Gift Guide: How to Create an Annual Album for Your Loved Ones

Gift Guide: How to Create an Annual Album for Your Loved Ones

Gift Guide How to Create Annual Album Loved Ones Alyxandra Teske.png

This site contains affiliate links and sponsored content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, please read my Disclosure Policy. As always, I only recommend products or services I personally use and love!

Fun fact about me: I’m getting married in exactly 12 days! After 14 months of planning, the date is finally approaching. As I’ve been preparing for the big day (#weddingstress), I’ve been reminiscing on the past 8 years that my fiance and I have spent together. Lucky for me, I’ve given him a visual of those 8 years that we can both look back on forever.

Every year on our dating anniversary (adorbs, I know), I have created and gifted a photo album to my fiance that contains photos from the prior year. It gives us a way to look back in time and see all of the fun memories we’ve made over the past 365 days. This year’s album was the last I’ll make before we are officially husband and wife. Secretly, these albums are a gift for me as well (keep that a secret between us) because I also get the pleasure of having our memories in a sweet book.

After looking through my most recent album, I decided I wanted to share my process with you. Should you decide to create an album for your loved ones, you can start off on the right foot. I promise this gift will be meaningful for years to come!

Gather all of your photos from this past year in the same place, whether it be digital or physical

This is the spot where I shamelessly tell you to PRINT YOUR PHOTOS! They really don’t do any good sitting on a hard drive. Print those babies and display them! Your photos aren’t meant to only be seen via a screen. It’s okay to have them on your computer as well for printing an album like I am going to describe below, but that’s no excuse to leave them there forever.

Okay, now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, gather up any photos from the year in one spot, whether it be in a pile on a table or in a folder on your computer. This will keep everything organized in one spot so you don’t need to constantly be going back and forth between six different places.

Gift Guide Annual Album Loved Ones Alyxandra Teske Documentary Photography

Sort your photos in the order of your choosing

By sorting all of your images, you are able to get an idea of what you have for photos. This also gives you a reminder of what special and memorable photos you have taken throughout the year (insert nostalgia and reminiscing here). I personally like to have my album start at the beginning of the year and go chronologically to the end. The album becomes a “year in review” of sorts. That being said, sort the images however you see fit. Maybe you want to group all similar photos into categories, such as holidays, events, and everyday photos. Whatever works best for you and what you want for the album.

Gift Guide Annual Album Loved Ones Alyxandra Teske

"Cull” your photos based on the parameters of your album

You may have heard the term “cull” when speaking to a photographer. Basically, it means to sort through your photos and pick the best ones. For my annual album for my fiance, I choose around 50 photos per year because that is what fits into the standard album length. I like this number because it forces me to pick the best of the best while still giving me enough space to include enough images.

Gift Guide Annual Album Loved Ones Alyxandra Teske

Put your album together, whether it be a scrapbook or printed album

Once you have gathered all of your photos from the year and have them ready to go, it’s time to put your album together! I personally am a fan of printed albums, but scrapbook-style albums are perfect as well. I use MPix and recommend it to all of my clients. They have great print quality and are reasonably priced. I use their Premium Panoramic albums and love the look and feel.  

I set up my albums in chronological order. That way, we can look back on our past year as it went on when we flip through the album. It’s like a replay of the previous year from start to finish.


Write in fun stories and details that relate to the photos you chose

One of my favorite personal touches on any gift is handwritten notes. There is something special about taking the time to write out how you feel, especially in this age of technology where we type almost everything. Flip through your album and add in fun details about your photos. Add in your favorite part of a special day you spent together, or a funny anecdote from your Thanksgiving dinner. These details help preserve your favorite memories and add a special touch to your album.


I hope this post inspired you to create a special and memorable gift for someone you love. Money can’t buy the joy of preserving your legacy for years to come. What else do you like to include in photo albums? Comment below with your unique ideas!

Sisters, Babies, & Snacks: A Real Documentary Session Around an Ordinary Day

Sisters, Babies, & Snacks: A Real Documentary Session Around an Ordinary Day

5 Precious Documentary Photo Session Ideas with Your Baby in Their First Year

5 Precious Documentary Photo Session Ideas with Your Baby in Their First Year