How To Get Through Years of Photos And Start Scrapbooking Today
By Alyice Edrich
Last December, my neighbor stopped by with her annual Christmas
treat. After my many thanks, we got to talking about scrapbooking.
She had been dying to get her photos out of boxes and into
scrapbooks, or even albums, but the idea was simply overwhelming. She
had never kept her photos organized and she's not even sure when most
of the photos were taken or where.
That's when I took her into my office and showed her the totes of
photos I have waiting to be scrapbooked and my table of "in progress"
work. I said to her, "You don't have to scrap like the photos in the
magazines you read. If you find that too overwhelming and you simply
want to get your photos into some kind of logical order, do what I'm
doing. You see, I love beautiful scrapbook pages and find them
fantastic works of art, but I have 12 years of photographs to
scrapbook and at 1-2 hours per page, I would get nowhere fast. So
I've opted for a shortcut."
I pick the best photos and divide them among three scrapbooks: mine,
my daughter's and my son's. The rest of the photos go into envelopes
with the names of relatives. When the envelope gets full, I seal it,
mail it, and start a new envelope. Then I glue as many photos on a
page as possible without looking too crowded. I leave room for short
sentences, dates, and names. I even leave room for fancy stickers and
simple doodles. Sure they won't win me the coveted Scrapbook
Designer's Award, but they showcase and safeguard precious memories.
And to keep from getting behind on today's photos, I use templates
provided by photo book companies like Photoworks.com or
MyPublisher.com. I upload my favorite photos, add dates, names, and
captions, place my order for two copies, and happily await the
arrival of my completed photo book.
In two hours' time I have a completed scrapbook worthy of admiration.
And the best part is that I can go back later and order more copies
for family gifts. Think grandparents, brothers and sisters, and long
distance friends who consider you family.
As far as the organization goes, my advice to her was simple. Go
through your photos and start three piles: your husband's family,
your family, and your immediate family (you, the husband, and your
kids). Then get a huge manila envelope or archival safe photo box and
place all the photos from your husband's family inside. Label it, and
put it aside. Do the same with your side of the family. Now all you
have to do is concentrate on your immediate family.
"That's still too large a job," she said. "That's years of photos.
What do you suggest I do? Sort by year, holiday, what? And what do I
do with photos that I can't remember when or where they were taken?"
I looked her straight in the eye and said, "Just start small. For
photos you have no clue about, put them into a boxed marked `Go
through with hubby'. For the rest of the photos, break them down
according to how you plan to scrapbook: by year, by age, by theme.
Since you have years of photographs, you could always do a holiday
scrapbook. Start with Valentine's Day, then Easter, then the 4th of
July, then Halloween, then Thanksgiving, and finally end with
Christmas. Then move onto a vacation scrapbook, a friends of the
family scrapbook, my favorite photo scrapbook, and soon you'll be
down to random photos that could easily end up as yearbook."
That's when she got excited and said, "That would be so much more fun
than going through a year's worth of photos and trying to scrap them.
By doing the themed albums, I get to see how much the kids have grown
and we can talk about family history. I like that."
And so a scrapbooker was born.
About The Author
Alyice Edrich is the award winning editor of The Dabbling Mum®. Stop
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