JOURNALING FOR SCRAPBOOKERS

quillpen 150x150 Journaling In Your Scrapbook Pages
Jeff Buchinno “Wizzard of Draw”

No one but you may know what a photograph is about or whom may be in the picture unless you share that informationation with them–journaling is the way you share this important information.

Have your ever opened an “old” photo album–you know, one filled with page after page of black and white photographs (maybe some color ones). Too often there is no notation to tell you anything about a photo: when it was taken; where it was taken; who are the people in the picture (how do they relate to me), etc. We all have. We know some where in those many pages are stories to be told and relatives, long past gone, we could be introduced to.

While journaling may be the last thing we physically do to a scrapbook page, it should be one of the first things we do in the planning or designing of our pages.

Photographs are the prime source of focus in scrapbook pages. They generally tell the story all by themselves. However, photos are static for the most part. We need to take some time to think about the event. This is the time we should be asking and providing the answers to who, what, where, when, how and why! Adding captions helps bring a sense of life to the photos. Too, the viewer may not know all of the circumstances behind the photograph. So, journaling helps target your focus in the photograph . . . giving it purpose and meaning.

As the years pass by we feel our memories will remain fresh if we just have the picture to remind us. But, details fade with time. The picture may lose some of its meaning and value. We can’t rely on the subtle loss of purpose and meaning pictures hold as the years go by.

Journaling provides us a way of keeping our memory as fresh as when we took the photograph. When details are current and vibrant is the best time to write down your thoughts and feelings. Journaling will add vividness and color and emotions for your pictures. Under optimum circumstances you want and need to convey the details–the story of that day. Feelings, smells, sights, sounds, tastes and touches should be included as much as possible, and as the picture dictates.

Note: There are some pictures that just plain don’t need much in the way of journaling. The picture tells the story by itself . . . but you have to be the judge.

When you write, write what you feel–write from the heart. You have the opportunity to add, through your journaling, elements that evoke emotions not apparent in the picture. Smells, sounds, temperature, etc. are only a couple of the things your writing could bring to the mind of the viewer. Pictures don’t present these physical and emotional elements by themselves.

As you think about what you want to convey in your writing consider these questions, and try to answer each one as they apply to your page.

Who?

What?

When?

Where?

Why?

How?

Your process in answering these questions may come in just one word. They don’t have to be long winded answers, although they could. That doesn’t mean you can’t write something of substance. You may want to write a note, a letter, or simply ask a question and let the viewer answer it in their own mind. You might want to go to Lasting Letters for some reasons that writing with more substance might have–along with your photographs.

There are times when your own words just don’t seem to fill the gap of feeling your page’s focus is trying to elicit. Using words from others can be most helpful. There are quotes and poems that may better tell what your heart wants to say. I am a firm believer that what you write will trump most words expressed by others, but there are appropriate times and circumstances to use well selected messages from others.

Don’t get too caught up in all the fancy fonts available to scrapbookers. They can add continuity and balance, but they are also somewhat lifeless. If you do feel the inkling to use fonts, and you will, be selective and consistent. Try to use only a couple fonts per page per layout. Where possible, however, I believe journaling in your own handwriting is the best. In time, as others reminisce over your scrapbook pages, your handwriting will conjure up additional feelings for them . . . a sense of accomplishment that they can see from your hand. Another living memory.

A quote from Ben Franklin:

“If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write something worth reading or do things worth the writing.”

You may want to check out the section on “Lettering” or take a look at “Lasting Letters for Scrapbooks” for additional insight.

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Ron on January 5th, 2009 | File Under Basics, Scrapbooking | No Comments -