August 13, 2010

Every picture tells a story. Or does it?

When you look at a photo or stack of photos and think, "I want to scrapbook those!" do you ever ask yourself why? More specifically, do you ask yourself what story you want to tell or which memory you want to preserve?

So often the magazine covers and designer layouts feature a technically excellent SINGLE photo, of an extremely cute child in an adorable pose. The image is cropped close to capture a sweet smile or big blue eyes. OF COURSE you want to remember that image. (because we all know that kids don't stay that cute forever!) And because the magazines show us that version of scrapbooking, we are urged to recreate those kinds of layouts.

With some practice, you'll get good at capturing those poses. And if you're lucky, and you take enough photos, you'll get a few like that every year just by accident.

But when you look back on those photos, do you remember what you child was doing in the moment when you took the photo? Do you remember what they were into in that moment? Their likes and dislikes? Who else was there? What happened next? Was there a reason you pulled your camera out that day? Was that a planned 'photo shoot' or an unplanned photo opportunity? Were there other photos from that moment that you opted not to scrapbook because they weren't perfect?

Sometimes a photo is just a great photo. End of story.

And often a photo is just the beginning of the story. Tell your story with words -- journaling -- and let your photos be the illustratiions. Don't overlook the details, and dont hesitate to include the details that your camera didn't catch. Often the real story happened happened behind the scenes. Don't leave out memories just because you don't have a corresponding photo.

Think of it this way: a finished layout will tell its own story. Beyond the basics of who, what, when, where, the viewer should get an idea of the emotion brought out by the memories (love, pride, humour, sadness, honour, excitement, surprise) It would be the same as handing a stack of birthday party photos to a friend and then describing the entire party in detail.

A photo worth scrapping is a story worth telling.

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Don't just sit there...SCRAP SOMETHING!