Photos of the lake — or anywhere else — transport the viewer

Choosing a place for the theme of a digital photo album is an excellent way to organize one’s photos — and it might make a fine coffee table book, too.

My sister lives on a lake in Minnesota, and a good friend of hers recently gave her a beautiful photo album illustrated with years of photos of their families’ exploits on the lake.

The cover is adorned with a magnificent shot of the beautiful body of water and simply the words “The Lake.”

Inside are pages of photos taken during weekends and holidays spent together as families waterskiing, grilling, carousing and fishing. Some of the pages feature headlines and quotes about lake life: “It’s the little moments that make life big.” I imagine the friend made a copy for herself, too, a simply way to preserve her family’s memories while making a meaningful gift.

Location is a good theme for other albums, too:

  • “The Cabin” or “The Cottage” or “The Chalet” works for photos taken at a vacation home or timeshare.
  • “The Farm” might be appropriate for a family or heritage album of photos taken on the family acreage.
  • “The Great Outdoors” titles a book of camping photos or snowmobiling expeditions.
  • Pictures taken during a college career or study abroad program could be assembled in a book titled simply with the city name.
  • “Our First Home” covers any span of time — long or short — and photos of any number of different events experienced there (holidays, new babies, gardens, remodeling projects).

I met a woman recently who intends to preserve her vacation photos so she can enjoy them when she’s older and can no longer travel — those books will be like travelogues of fantastic journeys.

The better the quality of the photography, the more the album will look like a coffee table book. Preserve some of the photos at a higher resolution so as to display them large and impressively.

A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature.  It is earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.

~ Henry David Thoreau


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