Family Album 2013

Family Album 2013: The Highlights Page

This post is part of a series where I explain in detail how I approached and built my 2013 family album that was printed  by Blurb. In a hurry? View the completed photobook, now.

While I really wish I had been clever enough to come up with this concept, I have to that Nettio Designs for having the foresight to create this Highlights page. You can see how the designer used it in her original Week in the Life album here.

Although the entire album is a time capsule of our lives in 2013, I felt that the Highlights page was something that could really give us sense of time travel when we looked back on it in coming decades. So, I modified the column headings to capture the things I thought I'd find most significant to our time and place when I looked back on it, years from now.

I design my photobooks to capture the here and now,
but my audience is the Future Us.

Already, at a year out some of the music we were listening to in 2013 already feels like ancient history. Time moves so fast. Yet, some things—like the board games we were playing—are just as relevant now as they were a year ago.


This column bugs me a bit.  really wanted a place to note the big purchases we make each year. My husband and I find ourselves doing a funny memory dance all the time as we wrack our brains trying to remember wen we bought our last TV or refrigerator. Years and months just seem to run together after a while. The intention of this column is to correct that, but I don't love the way it looks.


I wanted a place in this album to mention some things that had affected me emotionally, such a the Boston Marathon bombing; but, since our family was not directly affected, I didn't feel I should dedicate a spread to. Also, my daughter is young, though she is a very capable reader. I want her to look through this album and enjoy it as a part of her own story. I don't want to create spreads about Big World Things that turn this into a book she needs to be shielded from.

But, world events are a part of our story and the significance of them will be revealed to her in tome. I want her to have a place to connect what was happening in her world at the same time something else was happening in the rest of the world. My feeling is that I will adjust how I handle stories like that in the future, as she gets older. But for now this is one way of incorporating the larger stuff in the world, without distracting from the story of our day-to-day lives.

More About This Project

  • Want to know why I decided to make a 2013 family album? Check this out.
  • Would you like to know more about how I organized this project and the tools I used? See here.
  • Curious about the cool navigation technique I added to the fore edge of my book? Want to know what the heck a fore edge is? Read this.
  • Want to know how and why I incorporated my daughter's artwork into this project? That's here.
  • Want an in-depth look at an entire season from my photobook? Read here.
  • Curious about how I created the photobook cover? That's up next.