DIY: Photo Album

I really enjoy taking photographs and have been wanting to make an album for quite some time, after being inspired by MH Studios. While my album is not hand embroidered – although I would love to do that someday – I love the feel of the handmade paper my album is constructed from, and thought I would share my supply list and process steps for anyone else that is interesting in putting together a modern album too.

My album was purchased from TopDrawer in Chicago and is made by Lamali Paris

The most helpful first step tip came from a photographer friend who suggested I add all of my desired photographs into an album on Lightroom (or on iPhone) and cull them down from there. This significantly sped up the process of selecting photos. I started with a large album inclusive of all photos from a trip, and was able to quickly narrow them down to 150 photos. From there, I did edit my photos with a batch filter that I created on Lightroom. While I loved my filter on screen (a bit moody with a slight blue tinge), it felt a tad dark in print. I’m not entirely sure how to perfectly trouble shoot that next time, but I will probably spend a bit more time making sure that my subjects faces are brighter in my next edit, before I print.

I edited my photos in Lightroom and printed at Printique – very happy with the quality!
  1. Album: the best albums I have found are by Bindewerk and made in Germany, but are available at Scriptura in New Orleans. I called the shop to place my order and they were so helpful. These albums are classic, wrapped in linen and have thin waxed paper sheets between every page to protect the photographs. They are beautiful classic albums. For this project, I found a special handmade and hand-bound album at TopDrawer in Chicago by Lamali Paris
  2. Photo Corners (3 packs): Lineco Acid Free Ivory Corners, 252 / pack. Three packs provides corners for 190 photos
  3. Photos: I printed 150 3.5×5″ photos and had room left over for another trip in my album. I used Printique printing service, which was cheaper than Artifact Uprising and had the best selection. I was very happy with the quality of the matte photos with white border that I chose
  4. Micron 005 liner pen

I organized my photos into piles by “event” then put 2-4 photos in each page turn as a placeholder for photo corners. Once I identified where each photo would appear, I used the photo corners to pin them down. I put the corners first on the photo and then stuck them down. Given the handmade rough paper edges that this album has, I eyeballed the positioning, but for a “tighter” more formal album, a ruler would be helpful.

Using 3.5×5″ photos from Printique (150 prints), I fit up to 2 per page with room to spare
I used a Micron pen to write a note on each photo within the white border

I am happy with the 3.5×5″ sized photo prints and the way this album turned out. I am going to work on a Bindewerk album next for my son’s first three years, and our family trips!