The Process: Creating Your Modern Heirloom Book


You’ve got more photos than ever. With a cell phone in your pocket, how could you not? But while taking pictures has never been easier, sorting through them all—and showcasing them—is daunting.

And what of the boxes of fading family photographs you've stashed in the back of your closet? They've got stories to tell—as you do, as your relatives and loved ones do. You are living your story.

With so many self-publishing options at your disposal, why choose Modern Heirloom Books?

What We Do: An Overview

We help you tell the stories you want to preserve, through words and pictures.

Photographs tell stories. We:

  • help you locate and sync photos from all of your devices
  • organize and curate your digital images and loose photographs
  • retouch, color correct, and enhance photos
  • edit and design customized layouts for the book you envision
  • bring your coffee table book to life with heirloom-quality materials

Memories are worth preserving. We:

  • interview you to elicit the stories that shaped your life
  • interview family members or other designated individuals to gather wisdom and stories for your book
  • comb through old letters, journals, or family memorabilia to find relevant and moving passages
  • identify storylines and suggest book presentation options
  • write and edit the contents of your book
  • make multiple versions of your book for friends and family

How We Work with You

1  Consultation

Because every client is unique, a free phone or FaceTime consultation is always the first step. This is typically 20 to 30 minutes.

2  Project Plan

You can learn more here about the various options for a book’s point of view. No matter the angle, though, it’s important to hone in on just what you want your book to achieve. Through a series of questions, we help you determine the overarching story you want to tell, as well as the book’s tone and prospective audience. We discuss budget, book options (including quantity), and time frame. Then, we make a plan.

3  Gathering Photos

We identify the best strategy for gathering photos from computer drives, mobile devices, and basement boxes, then embark upon the process of sorting and selecting images for your book. After scanning your hard copy photos and artwork, we digitally optimize all images for the highest-quality print. Color correction, scratch removal, and artistic cropping enhance your everyday pictures in ways you won’t believe!

At every stage your prized photos will be fully protected, and your privacy is our utmost concern.

4  Gathering Memories

We set up and conduct interviews to fully capture your family stories. These conversations are an important (and often gratifying) part of your journey, and we do our best to make interview subjects feel comfortable—and heard. Audio recordings are made and subsequently transcribed for our editors.

5  Shaping Your Story

A book’s success lies in the details: identifying the most meaningful story to convey, choosing the most impactful images to include—and, often more challenging, deciding which pictures and narratives to leave out. We draw on years of editing experience to establish your story angle, curate your images, and edit your words. 

At this stage we will also identify any supporting materials you may wish to include in your book to add color and context: think letters, artwork, recipes, journal entries, family tree charts, genealogical references, even family heirlooms (which can be professionally photographed for inclusion in your book).


  Photograph by Vicky Lavergne

Photograph by Vicky Lavergne

6  Book Design and Printing

Here’s where it all comes together! Layouts are designed with artistry to insightfully tell your own personal story. We make every detail count to create an heirloom book meant to be displayed and shared for years.

7  Review Process

At various stages throughout the book-making process, we solicit your feedback and guidance. At this point, you will receive a formal first draft of your book for comments and review. We will include a specific list of questions and points to consider, then incorporate your responses and provide one book revision. Further rounds of review and revision can be discussed on a per project basis.

8  Unveiling

Your custom heirloom book is delivered to you in a beautiful keepsake box. If you choose, you will also receive a digital edition of your book. Get ready to be wowed…

Are You Ready?

Set up a consultation now, and let's see how we can work together to give physical form to your cherished memories.