Other chapter ideas for an annual book can be;
- Hero’s – give each family member a chapter all about them including their birthday and special achievements that year
- Special events
- Around the house
- Silly selfies
- You will know your family and see patterns in your photos, these will appeal to your target audience (those who will look at the book most) so you can’t go wrong.
- Sibling Love
Show in pictures how much fun siblings have together. Document their favourite things to do together. Catch siblings alone and interview them about their favourite things about their sibling(s) and what they like about being a big/little brother or sister. Use their own words in quotes, they will be sure to entertain any reader.
- Forever Friends
A BFF book can be a meaningful birthday gift.
A special reminder of how you met, all your adventures and why you love having them in your life.
- Then you’ll know your ABC’s
We love making this style of book for pre-schoolers to help them to learn their ABC’s. For the record the preferred FONT in my home state is NSW Foundation you can download it here, a simple google should find the font in your area.
Include photos of familiar people, places and things representing each letter in the alphabet for a book that’ll not only help them learn but keep their attention.
- Traditional Life Book
Family stories are a precious heirloom. Walk through the timeline of your own life or that of a loved one. Including interviews, timelines, milestones, letters and photos you can document the story of a life well lived.
- Colour Palette
Does your child have a favourite colour?
Go on a treasure hunt around the house and find all the green items you can to photograph. Do an all green fashion parade that you photograph. Create some green artworks to scan in and include. Viola, a gorgeous book that will not only appeal to the artists eye but can also be a perfect rainy-day project.
- Adoption Book
“Keeping photos around the house is a form of validation for children. It lets them know they matter and they are loved”Dr Kenneth Condrell
This can be especially important to an adopted child. Suggested chapters for this kind of book would include; biology, birth parents, reason for separation/adoption, foster care if applicable, place of origin, adoption journey, forever family (the all important ‘gotcha’ moment).
- Black and White
Convert all your favourite photos to black and white for an editorial edge. Get your magazine graphic designer feels on and see how impressive your selections appear in this format.
Is someone close to you about to hit an important milestone anniversary?
Collate an album of stories including; how they met, first date, engagement, wedding, first home, new parents, big trips and past anniversaries.
- Generation Gossip
My current favourite TV Documentary is Old People’s Home of 4 Year Olds.
Using this as inspiration you could get your favourite youngsters and sit them down with an elder to discuss the difference between every day activities of being, for example, four. Record the stories!
Dive in and search for photos to match.
An older child could even do some online research e.g the Prime Minister was such and such when grandpa was 10, now it is so and so. Or a hit song in 1942 was “White Christmas” and my favourite song right now is… Pro Tip – search on Etsy for ‘back in year’ or ‘established year’ for ideas of what to include as discussion topics.
- Milestone Memory Books
Nanna turning 80? Big brother turning 40? Collate a ‘80 reasons we love <insert name>’ book or perhaps the title ‘50 Shades of Steve’ tickles your funny bone. Get friends and family to contribute photos and stories to pull together a photo book gift that is sure to bring tears of joy and years of pleasure to the recipient.
Do you love the idea of creating a meaningful Milestone Memory Book but the idea of collecting photos, stories and organising it all, feels like it will take all the time in the world that you just don’t have?
Did you know we offer a special Milestone Memory Book Package? It has 4 simple steps COLLABORATE > COLLECT>CURATE>CREATE that take the pain out of the process and produces what we think is the best gift ever!
Simply contact us and we can discuss in greater detail.
Transform memories into a tangible – timeless – treasure and get in touch today!
We recognise that creating a photo book can require a lot of work and planning, we hope that this post has inspired you to get stuck into a special project and if you need more help why not check out our Photo Book Recipe post with helpful planning tips to get you started.
Until next time, have a magical day!