Here’s a scenario: You’ve come back from vacation and you’re thrilled at the pictures you got from your exciting adventure. You can’t wait to scrapbook them, but when you pull out those photos, confusion and overwhelm take over. What should be a pleasurable visit with your memories is becoming a dreaded “obligation.”
Do you feel this way? I’m working on an album right now for our Disney vacation and I have a method for assembling this type of project that coincides with my philosophy of scrapbookers as story-tellers, and scrapbooks as visual memoirs. It will also simplify the process and keep your mind clear.
Over the next week and a half I’ll share my step-by-step process with you using my Disney vacation as the example. If you have a stack of photos and memories from a vacation that you need to scrap, I hope you’ll pull them out and follow along with each step. You can even give us a report of your progress by leaving a comment.
Step 1: Begin with Two Fundamental Questions In Mind
1. What are the stories I want to remember from my vacation?
The funny things someone said * The thoughts and feelings you had at various times * The way a relationship developed * The things you did, saw, or experienced.
2. What is the overall story — or underlying theme — that encapsulates all of the smaller individual stories?
This is a deeper question that requires some thought. Each vacation has its own meaning. If you take some time to identify this early in the process, you’ll be able to create a complete and cohesive story out of the many pages, pictures, and smaller stories.
You don’t have to answer all of these questions now before moving onto step number two. Having the questions on your mind while you proceed to the next step is just fine. Have a pencil and some note cards next to you on the table so you can jot down each thought, story, or theme idea as they come. Having each story on its own note card will allow you to place them with their coinciding photos.
The Theme Of My Disney Vacation
While I’ve been working on the next steps, I’ve been thinking about the word, “present,” in all of its senses, for my Disney album. Here is what I mean:
1. One of our days at Disneyland was a present from my parents. The other day and the rest of the trip was Izzy’s and my own Christmas present to our kids.
2. It was an awesome experience to be present with my parents and the two siblings closest to me in age, at a place that holds so many childhood memories with them. I had such pleasurable moments, enjoying my sister and brother as if we were kids again.
3. Together we relived some wonderful times from our past, while mixing them with the present. It is such a joy to give to my children the happy experiences that my parents gave to me.
How Will Step One Benefit you?
1. Sometimes having a theme will provide you some visual images, icons, embellishment ideas, or colors. The story of Disney as a part of my childhood that I am gifting to my children gave me the idea to capitalize on a classic Disney icon that identifies Disney from any time period: the Mickey Mouse ears silhouette. I decided to use that icon as the major embellishment throughout my album, rather than buy new Disney products.
I may also use some clock and time images, and possibly classic gift images.
2. Sometimes having a theme will provide you with title ideas. Titles of different pages in my album could be…
A present to us.
A present to you.
Present And In The Moment.
Present Again With You.
Step number one isn’t a step you can easily do when you’re cropping with friends. For most every project, I like to take some quiet time to dig deep and relive moments–to gain from those times all over again. I do it best with a pencil in my hand so I can solidify my thoughts and give them some life. My notes tend to be organic and unstructured, just like my thoughts.
Prepare For The Next Step
Tomorrow we’ll cover the next couple of steps, having to do with sorting the photos. You’ll want to print up your photos if you’re following along and you haven’t done so already.
Don’t worry about whether you’ll want enlargements unless you already know which ones you’ll enlarge and in what size. I printed all my photos to 4×6, knowing that I will later want to enlarge some of them. Since I don’t know which ones I want larger yet, it’s easier to just print them all up front so I have something physical to work with in my hands while I plan the structure and size of my album.
1. Get some note cards, a pencil, and write down the following questions:
*What are the stories I want to remember from my vacation?
*What is the overall story or underlying theme that encapsulates all of the smaller individual stories?
2. Print up all of the photos you might put in your vacation scrapbook. Don’t worry about sizes or whether you have an album or not. That’ll come later.
I’m looking forward to following these steps with you.
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This is part one of a series, Stories From Our Vacations. You can follow the rest of the steps here…