Treasure your past in the present with the perfect photo books
We all sometimes have trouble remembering the truly good times in our lives. These are the times we come to cherish the most, having spent them with friends, family and loved ones. Photos are a perfect way to offset this unfortunate side effect of the passage of time, as they capture each moment in a physical, tangible way that – if taken care of – lasts forever.
In the age of smartphones and Instagram, photos aren’t treated the same way they used to be. We keep them on our devices and forget them as more pictures are snapped and they get pushed down the timeline. So why not stage your own personal fight back against this trend, and keep your pictures and mementoes in the real world with a photo album or scrapbook?
With a generous helping of imagination and patience, these albums can become so much more than storage that gets tucked away in a cabinet, as they allow you to frame your memories with thoughtful decoration and context, alongside concert tickets, birthday cards, and well-placed doodles and stickers.
We’ve collected some of the best here. You’re bound to find something to spark your imagination.
How to decide which photo album is right for you
Do I have to design it myself?
A decade ago there was no other option than to stick and paste our photos into albums ourselves. Some would have had a lot of fun in the process, but others found it far too arduous. If you were in the latter camp, you’ll appreciate the services that create your album for you, leaving you just to upload the images you want to use and choose a design you love. See just two examples below from Inkifi and Not on the High Street.
Do I need any extras?
While some photo albums come with defined slots for your photos, others take a DIY approach, allowing you to set out your pictures and keepsakes however you choose. In the latter case, you’ll need to purchase adhesive photo corners to secure them, which, as a bonus, gives your album a classic, beautiful finish. Why not try these basic corners, or some multicoloured ones if you prefer.
Are there any themed options?
Yes. There are some beautiful themed options to choose from, with wedding albums – as an example – often designed to complement the rest of your event (see below). Sometimes, simple is better, but other times it’s the details that make something feel extra-special and unique. Whether you buy an album that fits with the theme or you buy extra decorations to enhance it, there’s no need to settle for anything less than perfect.
The best photo albums you can buy right now
1. Sunstudio Photo Album Scrapbook: Best for simplicity
Price: £13 | Buy now from Amazon
If clean and simple is what you want, you can’t get much better than this Sunstudio photo album that, depending on the look you’re aiming for, doubles as a scrapbook. The book’s 40 pages have been made using thick craft paper and give you enough space for more than 100 photos. The whole thing has an elegant, vintage vibe to it, with a black bow fastening to set it off. This keeps your most treasured memories safe and secure until you want to view them, which is made even easier by the album’s ability to lie completely flat.
Pages: 40; Photos: 100+
2. Personalised Leather Photo Album: Best for big projects
Price: £52 | Buy now from Not on the High Street
If you’re someone who likes to keep pictures from each year or event but doesn’t want mismatched albums on the shelf, these personalised leather books are the ideal solution. They let you sort your memories in such a way that you’ll be proud to give them a prominent spot in your home. Available in a massive array of colours – both bright and muted – you’re unlikely to run out of variations, while the fact you can personalise them means you can mix and match to your heart’s content.
Size: 3 x 25 x 31cm; Pages: 60; Photos: 120
3. RECUTMS Our Adventure Book: Best for Pixar fans
Price: £11 | Buy now from Amazon
Inspired by the Pixar film Up, Our Adventure Book is an adorable way to store your memories of trips, events or just everyday adventures. It has a DIY feel with the rustic-looking rope that holds it together also making it easier to swap and change the contents as you wish. The album comes with extras including postcards, adhesive photo corners and coloured pens, so you can go nuts decorating pages as you go.
Size: 3.6 x 25.9cm x 27.9cm; Pages: 40; Photos: 160+
4. CreativeBridal Ivory Personalised Photo Album: Best for weddings
Price: £46 | Buy now from Amazon
If your photo album will be less of a general memories book than something to commemorate just one special occasion, this CreativeBridal Ivory Wedding Album could be the ideal choice. It perfectly suits the classic wedding aesthetic, with ivory ribbon, lace and roses. If you’re going traditional, this is it. The book has been handcrafted and you can choose the ribbon colour yourself to make it one of a kind.
Size: 30 x 31cm; Pages: 50; Photos: 48
5. Indra Embossed Leather Photo Album: Best for vintage lovers
Price: £37 | Buy now from Not on the High Street
If you want to keep things classy, you can’t go wrong with this leather-bound tome to house your photos. The embossed (eco-friendly and fair trade) leather cover features a metal clasp, enclosing 30 pages that can give a home to a massive 240 photos. The paper itself is made from recycled cotton leftover from India’s garment industry, and no chemicals or bleach are used in its creation.
Size: 26 x 33.5cm; Pages: 30; Photos: 240
6. Instagram Photo Book: Best for social media addicts
Price: £13 | Buy now on Inkifi
You may think Instagram and social media, in general, are to blame for the demise of physical photo albums, but it’s just as true as it always was that we’re programmed to view images in a familiar, aesthetically-pleasing grid format – just like they’re shown on Instagram itself. Books like this, found on Inkifi, are a brilliant alternative to keeping everything on your phone or online. Personally designed and printed, they let you choose between full-page shots, an Insta-style grid, or a mix of the two.
Size: 14cm (5.5in) or 21.59cm (8.5in) square; Pages: 24 to 200
7. Personalised Pop-Out Photo Album in Box: Best for space-saving
Price: £16 | Buy now from Not on the High Street
This is another innovative way to use your square, Polaroid-style photos. The Personalised Pop-Out Photo Album comes in a small box, which is lifted to reveal its photographic contents. If you’re short of shelf or storage space, it’s ideal, and it can be kept in easy reach for whenever you fancy a trip down memory lane. The pictures are fixed to the box, so you won’t lose any.
Size: 9 x 9cm; Photos: 8
8. GreatGadgets Nostalgic Photo Chest: Best for appearance
Price: £23 | Buy now from Amazon
An innovative way to store your old photos, this vintage-style chest opens up to reveal sectioned-off space for your pictures. There are twelve pull-out albums in total, holding up to 288 photos, and the chests are handmade from real wood so you can be sure yours will be unique. It’s the perfect solution for those who want to keep their images safe but also want something that can be displayed in the house.
Size: 15 x 20.5 x 35.5cm; Photos: 288