Creating a Family History Photo Book

Creating a Family History Photo Book

Tips & Ideas on the perfect Family History Photo Books

The way that we usually find out about our family’s history is through old stories and sometimes even older pictures. And that makes it pretty hard to have a coherent picture of what happened to your relatives before your time.


These memories are passed around at family gatherings, usually as out of context and individual stories and pictures. It’s up to us and our imagination, to piece it all together in our mind to figure out the complete story of how our ancestors fared and how the current generation came to be. This can prove to be tricky at times, as multiple relatives can have different recollections of an event or person.

Creating Family History Photo Books are the perfect way to combat that, by putting genealogy together with the storylines under a neat cover. Except that putting one together used to be quite the task. Usually, older family pictures are available in a single example and scattered across different relatives. And some of them may not be exactly keen on the idea of parting with them.

Fortunately enough, we live in a time when digitizing pictures is as easy as pie (not Nana’s secret recipe pie, of course, think store bought). You can easily gather all the pictures you need and design a separate Family History book copy for every niece, uncle, and cousin that may want it.

But where do you start? Here’s where Mixbook comes to help with some family history photo album ideas and some tips on how to make your book special.


Step 1: Choose a Photo Book Theme

Yes, theme, you don’t necessarily have to go with the classic genealogy or heritage approach, while tried and true, there are always alternatives. We will list a few later in the article :)

Step 2: Gather as much history and storylines as you can

Gather as much data as you can, once you settled on the type of book you want. Stories, letters, pictures, recipes - anything you think might be relevant to your specific project. Remember, the more you gather the more compelling of a story about your family you will be able to tell.

Step 3: Plan your photo book concept, design, and arrangement

We hope that with Mixbook’s tools and themes this step will prove to be the easiest and most enjoyable! And of course, we’ll throw in a couple of ideas to spice up your project :)


What Kind of Template Should You Use?

Year in Review Photo Book
As opposed to trying to put together the past for someone who lives in the present, how about focusing on more recent events? Think about the most impressive achievements or memorable moments that a loved one has had in this past year. Lay them out in chronological a year in review photo book and present them with this book for their birthday or the New Year’s. Not only will this show how proud you are of them, but your family will also have a timeless memory piece, that might as well become a yearly family tradition. Because this can also be done for your family as a whole, denoting the most notable events that you had together in the past year.

Family Recipe Photo Book
Your clan’s history doesn’t have to be passed down in pictures you know, it can very well be passed down in the tummies of the generations to come! We’re sure you can think of quite a few recipes already that can be included in a family recipe photo book, Whether it be your dad’s brisket he insists on cooking by himself only for the biggest occasions, or your grandma’s cherry pie we mentioned before, the recipe of which is safely stored in a small tea tin box.

Heritage Picture Book
Finally, the most traditional approach. A proud display of your family’s lineage through the years is one of the most time-proven ways of honoring your ancestors and keeping their memory alive. And for good reason!


1. A recipe book doesn’t have to fill with plain old boring pages full of nothing but text. Have a page where you describe the recipe, ingredients, and the history of it on the left. On the right page, you can include a picture of the recipe’s owner cooking the dish, or the family gathered around it at a table. Finally, it can be a picture of the handwritten recipe, which will look especially nice if it’s an old one that’s been passed down for generations.

2. Family History Books can be more than just pictures of ancestors, with years and names under them. Choose a picture with one of your relatives, preferably a close-up or one where they’re standing up, and place it on the left half of the book. On the right relate the story of their life, their achievements, the role they played in the formation of your family. You can follow this up with a couple of pages filled with moments and events from their life.

3. Another nice approach is to layout your pictures chronologically. Start with the oldest black and white ones, slowly moving forward with the pictures that have some color in them, follow-up with some polaroids, and finally finish with the crisp and colorful digital pictures we have today. This way you’ll achieve a visual representation of the passing of time while giving a new life to older pictures simultaneously.

4. Sometimes copies aren’t enough. And so aren’t digitalized version of pictures. But there is a way to include your family heirlooms into your book while also keeping them safe. While designing your book with Mixbook’s editing tools, include some pages with borders but with a blank space in the middle. Upon receiving the book, you can glue in an envelope in which you can safely keep letters, original photos, postcards, and pretty much anything that fits. For your larger heirlooms, we recommend getting a treasure chest with a key, not only will they fit and preserve better, but it’d be a nice way to decorate a room.

5. Last but not least, and this one is more of an idea on what kind of picture to take as opposed to how to design your book. At your next family gathering, single out the eldest family member, that would go the highest on your family’s genealogy tree. Take a picture with them only. Then add their first generation of children on the next one. And then the grandchildren on the next one. And so on until your whole extended family on your picture (that is they can fit in one of course).

Did you find the inspiration you were looking for? Take a picture and post it on Instagram with the #MixbookMoment tag to show us your results! Don’t hesitate to tell us which idea you liked best by dropping a message in the comment section!

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