Celebrate the great outdoors

Do you have a favorite outdoors activity?

Some folks like to ski. Others ride bikes, mountain climb, or run. My family likes to canoe camp. We’ve been canoe camping at the same lake in the Oregon Cascade Mountains for years, ever since our kids were in early grade school, so it made sense to create a photo book commemorating this family activity.

Here are three ways I can approach my outdoor photo book.

I could gather photos from all the years we’ve been camping and put them in order. This would be ideal for telling the history of how we got started canoe camping at Timothy Lake, and it would show a progression in age for all of us.

Our two children started out riding in the middle of the canoe with Mom in the front paddling and Dad in the back paddling and steering

Grandpa is in my usual spot, since I’m taking the photo.

Somewhere along the line, when the kids were in high school, that canoe started getting awfully heavy to handle with such big, strapping kids in the middle. We got a second canoe, taught them how to paddle, and off they went on their own water adventure!

Single Event
A second way to approach an outdoor photo book is to create one with photos from a single outdoor event. This is much easier to do. There’s no hunting up old photos, scanning them, and fixing color cast or dust and scratches. You can also plan ahead and decide what kinds of photos would best portray your ideal trip. Of course, it helps if the weather cooperates.

Being short on time, this is the route I decided to take. Thankfully, we had a day where the lake was like glass, with reflections of the trees and Mt. Hood showing in the water. Both of our grown children were involved with the planning and helped take the photos so everyone was represented in the pictures—even me, the usual photographer

Single Event With Picture Gallery
This last approach may be the best of both. Create a “Single Event” photo book, but add a photo gallery at the end with favorite photos from past adventures. That way you have a cohesive story of one trip, but you can add some photos and journaling that help put your current adventure in perspective with your family history.

One thing is sure, however. Your outdoor photos definitely deserve a photo book of their own. If you’re short on time, consider using a set of templates like the Escape to Nature QuickAlbum that I used. You can find it at ScrappersGuide.com/templates.

This album was created using the, Escape to Nature kit by Eva Kipler which is also available if you want to design your own pages.

I also recommend taking a look at Shutterfly’s All New Custom Path for your outdoor photo book. The Summer Splash backgrounds under the Seasonal styles is perfect for showing off all the brilliant colors of summer and camping.

Linda S
(Linda Sattgast)


  1. Joey says

    Your canoe pictures above are fabulous. I love the reflection on the lake. What a great outdoor activity/adventure to do with your whole family. I can see where nice weather would for sure help. I also like your digi page. Great article and tips to help us celebrate the great outdoors.

  2. says

    I am starting to collect enough of famiy photos that now I can start doing now and then books. I cant wait to try to put one together of our camping adventures and Disneyland trips.

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