The Milestone Birthday Photo Book

by Gavin H Posted on January 22, 2011

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For a recent milestone birthday of mine, my wife threw me a surprise party and presented me with a treasured gift – a photo book, highlighting my life and experiences. The book started with photos from my childhood in rural New Zealand, included various memories special to me, and finished with recent events, like the births of my children in San Francisco, California. My wife contacted friends and family from all over the world to contribute comments, which made the book even more special.

I asked my wife how she organized such a project—she went through all of our shoe boxes and photo albums and scanned the important printed photos and uploaded them to Shutterfly. And what an incredible unexpected benefit to now have these photos archived digitally.

If you’re interested in making your own photo book, place all your photos in one album or, to make the project easier, put them in multiple albums by period. The rest is easy—select your book size, design and layouts and just drop and drag photos into the template. I guarantee you will be proud of the finished product. You can also share your project through the site, so friends can also enjoy viewing the book wherever they are.

I view this book at least once a month and am reminded how I feel truly thankful for the life I have led and the wonderful people in it. It is so great to have this journey compiled into a photo book. Now I have to start on new adventures to fill the next few decades of my life!

What are you waiting for, get started today – chronicle those life memories forever

Need more inspiration? Check out the Photo Book Gallery


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  1. Joey Says:

    I love these milestone birthday books. Or they can be for any birthday or anniversary or special event. The gift of receiving a book of this nature, and the love your wife spent on it must have ben very gratifying and humbling. The photos above are awesome. Comments from friends and family really make the book more meaningful. I have made a few of these books myself. I added sentiments from other family at the end. I did this for my sisters 40th this past summer too. i contacted a bunch of her friends and family and asked them to send a photo and a message. I started the book off with younger photos of her and photos of her and her son. She loved it and that made everything worth the extra effort!

  2. BarbaraJ Says:

    The Milestone Birthday Books are some of the best books in the gallery. They are also keepsakes for families and their childrem. Thank you for sharing this article with each of us. bj

  3. AnnAbbott Says:

    Your wife made such a thoughtful gift. Heading back to your past and finding people to add to the book in their way is a wonderful way to highlight some of the special times in your life.

more about Gavin H

I was born and raised on a dairy farm in New Zealand. I have been a passionate photographer since I was 12 when I had my first taste of working in a dark room, given the odd photo assignment at a local newspaper. From those beginning days, I combined my passions of motorsport and travel with photography and have been lucky enough to have lived and travelled in many countries throughout the world. I'm thankful to have documented once in a lifetime memories through photography. Meeting my American wife in the Wicked Wolf pub in Dublin, Ireland, we are now settled in the San Francisco Bay Area with my two favorite (albeit unpredictable) photo subjects, my young daughters.

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