This week my grandmother received a photo book that my brother and I designed for her. She suffers from memory loss, and my grandfather hopes that seeing pictures of us will help her understand who we are. Below I have outlined the steps we took to create the book for her.
We designed a 20-page book. We kept it at the minimum page count because she can concentrate for a short time before getting distracted.
We designed the book using Shutterfly. Each of us have used their tools to make several photo books, so we are familiar with their interface.
We used a Shutterfly Storytelling Style, “Grandma’s Brag Book” under the Family category. It has layouts and embellishments that go well with how we wanted to format the book. Plus it is a little retro, which I think my grandmother can connect with.
We chose the front cover photo to be a picture of her with us as children. Earlier time periods seem to stay in the memory better.
The first few pages show pictures of my father, from childhood through adulthood. My grandmother finds it much easier to remember her children than grandchildren.
Next are pages of pictures of her with us as young children, then when we were older children.
Next I give a spread to each of her grandchildren with more current pictures. For example, pictures from Christmas cards or weddings from the last few years. For each grandchild I write a caption of a few sentences, for example, “This is my grandson John. He works at XYZ as a designer. He loves hiking and volunteering.” Great-grandchildren have individual pictures, with captions for their names.
Last are pages of more recent visits with my grandmother and family members together.
Overall the layout was pretty simple. Hopefully this gives you inspiration to make a photo book to share with your loved ones, too.