Your photo book has hidden benefits

I made my first photo books to showcase family vacations, and thought they would basically sit on my shelf and be taken down when I wanted to remember the good times. Little did I know these keepsakes would prove to be so much more.

Here are my top 10 hidden benefits for photo books:

1. Learning tool – photo books are great tools for teaching  ABCs, reading, even history. Kids love learning from personalized books made just for them – or making their own books

2. Entertainment center – I love entertaining but always stress out when I try to hold conversations and perform hosting duties at the same time (drinks, last minute food prep, etc). So, at my last get together I whipped out the photo books – instant guest entertainment, no supervision required

3. Wedding planner – when my colleague Amy planned her wedding, she kept a soft cover photo book in her purse, with images of her venue, wedding dress, color choices, etc. It was a super handy reference guide. So smart!

4. Child proofer – my nephew used to chase our cat, so I distracted him with a soft cover photo book featuring her cute younger self. He loved it and became obsessed with the book instead of her. No more tail pulling and no more wearing out the original photos (as they were safely scanned and uploaded to Shutterfly)…okay, maybe the cat situation is a little unusual, but protecting those original photos is something we should all be doing!

5. Conversation piece – photo books are great conversation enhancers. I keep a 5×7 in my purse (with recent photos) – so when I catch up with friends I can show them pictures too. And they love it!

6. Pick me up – if I need a mood boost I open up one of my photo books and within the first few pages I start feeling relaxed and happy

7. Senior moment – my elderly grandfather loves looking at photos, and photo books are even better. They really are his favorite gift. If you haven’t discovered this for yourself, give a photo book to Mom, Dad, Grandma or Grandpa. You will make their day

8. Home improvement – my husband and I made several soft cover photo books with detailed images of our house’s interior, so we could choose smartly as we searched for fixtures, paint, etc. Saved us time and smoothed the process

9. How-to kit – blog contributor Sarah H thought of a great photo book use case – a kid’s indoor fun how-to kit – TV not included!

10. Memory enhancer – I can’t remember what I did last week let alone what I did last year, so I use my photo book collection as a memory reference library. “Honey, when did we visit your dad again?” I run upstairs, scan our photo books, and find the answer when I see the title “Fun with dad – June 2009”. Whew!


  1. Joey says

    This is such a great article with fabulous tips. I like the idea of your nephew chasing your cat, so you made him a book of your cat. It is a very good idea to back up pictures.
    I love the idea of the wedding planner – her cover is stunning! Wow! I also like to carry a small 5×7 of the kids to show off. i need to update my book. I like to give these books to the elderly, to parents, kids. They seem to all love them. Plus i enjoy looking back on them.

  2. Earl J says

    A lot of research had to go into this blog. Thanks, you’ve included great tips, and I’d only add one that has worked for me — giving a gift book to my hosts in foreign countries. Photo books are not common there and a Shutterfly-quality book really gets amazing reactions.

  3. says

    Thanks for the shout-out, Rachel! I am loving finding new uses for photo books — it means more excuses to create them! Great ideas here – thanks!

  4. says

    Love the cat deterrent! Or, should I say child deterrent? Some great ideas here for photo books. Still think Shutterfly should make a BOARD book option for the younger ones who are prone to ripping and chewing. Who knows, maybe sometime down the road :)

  5. says

    I love my photo books so much I just can put them away. Instead of china on my buffet, I have my books. When ever we have company, they are drawn to them and look away. I even find my kids looking back at great times by themselves quietly in the big chair.

  6. angies5 says

    Wow! This is such a great list. I haven’t seen or thought of half of these at least. :) I really like the wedding planning, and home improvement ideas. And, I am on my way now to check out the link to the “How-to Kit.” And you are so right about the last one… I am very thankful I have placed many things into photobooks. As I look back at them I often think how I wouldn’t have remembered these moments had I not put them into books. Thanks for the great ideas!

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