Making the Most of Your Annual Photo Review

“Auld Lang Syne.” The world rings in every New Year to this familiar song. The song originated from an ancient Scottish poem whose title roughly translated means “for old times’ sake.” The song encourages us to preserve friendships and fondly reflect back on the events of the year.

Doing an annual photo review, where we look back over our memories and moments from the past 12 months, is a great way to reflect on 2018.

It can seem daunting to comb through a year’s worth of photos to choose your favorites to include in your best of 2018 collection, but the benefits of a review like this extend well beyond your own photo organization.

You can enjoy a display of the year’s photo highlights on your computer or in a wall collage. The family and friends featured in your best shots will also appreciate viewing the images in a photo book or album shared online.

As 2018 draws to a close, here are our ideas to help you create and share your own Year in Review with photos.

Why An Annual Photo Review is a Good Idea and What It Can Tell You

If you haven’t searched for duplicates in your collection, or deleted unwanted photos throughout the year, now would be a good time to go through each 2018 folder of photos and clean house.

Whether you have a week or just an afternoon, dedicating a bit of time around the holidays to cull your photo collection will clear both stress and clutter. We shared some tips to help with this in a previous post.

Spending some time reviewing your photos will also reveal two important pieces of information.

The Stories of 2018
Your photos tell compelling stories of family, adventure, beauty and connection with others. Reviewing photos of the year will help you recall memories of these stories.

Imagine reminiscing about these stories with family and friends over the holidays. Or if you’re creating a 2018 album, you may want to ask them for more details to enhance photo captions.

Photo Goals for 2019
An annual photo review may uncover areas of your photography you’d like to improve, like photo composition or creativity. We shared ideas in this post to help you take better photos with your iPhone.

If you’d like to try some photo editing skills, this post has information on easy-to-use tools.

Finally, scanning your photos may also remind you of people you want to connect with and events you don’t want to miss in 2019.

Choose Themes that Highlight Your Favorite Moments of The Year

As you prepare to create your “Best of 2018” folder of photos, start by making a list of themes that reflect the events of the past year.

It’s easier to narrow down your selection if you give priority to the most important moments. Then think about including photos of the everyday events, like silly moments with the kids.  

Create a new folder with a name like “2018 Year in Review.” As you review your folders of 2018 pictures, drag your favorite images into that main folder as you go.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to organize your photos chronologically, but if you’re not sure if a photo belongs in one of this year’s themes, check the image date in the photo’s information to confirm.

Apple users can visit this previous post to brush up on creating folders in Apple Photos.

Share Your Best Photos With Family and Friends

You won’t be the only one who wants to review the year of photos! Whether it’s a physical album or digital file shared across the miles, everyone who was part of your pictures will enjoy re-living the year with you.

Create a Year in Review Album
We help some of our clients create an annual Year in Review photo album, including one client who gives an annual album to each of her grandchildren. We compile her albums from October to October, so they are back from the printer in time for Christmas.

Each album highlights the child’s sports or interests and may include a milestone he or she accomplished on the annual family vacation, like paddle boarding or swimming with stingrays.

When creating a Year in Review album, you can pick any 12-month range, or a full calendar year to review. Then pick a time after the new year to share it.

If one theme or event turns out to be photo heavy, include just a few of the best photos for your Year in Review album. At a later date, you might want to create a separate album highlighting only that event.

Be sure to include stories and captions in your album. Involve your family to help you remember or enrich story details.

We recommend sticking to photos of people. Objects you shot on a vacation don’t need to be part of your year in review.

If you find you are missing some key photos of events or people, consider asking others for photos. This previous post has more information about safe photo sharing.

Wondering how many photos to include in your album? We suggest gathering 100 to 200 photos and see how far that gets you. Albums come with a minimum of 20 pages and go up from there. One idea is to divide your photos into 20 sections, one theme for each page.

Regardless of the number of pages in your album, each spread (two facing sides), should feature no more than 8 to 10 photos to keep from looking cluttered.

If you find that you didn’t take enough photos in a given year to fill an album, don’t abandon the concept! You can still use the Year in Review format to include consecutive years.

For a complete list of steps and tips to create an album, read this post.

Make Your Year in Review Folder into a Slideshow
An easy way to share your favorite photos of the year is to create a slideshow from your folder using one of the tools we shared in this post.

You may want to share the slideshow video with friends and family in an electronic holiday or New Year greeting.

You can also simply share your digital album/slideshow images via Apple iCloud Photo Sharing, Flickr, or Dropbox. Those who view it can add comments, enriching the year’s memories.

Toast to the Outgoing and Ring in the New Year

The calendar is telling us it’s time to come up with our New Year’s resolutions. Before we do that, many of us like to review the current year. Our photos from the year can enhance those memories and reflections.

Taking time to review and collect your favorite 2018 photos also gives you options to share the best ones. What a meaningful gift to give to people who helped you create priceless memories this year.

Before you ring in 2019, get a head start by creating a new main folder for your 2019 pictures. This way you’re ready to go with new photos you start taking on January 1st. Throughout the year, save photos that people text or send to that folder, as well.

Enjoy reviewing your year in pictures, and we hope your 2019 is full of even more amazing images and stories!


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