* Prices may differ from that shown
Taking photographs and recording family memories have always been so important to me. I'm not happy to just leave my photographs in files on my computer. I enjoy having them scrolling through as my screen saver and have a digital photo frame, but there's nothing quite like having a printed photo to look back on or to show to other people. I'm worried that future technologies will render the computer copies obsolete, a bit like old slides which are so difficult to look at and videos that need to be transferred to be able to view them as technology has moved on. I would also never feel happy to leave my prints in packets; I like to have them displayed in albums and preferably ones where I have room to write something beside them.
When I needed a new photo album I searched on Amazon and found the Green Earth series of albums. I really liked the look of them especially as each one has a die cut animal or shape on the front in various colours, making it a set that can be collected. The cost of the one that I brought with a seahorse on was £10.99, about six months ago, and usually one in the series is on sale at this reduced price; at the minute (30.03.13) it's the black whale one. The usual price, however, is £13.99 with £3.95 postage and packaging. This is pretty expensive and I will buy more when they are at the reduced price, but I do think that these are the best quality and nicest looking of any of the many photograph albums that I own and are therefore worth the price. There is a discounted price for buying three together of £38.97.
The albums are of the slip in variety which is definitely my preference. They are much kinder to photographs and far more likely to maintain them in good condition than the adhesive types where the acid in the materials causes yellowing and degeneration of the photographs after a surprisingly short amount of time. Each album holds 300 6 x 4"photographs with three being held on each half of the page in a horizontal landscape position. This is a slight draw back as if you have a vertical photograph you won't be able to display it the right way up and will need to crane your neck to see the image. However, this is the case with almost all of my albums, so not something that would deter me from buying this type again.
Each album measures 33cm x 24cm and my full one is 7cm wide. All of them have a high quality brown thick cardboard cover, which has a very natural feel. The pale brown colour is slightly striped and resembles brown packing paper in a way, although it's obviously far more substantial. The binding is then a different colour for each design. Mine has a thick textured blue strip of binding that adds to the simple decorative features and extends 5cm across the cover. The remaining decorative feature on the front takes the form of a rectangular strip of this same deep blue card which is embossed at the bottom with the Green Earth logo and underneath says 'paper grown on earth'. Stuck onto this, in a pale yellow different textured card, is the die cut outline of a seahorse. The sea horse shows through in the dark blue colour under this stencil type outline. Finally there is a deep green material tag attached between the outer cover and an inner piece of lining paper which looks very smart and again says 'Green Earth' The overall appearance is simple, natural and is obviously very high quality.
Other options of die cut image and colour scheme are a blue starfish, orange sun, black whale, yellow flower, red flower and red heart, black elephant. All have the same fawny brown coloured background. I think that they are perfect for a themed use and if I was going on safari, I can think of nothing better than the elephant one or the sun for a beach holiday.
Moving inside, the inner cover and both sides of the first brown card pages are left blank. I have used one of these to create an index, but if the album was recording pictures from a single event it would make a great neutral background for a title page. There is a similar page inside the back cover as well as a useful pocket that can be used to store all sorts of other memorabilia such as holiday tickets, maps and leaflets etc. There are fifty pages containing plastic sleeves divided to hold three pictures on each side. The points where they are divided seem strong and I experienced no ripping, which I have quite a few times with other albums.
Beside each photo there are eight short ruled lines to encourage you to write a little bit about each photo. Albums that offer this opportunity have such long term benefits in reminding you what you were doing and when and who you were with, in years to come and are also great for letting other people read as they look through your snaps. For me, recording this kind of information brings an album to life and I often wish that heritage photos in our family had been recorded in such a way, as now those memories attached to the photos are lost and often I don't even know who is in them.
This album, ordered from Amazon Market place, via a company called Harrison Cameras Direct, arrived within a few days and I was extremely impressed with the robust way in which it was packaged. The album is wrapped initially in cellophane to keep it clean and then in copious amounts of bubble wrap and cardboard before being placed in a Fed Ex bag for dispatch. You can also order directly from Harrison Cameras for the same price and they also sell lots of other sizes, such as 40 photos, 100, 200, 600.
I have been looking to see if I could find any reference to whether these products are environmentally friendly but haven't been able to find any reference to whether they are made from recycled materials or from managed forests. They feel very natural and I truly hope that they are.
I have added these albums to my Amazon wish list and really hope that I will be able to collect the whole series. They will look great lined up on a bookshelf together.
Photographs and the memories that they hold are priceless and I would strongly recommend printing your photos and using these albums to store them and record a few memories. They are high quality and their simple die cut designs are eye catching.