Scrapbooking is a fun pastime, but don’t lose sight of the main goal any scrapbooker is trying to achieve: to produce a quality product that can be shown to friends and family and eventually passed on to future generations to provide a record of your life. Therefore, one of the most important steps to creating any page is the journaling. Unfortunately, this is also one of the most forgotten steps. Journaling is important because it is a written record of what is happening in the pictures for people who weren’t there or don’t know you.
I like to begin by creating a title for each page. This can be something simple and straightforward, such as “Mom and Dad’s 50th Anniversary” or it can be creative, heartwarming, or funny. Think of your page as a story and then name it. Use big bold letters for the title to draw attention to it, but make sure it does not overwhelm the most important elements of the page—the pictures.
Each picture on your page should have a few words as a caption. Name the people and/or places photographed; although it may seem obvious to you right now, you may not be able to remember names when you look at your album 20 years from now. Others who do not know all of your friends will also benefit from these labels. Captions should be small elements on the page, and occasionally two similar pictures will not each need a caption.
Work a block of text into your page design. I like to keep this text around the same size as the smallest photograph, but of course this depends on the page layout. Many pre-made layouts will already include a space for text. Use this element of the design to record the “story” behind the pictures. Pretend you are looking at your photographs with a friend—what would you say as he or she flipped through the pictures? All of this information is readily forgotten, so it is important to jot down a few words on a piece of notebook paper and save it with your photographs if you think that you won’t get the chance to create your pages right away. Always include a date if relevant, because as time goes on, the years run together.
Occasionally you may forget your camera at an important event, lose your pictures, or not be allowed to use a camera in the space. Whatever the case may be, if you don’t have photographs of an important event in your life, you can still create a beautiful scrapbook page to document the day. These pages will be mostly journaling. Use descriptive words to take the place of the photographs.
If you have a fear of hand-writing, don’t let that stop your from journaling. Letter stickers or cutouts provide fun options for titles. For smaller letters, you may be able to trade skills with someone who had trouble with something that you can do, such as cropping. I tend to believe that personal handwriting, even if it is not perfect, give the page character. A final option is to use your computer to print out the journaling elements on your page.
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