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Holiday projects with benefits

If you find yourself with some free time during the holidays you might like to invest in one of these photo projects that offer long term benefits for you and your family - start your family history research, organise your digital photos for safe-keeping, preserve your best photos from the last 12 months in a yearbook or archive your kidlet's artwork in an yearbook. Below you'll find some tips to get you started plus links to more blog posts with all the details.


Start your family history research

While you're catching up with relatives over the festive season, use the opportunity to start exploring your family history. Grab an old album and ask them who’s in the photos, when and where they taken, or find out who the family's genealogy enthusiast is so you can schedule a catch up. Keep a pen and paper close to hand for writing notes or simply record their trip down memory lane as audio on your mobile phone.



To help share the 'research' load, ask siblings, aunts and grandparents to bring along their historical photos and documents, with dates, names and places written on the back, or even better, numbered and noted in a text document. Then reserve one or two days in January to scan them all before the busy-ness of the year takes over. To ensure you've got the facts, upload the most important or unknown shots to a Facebook album so relatives can make comments and provide more information.

Or simply hatch a plan for family members to post or email photos to you within the next few months, so you can get the ball rolling and identify who the main contributors and supporters or your history project will be.

For a step-by-step guide on how to scan photos, then sequence and layout a book see our Family History Book blog and flick through our post featuring great history book designs.


Sort and save your photo collection

Most people think of family history as something from the past but it’s happening right now, every single day. We believe there will be a whole generation without a ‘recorded history’ if they rely on digital files and digital storage only. Humans and technology are not flawless so put some effort into managing your photos before it's too late.


The iconic storage device of the 1980s, the floppy disc, was inaccessible after only 30 years, yet a daguerreotype print from the 1880s can still be seen! So use this holiday period to get your photo collection under control, and commit to a regular transfer and back up plan from 1 January 2017.

For everything you need to know visit one of our most popular blog posts - How to manage your photo collection.


Make a photo yearbook

what will your photographic legacy be when your photos are the only thing that remain?  How will family, friends and descendants know what made you tick? We live in a world of instant gratification, where many people are satisfied with viewing images on a computer screen or by showing them off in a social post for five minutes of glory. But what about long term enjoyment?  Is all that effort worth so little?


We encourage you to complete the photographic journey and curate you best images in an annual photobook that can be enjoyed by many, for decades or centuries to come. Our new blog post by Better Photography editor, Peter Eastway, explains the value of and process for creating yearbooks that will become a personal and family keepsake here.


Archive your children’s artwork

This photo project is truly fun. I should know I've been creating three art books a year for my nieces and nephew since 2010. I don't get to see the kids as often as I'd like but I feel I haven't missed out on anything after sorting through their drawings and paintings from the past 12 months, giggling at the spelling errors, familiar storylines and the finer details in sketches - like crows feet and frown lines in grandparent portraits!


Basically your creating a contemporary version of a scrapbook, you remember the big book from your childhood that your mum or dad would proudly glue sketches and certificates into then present it to all the relatives as soon as they walked in the door. Start your kid’s memory book this year and enjoy the added benefit of removing stacks of paper from the house.

Find out exactly how to do this in our blog post - Annual Art Books for Kids.



Explore more photo book inspiration