How to Make a Tribute Photo Book

By 23 October 2020

How to Make a Tribute Photo Book

In this Internet Age, our society has become photo-centric. A few decades ago, photography was considered a specialized medium exclusive to artists, journalists and fashion photographers. Amateurs who picked up photography were hobbyists who could afford the then-expensive cameras available in the market. There weren’t as many photography enthusiasts then compared to now.

Today, almost everyone has a mobile phone, whether it’s a smartphone or an older basic phone, and, more likely than not, these phones have a camera. In the palm of our hands are countless photo albums filled with memories. This level of efficiency in storing visual information is a remarkable achievement in our technological progression. However, storing is one thing but sharing them is another. We take so many photos but they stay on our phone or in a dusty photo album for only a few people to see.

A tribute photo book is one of the best ways to honor your departed loved one. Photo books capture and immortalize scenes from their extraordinary life. We'll show you how to make one as a tribute to their memory and some of the ways to make them shareable.

Create a Traditional Tribute Photo Book

Create an old-fashioned tribute photo book, which is essentially a photo album specifically focused on your departed loved one's life and times. This will make a great keepsake, a visual time capsule, if you will, that you can keep in your home to remember your loved one.

Step 1: Collect Old Photographs

First, collect all the photographic prints featuring your loved one, whether it's just them in the shot or with family, friends, and colleagues. Think of the tribute photo book as a kind of visual biography of your loved one. If the photos are in bad condition, you can scan them, then edit them until they have a better quality on a photo editing software like Adobe Lightroom or any free photo editing programs that come with your computer.

Afterwards, you can print them and use those for your photo book. We suggest you hire a professional to do this process if it's within your budget. They have the expertise to optimize the quality of creased, ripped, and faded photographs.

Step 2: Curate

Think like a curator of a photo exhibition at a gallery. However, instead of an art museum, your tribute photo book is a museum dedicated to your loved one. Choose the ones that depict your dearly departed having full of life and radiating positive vibes: them laughing, smiling, or caught in the moment of action like reeling in a massive fish, or bicycling, or playing with their grandchildren.

Show different sides of them. Not all photos have to be of them smiling. If there are artistic candid shots of them in a moment of contemplation, or their face is caught by the sunlight in a poetic way, be sure to include those as well.

Step 3: Organize

Organize your curated photos. You can organize them in various ways, such as:

  • Chronologically

  • Holidays

  • Milestones

  • Vacations

Organizing your tribute photo book will make it easier for viewers to see a narrative. After all, our life is like a novel with many different chapters.

Step 4: Think Outside the Frame

Don't just include photos. You can include other paper ephemera as well, such as postcards and tickets. Some examples include:

  • Tickets to a sporting event

  • Movie tickets from their first date

  • Plane tickets from a memorable vacation

  • Cruise tickets they took as a retirement present

  • Greeting cards

  • Letters (that aren't too personal)

  • Business cards with their name on it

  • Drawings, if they were an artist

As you can see, the possibilities are endless. Think outside of the box and make your photo book a multimedia collage.

These steps can be applied to an online tribute photo book, such as a Memories Timeline. The only difference is with online photo books, you will be uploading rather than gluing. With an online host, you can also upload videos. To learn more about a photo book or online memorial, read on.

Creating an Online Memorial

Online memorials, believe it or not, are growing in popularity. It seems like an obscure niche to some, but it’s true. Online memorials have become a hybrid of family trees and Facebook memorial pages, except online memorials offer more features and privacy than both.

Social media platforms have limitations and risks, namely data privacy. Social media, after all, is meant to be social. Today, it’s popular for Facebook users to store and share their photos of loved ones. However, Facebook users should keep in mind a few pitfalls of using the platform for archiving family photos, such as the risk of accounts being hacked and your photos permanently deleted. Additionally, Facebook, which also owns the ultimate photo album, Instagram, has faced heavy scrutiny over data privacy threats.

There is also an air of respectability and sacredness to online memorials compared to a casual social media page or blog. It’s akin to entering a peaceful cemetery or memorial service in real life. It’s not necessarily solemn, but the celebration of a loved one’s life triggers the visitor’s instinct to proceed with sensitivity.

Speaking of visitors, an online memorial website is a lot more private than social media accounts. There have been numerous cases where a Facebook page or Instagram account is hacked by malicious people. The user would not only be able to regain access to their accounts, but also lose valuable contents. Data privacy and privacy in general are important issues today because that is what the internet is composed of. Online memorials are one of the best examples of privacy online. Regardless of which company you choose as your online memorial host, all of the websites are dedicated to providing security of privacy.

Online memorials could be a new way of collecting and sharing photos and videos from the family archive. This centralized platform can help future generations remember loved ones for many years by keeping the memories of those who have passed alive. Oftentimes, social media sites can be quite jumbled, making navigation chaotic for both administrators and visitors. Facebook, for example, still has an outdated layout but continues to add more and more features.

This is because one of Facebook’s primary goals is to acquire more technologies and smaller companies in order to increase profit potential. I know social media websites can sometimes feel like a community, but we must never forget that they are multibillion-dollar corporations whose aim is to fulfill company goals, which may not include you, the user, and to satisfy shareholders. An online memorial website, such as Memories, doesn’t have the same ambitions as Facebook, Amazon or Google. They simply want to provide a service for people so that they can honor and remember their loved ones.

One of the reasons online memorials are better than social media sites is that everyone can contribute at any time through an online memorial’s administrator. The administrator has control over who can access the page, which is something that is lacking in platforms like Facebook or Instagram. Photos can easily be uploaded from a phone or computer on to the memorial page. Plus, people can scan old print photos in traditional albums which can be digitized and uploaded to a cloud for secure storage. Administrators can even allow close friends and family of the dearly departed to access the database just as you do with Google Drive.

The Importance of Archiving Your Family’s Legacy

So, why is it important to use the best platform to archive family photos, videos and stories? Well, it’s the same reason why museums and private family scrapbooks are important: they contain history that can never be erased or replaced.

Think of your life as a book, like an epic memoir that is being written in real-time and in real life by you. When you pass on to the next life, those books become important vessels of history that can be cherished by future generations, from your children to your grandchildren to their grandchildren, and so forth. In ancient Gaelic culture, there is a storyteller and historian called the seanchaí, who passes on history to the future generations through the spoken word. In West African tradition, this person is called the griot. When a griot dies, they say, it is like an entire library burns down. As you can see, the importance of preserving and sharing history is a universal concept.

That’s why it’s essential that you choose how that information would be preserved and presented to others. Although technology has made it easier for us to store and share vast amounts of information, that same technology also has various issues that could issues and failure.

That is why online memorials are appealing. They can be trusted because their sole purpose is to preserve family legacies. Again, in this day and age, online memorials have evolved to become more than just a memorial website or tribute page for a loved one who has passed away; it is also a kind of family tree and legacy archive.

Whatever you choose to archive your family’s legacy, whether a traditional tribute photo book or an online memorial, what’s important is that you’re preserving invaluable memories that will last forever. After all, in this day of fleeting transient memories and media, preservation is becoming all too important.