What Goes Into Designing a Portrait Album | Washington DC Photographer

Does your family have a precious photo album? Maybe it’s your own baby scrapbook, your wedding album, or even your parents’ wedding album. For many with a treasure like this, their albums are their most prized possessions and the first object you would grab in the event of a fire. 

While digital images are wonderful for sharing, printed portraits are what really last through the generations. Tangible photos in an album will always stay in style and can be pulled out whenever you want to reminisce. 

I believe that photographs are not just frozen moments in time; they are the stories of your life, filled with emotions, shared laughter, and spontaneous in-between moments that make life worthh living. Creating an album with these precious images lets you hold a tangible piece of your life. 

why choose a family portrait album

Here are some reasons I love designing albums for my Washington DC family photography clients, along with how I go about creating an heirloom album with your portraits.

Why Choose an Album?

Limited Wall Space

Our home only has so much wall space. It’s important to be intentional about which portraits we want to hang on the walls. I love guiding my clients through how to display their family photos in their homes. No matter how we design your portrait wall art, you’ll only select a small number from the session—usually, one statement piece or a gallery wall with three to five. Most clients still have images they love and choose an album (or a portrait box) as the perfect way to collect them. You know they will fit into your next home!

Tangible Connection

Think of an eBook vs holding a real book. Holding a physical book in your hand evokes emotion while your senses take in the weight of it, the smell, and the feel of turning the page. Unlike digital files that may get lost or forgotten on your hard drive, an album is a physical connection to your memories that showcases your family’s journey. Imagine someday snuggling on the couch with your grandchildren showing them an album of their parents as children!

Your Story

Albums allow you to tell a complete story of your entire session. It shows moments you absolutely love, but might not necessarily hang on the wall. Those casual, candid moments are the ones that show you how unique and amazing your family really is. Years from now, when you look through an album, you’ll remember all the details not only from your session but from your family during that time in your life.


An album is a timeless heirloom that can be passed down through your family. It’s a treasure that your children, and their children, can hold and cherish, providing a sense of continuity and connection to their roots. I have a treasured album from my great-grandparents that includes images that are over 100 years old! 

Designing the Perfect Album

Now that you understand why I love creating photo albums, let’s talk about what goes into designing one.

1. Selecting the Photos

The first step is selecting the images that best capture the essence of your session. These should be the images that evoke the strongest emotions and memories and that really show the connection between and among family members. I guide my clients through this process during their image selection after their session.

2. Telling the Story

Like putting chapters into a book, think of your album as a narrative. I arrange the images in a way that they flow naturally. The more serious moments might have a couple of light-hearted moments scattered throughout. It’s totally custom to each client’s session and story.

3. Layout and Design

The layout should be clean and elegant, allowing each image to shine on its own while complementing the next. I stay within your color scheme and design elements that enhance the overall aesthetic to create a preliminary design that we adjust together during your image selection.

4. Archival Printing

Have you ever looked at an image printed from a local drug store compared to one professionally printed on high-quality material? There’s definitely a huge difference. Professionally printed photos are rated to last for 300 years. They will stand the test of time and will preserve your memories for generations to come.

Washington DC Family Photographer

In the end, I see designing a photo album as an art with every page a blank canvas. It’s a labor of love you can hold, share, and revisit whenever you please. Ready to book your own session and create your album? I’ll guide you every step of the way, ensuring your cherished moments are preserved and celebrated. Contact me today to get started; you won’t regret it!

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Certified Professional Photographer | Lisa Maco Photography, LLC, Washington, DC

Modern Photography for Busy Families

in and around Northwest DC

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Lisa Maco Photography, LLC Washington DC

Lisa Maco Photography, LLC

4400 Greenwich Pkwy NW

Washington, DC 20007

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