Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Scrapbook Basics: Tips for Organizing Photographs

Hello, my name is Nicole, and I take a large amount of photos. I always have, and I always will. Where are my fellow photo takers? Raise your hand. Go ahead, raise it high and with pride. We're our family historians, the designated group photographer, the photo journalist. More than taking the photo, I love going through the older ones and reminiscing about the people, the places, and moments that have formed my past. 

Despite all of this, gathering together these photos for scrapbooking is quite the daunting task. Do you ever feel overwhelmed, scared, or even bored at the idea? 

That's why I'm here today! We're going to walk through a few simple steps to get you organized and ready to start scrapping all of your photos! The better your organization system, the more effective you will be at including all the necessary information in your album. When you're spending less time looking for photos and memorabilia, you'll have far more time to spend on what you love: scrapbooking! 

Step One: Make it a priority to organize your printed photos or digital photo files from this day forward. After each event, once a month, or once per week - Whatever works for you. Make sure to take the time to get those pictures from your camera or phone and onto the computer. Decide whether you'll organize the digital files or physical photographs. I personally transfer pictures from my phone and camera every Sunday, organizing them on my computer as described in the next steps. Others choose to print off all of their photos and organize them when they're off the computer. That is a great plan as well. Make sure to schedule time to print off the photos and organize them right away.

Step Two: Gather all of your photographs into one location, and determine how you will organize them. How do you scrapbook? Answer that question and then begin sorting. It could be by date, person, event, holiday, or vacation. If your photos are on a computer, you can still organize the files in this way. 

I scrap in chronological order. Therefore, I choose to have my photos organized by month and year. A scrap friend creates an album for each child. Therefore, she first organized the photos by person.

Step Three: Take each group and sort the photos into smaller piles. By sorting them into smaller sections, the task becomes far less overwhelming. For example, if you're sorting through December photos, break the pile into smaller events such as sledding, Christmas activities, or a sports event. 

Step Four: Separate your photos again. Go one step further, and create even smaller piles. In our last example, there may have been a large amount of Christmas photos. Go ahead and break that into pictures from Christmas morning, lunch at Grandmas, and so on.

This is a great time to decide on photos you will use in your scrapbook albums, and delete all of those blurry photos! This was a hard one for me. With almost unlimited storage on digital devises, it became too easy to want to hold on to each and every picture. Simply discover the photos that tell the story BEST, and use those.

Step Five: Label your photographs. Don't forget to include the Who, What, When, Where, and Why. You can do this on a separate piece of paper stored with your photos, on the back of your physical photo, or in a Word document on your computer. Use the assistance of friends and family if you can't identify all of the people and objects in your photos.

This is a perfect time to take a moment to warn you NOT to use a ball point pen to write on the back of your photos. The writing mechanism of the pen will break the emulsion of the photograph and eventually the ink will bleed through to the front. I highly recommend a photo pen, such as the ZIG Photo Signature pen, that is made for photos and other non-porous surfaces. These pens have a permanent, fast drying, photo safe, fade and water resistant ink that won't smear once dry.

Step Six: Store your physical photographs until you are ready to scrap them. I organize my digital photo files by date as described above and choose to print photos once per month. After printing, I make sure they are in order and place them in a box until there's time to add them to an album. Whether you print first or organize first, you'll need to find an effective plan for keeping them organized. Photo storage chest or boxes are great choices. When shopping, look for acid free and archival quality containers. Generally, photos are printed at 4 x 6 inches, with boxes made for storing this size. If you have larger photos or memorabilia, make a note to yourself about its existence and location, and then file the note in with the smaller photos. This will help you include all memorabilia into your album.

Step Seven: Have fun, and start scrapbooking! Now that you have an effective system in place, you can feel confident and prepared to take on your next scrapbook page. You won't waste time looking for event photos. Instead, you can sit down, pick a pile, and get to the best part: playing with paper and glue!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Nicole. Hopefully I will actually be able to take time and follow these directions some day. It is on my bucket list. :-) Lynn Fayas