One doesn’t need to be a poet to add meaning to a photo album. But poetry is nice.
While one’s own words add a level of sophistication and value to an album project, I’ve always thought it would be fun to create a non-chronological photo album for someone using the text from a book by Dr. Seuss or Max Lucado throughout the whole book.
Safer from a copyright perspective would be to use poetry by Walt Whitman or Emily Dickinson but they don’t have quite the same fun.
Whatever the copyright consequences, I created a beautiful album for my stepdaughter using the poetry in “Letter to My Daughter.” It’s written by Maya Angelou or possibly Pamela Redmond Satran, depending on whether you believe Snopes.com.
In any case, it has lines like, “A woman should have … a feeling of control over her destiny” and “A woman should know what she would and wouldn’t do for love or more.” I found photos from throughout my stepdaughter’s life directly or vaguely related to each line and created a 30-page 12-by-12 photo book. Here are a few pages:
To “A woman should have … a past juicy enough that she’s looking forward to retelling it in her old age,” I added a photo of my stepdaughter dressed as an old lady for Halloween when she was about 5.
For “A woman should know … where to go — be it to her best friend’s kitchen table … or a charming inn in the woods — when her soul needs soothing,” I used a number of photos of my stepdaughter by or in the water. Boating seems to be her favorite weekend activity this summer.
Many pages feature three to six photos, so I was able to incorporate about 95 photos in 30 pages.
For the decorative backgrounds, I used the Wedding Fresh Spring pre-designed pages in digital download from Creative Memories ($8.95). Using StoryBook Creator 4.0, it was easy to delete titles like “I do” and “Cutting the Cake.” The color scheme was feminine without being Pepto-Bismol pink, which accented the photos. The look is classic and contemporary at the same time.
The final result is meaningful and beautiful. And unlike anyone else’s album. Perfect for my stepdaughter.