Written by Cassandra Merkling (last updated February 10, 2022)
While choosing photo albums is primarily a matter of taste, there are a few guidelines you can go by when you are choosing the ones you will purchase and take with you to your home. The first consideration you will need to make is, how are you going to use this album? If you are planning to use it to store pictures for a conversation piece around the coffee table, you will need to have a different size than if you want something that you can carry in a purse or briefcase to show others while you are on the go. Think about how many pictures you want this album to hold for you. Next, think about who will use this album. I have friends who let their two year-olds look through them, but others who would not even let their friends see them. How will they handle the picture album? For example, do not use a glass album if you will have a child looking through it, obviously.
Another consideration is for you to think about the type of album you need in order to store your pictures in a satisfactory manner? For one thing, you will want something that is acid, PVC, and lignin-free. This will keep your photos from being aged prematurely by the album itself. Some people like the kinds of photo albums that are made up of clear plastic pockets for the photos to slide into. Others prefer something more likely to keep the photos from falling out, like a so-called "magnetic" album, which is just a three-ring binder filled with stiff pieces of thin cardboard with adhesive on the outside so you can stick your photos inside and then put a plastic sheet over them, which will also stick to the adhesive. These magnetic albums have gone out of style lately because they have historically been acidic and have damaged people's photos. There are safe ones out on the markets today that are acid, PVC, and lignin-free and just fine to use for your pictures.
There is also the option of getting a small, pre-made scrapbook, which can present your photos in a more interesting or attractive way. This works like a regular old photo album, in that you just insert the photos and are done after only a minimum amount of effort.
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