Organising Photographs and thoughts about scrapbooking

I am taking an online course at Big Picture Classes called ‘Finding Photo Freedom’. It is designed to help you sort out all those pictures, both old\new prints and digital images, with a view to making the whole process of scrapbooking said pictures easier.  It’s week three. And I totally get her ideas for making this hobby easier and more stress free.

I had a bit of a sulk mid week though because I decided to take all the pictures out of the regular albums I set up a few years back and organise them into chronological order. But after removing the photos from the sleeves of the albums and setting them all out on the dining room table, I discovered that I had no idea when or even where some of these pics were taken!

In my excitement to get them into the albums I’d removed the original photos from their envelopes but hadn’t marked in the album the date or even which envelope the prints had come from. So now instead of just sorting them into a better system I have to track down when and where first. I suppose it will be a job well done if I get it sorted out though. And then I can get back on track with the class material.

The process of sorting out these pictures has made me ponder, not for the first time, why I actually scrapbook.

In the ‘scrapbook’ world out there you find that the majority of scrapbookers have kids. The foundations of this hobby as it has morphed into what I perceive ‘scrapbooking’ is today, is most definitely firmly fixed in America. Oh, I know people worldwide have used big old paper type books to record memories in the form of photos and ephemera for generations, but the term scrapbooker is definately different today than what is once was.  

When I ordered my very first scrapbook kit from QVC – oh yes, that’s where the idea of scrapbooking first grabbed my attention – my plan was to make a family history album. The idea that I could combine two of my loves in life – paper products and photographs – was a thrilling and I dug straight in.  

That was about 7 years ago. That album is almost finished! I loved doing it at the time but don’t especially like it now. I tentatively moved on to make the odd scrapbook page and then mini albums for family and friends. I don’t think most people get it. Get what this business of scrapbooking is all about. My family and friends I mean. They ooh and ah when I show them a page but I always feel like I’m forcing my hobby on them. Maybe that’s just what hobbies are all about. In some ways I’m trying to get them interested and have often thought about arranging a crop at my house for my Mum, Sister, Nieces  etc to come and have some scrapbook fun. But I’ve never taken the plunge.

Anyway, at first it was only about the photo. I looked at magazines around at the time and just made the picture look pretty using all manner of embellishments. I have lots of pages where there is no story to tell only a date – and some don’t even have that! Then a couple of years ago some of the blog posts Ali wrote finally hit home and I began to think about stories as well as making pretty pages.

This resonated with me. The idea of being a storyteller, leaving behind that legacy, a pile of books that recorded the stories of mine and my families lives. Just writing that down makes me feel good!

And as I’ve been sorting the photographs out for the class I have stumbled on lots and lots of stories yet to tell. I still find it difficult to find words sometimes to do a story justice but I intend to keep plugging away at telling them and accepting that struggling to get words down is a good thing in the end.

Now, back to sorting photos.