How to create a stunning holiday photo album.

Who doesn't love a holiday? And who doesn't love a photo album to help them reminisce?! Here at And Other Memories, you'll find I'm a big fan of both travelling and printed photos, which is why I find holiday albums so much fun to create. Anything to bring back that feeling of relaxation! With the summer season behind us, and the snow season ahead, what better time is there to put together a beautiful and personalised holiday album? Whether you want to create one yourself or enlist the help of professional's such as ourselves, here are some of the things to consider when creating your album.

Sort your Photos

Before you can create a holiday album, it is always a good idea to go through your photos and work out which ones you want to keep and which ones you want to discard. If you do this in advance, you can categorise them and become familiar with each image which will save you a lot of time when it comes to designing your album. I always take the time to go through clients photos before I start designing as this way it is easier to build up a picture of how the album will look, and I know where each image is. This makes it much simpler to select images as I'm designing and when I think "Ooh that would work well here." It is best to go through each image, choosing the best of multiple similar ones, and discarding those that aren't in focus, are grainy, or you just aren't a fan of. Once you have the photos you want to keep it can be a good idea to separate the images into folders, for example, day by day, or into categories such as the place you stayed, the beach, the pool or the slopes if it was a ski holiday.

Once you have familiarised yourself with the images, and worked out which photos make the cut it is on to the fun part - the design!


A holiday album is one of the best album types for having some fun with the backgrounds. Whether you want to use an atmospheric image that doesn't quite make the cut as a prominent photo, or add an element from the holiday that you loved, there are loads of ways you can make the background fun. Below are some examples of pages with all sorts of different backgrounds. There are landscapes, someone's legs over a swimming pool, and some leaves both real and as artwork, each of which meant something to the person the album was created for. Creating backgrounds like these is a great way to create truly personalised albums.

If you have children, perhaps you could use their drawings from the holiday to add that extra personal touch, or some art work they created such as marbled paper. If you know you will be creating an album before you go on holiday, getting the kids to do something like this also acts as a great way to keep them entertained. For more on easy marbling techniques visit our How To Marble.

Extra elements

Decorate pages with extra elements that mean something to you from your holiday, such as the leaf on the photo above, or the label and shells in the photo below. By adding these extra details, you are ensuring you will never forget the smaller details, and in turn you'll be creating a truly bespoke album. Printed albums are great for including these little extras, all you need is a camera, and a plain background and you can encapsulate the most incredible memories - from an egg box filled with collections of sand and shells, to labels and maps, all are fabulous for custom personalised albums.

How about the little paper umbrella that you kept from that huge ice cream, or the flower you picked from that beautiful bush. Little extras like these help to create the extra wow factor and special feel of a bespoke album.

Lay Out

It's important to choose your lay out carefully when creating holiday albums. One great idea is to group photos by day, so that they are of similar colours and lighting, this way they are sure to look amazing on the page. You can also choose whether you want a scrapbook look, with images overlapping, and laid in a haphazard way, or you may prefer a classic view with photos laid out in a straight and more neat appearance. Or maybe you are going for another look altogether. The choice is yours when you are creating a bespoke album!

It is when you get to this lay out stage that you will be grateful that you took the time before hand to sort out the photos and other elements you may want included. Whether you are doing a day by day album, or themed pages by place, it will be so much easier if you know that all the photos you want for each page or section are grouped together in specific folders waiting for you to just pluck them out and place in the album.

Mix people and landscapes

To create a holiday album that completely captures the trip, make sure to intersperse images of people and landscapes. Too many landscapes, while stunning, can get boring after a while. And too many of people and you risk missing out on the atmosphere of the place. Mix it up and you won't fall into either of these traps. The image below perfectly illustrates a good way of mixing the two by using the scenic landscape of the beach as a backdrop that sets the scene for the beach and boating photos on the page.

Use text

The use of text is really important. You can use it to caption images and people, or drop hints about what you got up too. One of my favourite pages is the one on the left. It uses a quote to capture the holiday vibe. You can use text in a subtle way or as an art form so that it adds an extra something to your album pages. Remember also to have a play around with fonts, sizes and layouts so that the text style matches the style of the page and album. Text can be a great way to draw people in, and also acts as a reminder or prompt for people who weren't there so that they know what was going on in an image. Yes, these may be photo albums but text can be really important, and a fabulous way to adding that extra personal touch. From poems, quotes from a book you read on holiday, to simple captions, don't forget to include text where appropriate.

Don't restrict yourself

If there is a particular day that was really fun or that you have loads of photos of, don't restrict yourself. By adjusting the size of photos you can squeeze lots of photos onto one page and really capture the fun of the day. You can also scale up and devote whole pages to photos that you really love and that stand out to you as being special. It may be a fantastic photo of a person, a landscape, or something that means a lot to whoever the album is for (remember you might not be making the album for yourself but as a gift to someone). To create an unforgettable album you want to play around with photo sizes to make the pages stand out and the album tell your story in a way that is personal to you.

Frame your photos

Why not create borders around your photos to really make them stand out? Colour match too a colour from the photo when creating frames for an image. The fact that it totally matches will help to create a striking image that pops from the page, as can be seen in the middle photo below. Borders don't just have to be square around the photo. They can be patterned such as dots or stripes, or you can layer up blocks of colour that sit under the image. Whatever your choice, it's a great way to make an unforgettable personalised holiday album.

Having said that, images can also be striking when against a plain background page, creating a more classic and understated look so that whatever your style there is always a way to make your photos pop, and your book totally customised. You can see examples of a plain background page in the images to the left and right above. The central image is on a plain background but the borders are colour matched to the images to make the photos pop from the page.

Personalised Album Cover

Once your pages are done it's time to think about the cover. From photo insets, to image wraps and sleeves, there are so many different types to choose from. If you are using a photo in whatever form, try and find a photo that either sums up the holiday as a whole or use one that calls to mind the beginning of a journey, such as a landscape of a beautiful road, a scenic photo of you with your bags packed or the classic aeroplane selfie. The cover is the first thing you will see so it is important to take the time to get it right as it will sum up your bespoke holiday album and give a hint to the personality inside! In the album pictured on the left I chose a photo that captured the couple (my now-husband and I) on one of our many trips abroad as the album was full of photos from all the holidays we had taken between 2009 and 2015. I chose the photo because it was scenic, obviously a holiday snap, but still included the two of us, so gave a real insight into what was in the album. Photo inset covers are also important such as the image of the custom album cover pictured below right. The honeymoon album is summed up with the couple facing away from the camera and out to the world, signalling their unity. The fact that they are in a pool looking out across fields also suggests holidays. It certainly isn't an image you'd come across having been taken in England too often. Again, it sets the scene for what is to come within the album.

I hope that the above has given you some inspiration into making your own personalised holiday album. If you need some help then don't forget And Other Memories is always here to help. We can create your perfect album, to a style of your choice, offering the ultimate in luxury personalised albums. If you prefer to do it yourself, then use these tips to create a truly stunning bespoke album that is totally true to you. There really is nothing like a good holiday album for reminiscing, and having a physical book to look at is so inviting and allows you to move at your own pace through the images. Plus you can see a number of photos at a time on each page, allowing you to take it all in without having to flick through each one, one by one unless you want too! Something that friends and family will be grateful for when you threaten to show them that crocodile you saw for the hundredth time. Whatever your album is of, have fun creating it, customising it to you and reminiscing on the good times as you go!

Find out more about And Other Memories bespoke album creation process here. Prices available here, but do always contact us for personalised quote.


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