Turn Your Family History into a 20-Page Photo Book

By Vanessa Wieland

You’ve done a lot of research on your family history and you’ve found some fascinating stories. Did your great-grandparents have a beautiful love story? Was another ancestor a key figure in a big event? If you want a great way to share and preserve your family history in book form but you don’t want to write 50,000 words, there’s an easier way to document your story: Make a 20-page photo book.

Better yet, you don’t have to commit a lot of time to a hefty project; you can complete your photo book in a weekend. Best of all: They make great gifts and there’s a holiday coming up fast!

Now, if you’re wondering if this project is for you, check out the 4 ideas below to get some inspiration. Then, sign up for our 3-day workshop, Make a Family History Book in 3 Days, and we’ll walk you through all the steps to tell your story, including determining what elements to include, how to plan out your pages, and refine your project. When you’re done, you will be ready to order your books from Shutterfly, Snapfish, or another company of your choice.

Tell Your Ancestor’s Story with Fewer Words

You may not have 60,000 words to write about your ancestors, and that’s okay. There are plenty of stories that can be captured in a lot less. The key is to incorporate photos and documents, such as certificates, recipes, old letters…anything that helps tell the story. You’ll discover that with key visual elements, it’s not hard to lay out a 20-page book, especially when you’re working with a template. We’ll walk you through the steps to determine the content of your 20-page photo book in day one of the workshop.

Put a Unique Spin on the Tale

How a story is told and who is telling it can add a unique flavor to a story, so it’s worth putting your own spin on the tale. You can share your own memory of the ancestor you’re documenting, or show the origins of a family tradition and how your family has evolved over time. Are you inspired by your great-grandparents love story or journey to America? Tell how their legacy continues to shine through the generations.

Plus, if you are giving this as a gift to another family member, you’ll be giving a one-of-a-kind gift that you can guarantee they won’t get from anyone else!

Enrich the Story with Historical Details

What was in the news at the time your ancestor lived? What local or global events were affecting them? Even if your ancestor wasn’t a soldier during a war, they might have had to deal with rationing or changes in their job. Add historical details through copies of old letters, newspaper clippings, and photographs of their hometown at the time.

Create A Timeline or Pedigree Chart

Of course, if you’re working with your family history, a pedigree chart is the perfect way to add a visual element to your photo book. But if you want another stunning way to add a visual graphic to your photo book? Add a timeline!

In the workshop, we’ll share resources that will help you build a beautiful timeline that you can use to show a snapshot of your ancestor’s life. Better yet, treat the entire book as a timeline, with each page or spread detailing a separate fact or event.

These are just the tip of the iceberg! You’ll get more ideas from instructor Sunny Morton, as well as plenty of tools for developing your own story and creating your book. Don’t miss out on this 3-day event. It runs November 9th – 11, 2018.