If you are reading this you are lucky enough to have a special fur baby who owns your heart and you want to honour the unconditional love, loyalty and joy they bring to your life. It might be you want to immortalise the fun and entertainment they bring each day, or document how much they have grown and developed, or sadly to be a memorial to one who is now waiting for you at Rainbow Bridge.
A Pet Photo Album or Scrapbook is an ideal way to do this - either in a digital or physical version. At West Coast Woofers we specialise in capturing your Fur Baby’s personality in professional photos and then creating beautiful, handcrafted, archival albums and photographic products but that’s NOT what this blog is about - it’s about creating your own, with your own photos, taken by yourself, in that perfect moment - even if it’s not the perfect photo!
There are lot of options available for you to choose from, just Google “Pet Photo Album” and you will be amazed what comes up. I’m not going to try to talk you into any particular format, but what I will do is give you some pointers to consider - so you can choose what feels right for you and your pet. I am in the process of waiting for my new puppy - Daisy the French Bulldog in about 4 weeks time, and I want to be more organised about documenting her progress (they grow so quickly) than I was when I got Whisky, now two years old.
1. Choose the photos you have or the ones you want to take!
You might already have loads of photos to choose from, and the purpose of your album will obviously influence your choices. In my case I want to create the doggie equivalent of a “baby’s first year” kind of album for Daisy - Daisy's Diary! So I am planning on things like… a weekly/monthly photo with a little sign showing her age, the first day home and meeting her big brothers, special toys, milestones etc. This will mean in my case planning in advance to take those kinds of photos to fill her album as well as capturing those precious serendipity moments that happen candidly!
Make sure you let your Fur Baby's unique personality show through by capturing photos that show their little idiosyncrasies and mischievous moments or funny things they do. You will also want to be sure to have photos of them interacting with their forever family members - both human and other Fur Baby siblings! This can be where they sleep, when they are hungry/eating, playing or just waiting at the door of their favourite human to come home!
2. Decide on the type of album and layout you want
The choice is endless - you can keep it cheap and cheerful with a simple 6x4 pocket album from K-Mart through to a full-on leather bound, black archival page album with photo corners and flysheets, or anything in between! There are so many ways to display your photos, you need to decide what fits best with your theme or purpose, creative flair and your pets individual personality. I'm opting for a 12x12 D ring Scrapbook Album because it will give me lots of room and choice to be as creative as I want. Once you have the physical structure you feel fits best worked out its then time to work out how you want the layout to flow. Here are a few ideas to get you started…
Traditional Chronology - probably the simplest is to to put things in the order of the timeline they happened.
This is My Story - a storybook approach of their life from the viewpoint of your pet - don’t forget to use some text (journalling) to tell the story along with the photos.
Thematic - have topic in mind and group the photos accordingly - eg Look How I’ve Grown, At the Beach, Playing in the Backyard, Firsts (Bath, Walk, Loosing Tooth, Grooming, Christmas, Easter, Halloween etc)...
Developmental - structured similar to a baby's first year book
Eclectic - including some or all foo the above in one album to suit yourself!
3. Use Your Words (Journalling)
I’ve been a “Scrapbooker” for a long, long time - and some of the most powerful memories need to have not just a caption or title for your photograph, they might need a “Tale to Be Told” that explains what happened, what emotions and memories were created etc. So don’t be afraid to include text. You might use some favourite quotes or sayings, write a poem for your pet or make a list of 10 things you love about them - you get the idea?
4. Add Special Items
Consider in your design and layout if you have room to include some 3D items. Just like in baby books they include certificates or hospital bracelets, include things like a copy of their pedigree or adoption papers, their first tiny collar, paw print, certificate from Puppy Pre School, Vet Immunisation Booklet, or other special and meaningful keepsakes.
5. Go Digital
Some people create social media accounts on Instagram, Facebook or Tik Tok for their Fur Babies - some of them are really popular and have more followers than I do! It’s not for everyone, but if you are cool with your pet being on the internet then go for it.
The bond between our animals and their humans is a gift. Every animal is unique and special and our relationship with them is worth celebrating at all points of their lives. A Pet Photo Album or Scrapbook will make sure your treasured pet’s story is told and you will have an irreplaceable keepsake for years to come. So what are you waiting for!!!! Get cracking like someone left the gate open!!!