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Scrapbooking – Turn your photos into a family story instead of just a stack of pictures

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Posted by PatriciaD on February 8, 2010

Marci's adoption

Journaling is a fundamental basis of scrapbooking.  Without journaling your scrapbook pages are just a compilation of photos with no real meaning.  Whenever you do journaling ask yourself, what will others need to know about the people or events in this photo or scrapbook page when you’re not around to tell them.  Imagine it’s your great-grandchild and they’ve never met you.  What would you want them to know about your life, the events in the photos or on the page?  To some extent isn’t that why you’re keeping a scrapbook?  Don’t you wish you had a scrapbook of your great-grandparent’s life?  Would that not be the most awesome thing?  So let’s create it for your great-grandchildren.

Use the basic who, what, where, when and why.  Who – when you list who is in the photo(s) do not forget to list who’s not in the photo.  For example who is the photographer?  They were there, obviously, so be sure you include their name.  What – is the event or why were the photos take and don’t forget to take photos and record everyday events in your life.  It’s easy to neglect.  I mean it’s everyday to us so why should we record it.  But wouldn’t you love to have a record of even just the everyday events of your great-grandmother’s life?  Where – obviously where were you or where was the event?  When – the when of an event doesn’t have to be the exact day it can be as vague as the year but just adding the month is sometimes helpful.   And the Why – why was the photo taken?  Was it an everyday event or a special event like a wedding, a family picnic or whatever?

Brush up on your writing skills.  Make the story more than just a list of Who, What, Where, When and Why.  Obviously, these details are important for future generations but they’re not the end of the story.  Be creative.  Write a compelling story.  Make it personal.  Tell a story; don’t just relate facts, as interesting as they may be the real story is in the telling.  Everything on your scrapbook page sets the mood or enhances the story.  Use elements and papers that complement and help tell the story.

Now I have to tell you that neither of these examples are good at journaling but at least the one on the left has something and really it’s not bad.  The one on the right has a tiny bit.  Both could make better use of journaling.  Don’t worry I did both of these so I’m not bashing.

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