Finding More Meaningful Stories from Your Event Photos – Paperclipping 286

There was a time when my scrapbooking pages told the obvious stories.

If we went to the beach I scrapbooked about us at the beach. If we got together with extended family I scrapbooked about the event with extended family: who was there and what we did.

And that’s fine. I like looking back at the things we did.

But eventually I figured out how you and I can take control of our story-documenting and not let our calendar be the major deciding factor of how we tell our stories. I began to scrapbooking in a way that yields even more stories, and is especially meaningful.

A single event can provide an almost inexhaustible number of stories. And those stories are pieces of other larger macro-stories — themes running through our lives.

For example, photos from a date night could also become a story about…

  • your date nights habits in general
  • the personality of you as a couple
  • the types of restaurants you love
  • the night life of your city
  • your favorite friends to get with
  • your sense of fashion
  • taking Ubers there and back
  • your favorite drink
  • whether you and your date have the same interests or have to compromise


If you listened to our Deep Dive audio course with Shimelle Lain: The Story-Centered Album, then you’re familiar with my process of having story albums — albums that tell a story.

Story albums each tell a larger story into which you want to dive deeper. Those albums help me prioritize which stories I choose to spend my limited time scrapbooking; in which directions I lean as I look at an event with its photos and determine the deeper story threads that are subtly lurking.

So this week I printed some photos from last December’s Nutcracker Ballet, which my daughter danced in…but I bypassed her Nutcracker album.

Instead, I chose to tell stories with some of the Nutcracker photos that I will slip into other albums.

  • One of them is a layout about the opportunity to dance regularly in Phoenix’s beautiful historic theater, the Orpheum.
  • The other is a layout about myself, and it is related to some longtime threads of my own life: a change to my long life of performing on stage, as well as my life-long interest in volunteering.


I am glad I was able to look beyond my daughter’s performance in the Nutcracker to see other, less obvious stories.

I decided to make this the topic of this week’s episode of Paperclipping.

Do you want to be identifying the more meaningful stories of your life from the basic events and photos?

If you’d like some help, be sure your membership is current.

CLICK HERE to start your membership.

If it’s time to renew…

  • Click here.
  • Login.
  • Click – Add/Renew Subscriptions.
  • In the Membership Type drop-down window choose Paperclipping 1-year renewal for $28.

Ready to dive deeper into your stories and your scrapbooking?

Let’s do it. <3 IMG_8430

  • Gabrielle McCann

    Great post – thanks Noell for the reminder to look differently at our photos and stories

  • Catherine Cornell

    This is fabulous, I haven’t been able to decide whether to purchase a membership or that particular deep dive course (budget a little tight for both) as I want more meaning to my albums. Can’t wait to listen to the podcast!

  • Terry

    It’s a tough decision but in my opinion I would go with the membership first. The archive of wonderful videos will give you lots of great ideas and insight into Noell’s thinking as she creates her beautiful pages. And it will continue on for a year. The course is great too but you might be able to still get that at a later date, who knows!

  • Melissa LaFavers

    Hi, Catherine! While I love the membership and have been a member for awhile, now, I would recommend the deep dive course on Story-Centered Albums first. There is not only a lot of content, but it lays out a way to organize albums that has been revolutionary for my scrapbooking. Shimelle and Noell are both insightful and provide tips for making albums more like memoirs, which I think lays the foundation for pages being more meaningful, as well. When the budget allows, then, sign up for the membership! It’s all very good. :)

  • Catherine Cornell

    Thanks so much girls, I appreciate your advice!

  • Teresa S

    Hmmm….. either one, you won’t go wrong, but if I had to pick one for the biggest bang for my buck, it would be the membership. The Deep Dive Course is a one-time discussion (defintely full of informatioon), but the membership offers over 200 videos and you would get a year’s worth of videos. Both are excellent resources, but I think you wold get more for your money with the membership.

  • Erica Hettwer

    Either one is a great choice but think about how you’ll access the material. If a extra, extra long podcast fits in your life more easily right now, get the course and if videos are easier for you to access, go for the membership. :)

  • Janelle

    This is exactly what I was going to say! Well, sort of… you explained it much better than what I had in mind! :)

  • Christine

    I love both but if you are a visual learner, the membership would be your best bet (in my opinion). I have loved both deep dive courses but I am very visual. I found myself seeking out the visuals that supported the ideas in the audio courses to help me sort out my thoughts and notes from the courses. In my world, links to visuals that go along with the deep dive audios would be the jackpot.