The Creative Mama » inspiring art, encouraging women

Making an Instagram Book

As a child, one of my favorite things to do was look through our family photo albums.  I would sit for hours studying each image, recalling the people and places in our pictures.  Maybe this was where my love for photography really began.  Now, as a mother I can see my own children doing the same.  Snuggled up on the sofa together, pouring over images from vacations, holidays…just plain everyday images…giggling over memories, sharing their stories.

Over the last couple of years, there has been a shift in the images that appear on the pages of our picture albums.  The amount taken with my big camera are almost equal to those taken with the camera on my phone.  Apps like Instagram, VSCO and Squareready (just to name a few) have made phone images more appealing to a photographer’s eye.

This year, instead of including the Instagrams in our yearly album I decided to make an Instagram book using Blurb books.  It was just about the easiest album I’ve ever made.  Blurb connects to your Instagram account and pulls in all your images.  You can arrange them chronologically if you want, or just allow them to fall on the pages in random order (this is the option I chose).

Because I am not a scrapbooker (I so admire those that are) I have made my books through Blurb for a few years now, typing out each page, telling the story of our year in words and images.  And while I love how beautiful those books are I somehow wanted to make them more personal.  So, with this book, I decided to try something new.  Because these albums are the story of our family, I didn’t want it to just be written from my point of view.  I wanted my boys to be able to share their side too.  So, with a fine point permanent marker I had them each write on a few of the pages in this year’s Instagram book.  Not only are we preserving our story as a family, but there is now a little piece of them…at ages 6,8 and 11 written on each page.

How do you preserve your family memories each year?


About Alison

Alison Bickel lives in the heart of the Midwest where, along with her husband, they raise their three boys. Whether it’s in the garden, the kitchen or tagging along on her boys’ latest adventure she looks for the simple beauty in everyday from behind her lens. The photography bug bit her in sixth grade, upon getting her first camera, a Kodak Disk. She has been chasing light and subjects ever since. On her blog, ‘This Homemade Life,’ Alison shares tales of mothering, her passion for vegetarian cooking and obsession with farmer’s markets.

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  • Espartaco

    Hi Alison,
    You can also have a look on you can get photobooks and other cute stuff from instagram pics, that make a brilliantly bespoke gift for family, friends and relatives.
    Magnets, decorative squares, calendars, photobooks…
    sure you like them all!

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  • Stacey

    Beautiful! Love the idea of the kids writing in the book. I also make a family book, and the occasional vacation book, to preserve our family memories. So important to do!!!


    I have so gotta get on my photo books for the year. Just love blurb. I love this idea of doing the instagram shots totally separate. thanks for sharing!