1. Photo’s hold no lasting value when words are not attached. I’m not trying to ruffle the feathers of professional photographers here. I’m leveling a finger at every relative who bestowed upon their descendants a box of unlabeled old photos. If this has ever happened to you, then you understand my angst. Faded photos of someone who might be your grandfather, or wait maybe that’s your uncle? Baby pictures but no one can tell you if they are of your husband or one of his four brothers. I almost inherited one of these boxes from my grandmother. I recruited my mother, aunt and cousins to help scrapbook my grandmothers box of photos. My mother sat down with the scrapbook and recorded all the information my grandmother told her about each photo. The photos were neat because they were old, but it was her stories that made the pictures interesting and valuable to the family.
2. You’ll make some great friends. Three of my closest friends, and many other dear one’s I met through scrapbooking. Most any hobby is capable of connecting people and producing friends, but I believe scrapbooking takes this to a different level. You get to really know the people you scrapbook with. This is a hobby where you share the photos and stories about your family, vacation, and daily life. It’s easy to find other scrapbookers, either through online scrapbooking forums or scrapbooking get togethers.
3. Photo’s should exist somewhere besides your digital camera and phone. You took the photos, now do something with them. Then while your at it, back up your files. I won’t judge you if you never intend to work with physical paper and photos, but every photo should be backed up and not living in one place. Computers crash, external hard drives crash, phones and camera’s break, and SD cards can get lost. My husbands associate took all of the pictures of her twins during their first year of life with her phone. Again I’m not judging, my cell phone has a better camera than my first two digital cameras. Unfortunately she had these pictures only on her phone, and guess what happened. Tragedy, her phone broke, and all of her children’s baby pictures were unrecoverable. If your photos live on your phone I recommend at a minimum getting one of the many photo applications that will upload photos from your phone to a website. My husband and I have a lot of redundancy built into the backup of our data. I’m not saying everyone needs to do these things, but telling you what we do might give you some ideas.
- We rotate the external hard drive that stores my computer back up, and the external not plugged in and active is stored in a fireproof safe.
- We pay for an online crash service. We recently switched from carbonite to crash plan because they will backs up not only our hard drive but our external hard drives.
- We upload pictures to an online photo site. Shutterfly, Snapfish, and Photobucket all have a phone application capable of uploading directly from your phone to their website.
- We print pictures monthly.
4. Like most art, scrapbooking can be catered to your individual taste. I’m a girl that likes a lot of embellishments, but I appreciate the simplicity of my friends with a minimalist style. Scrapbooking has hit a trend of pocket scrapbooking, which is great for its ease of use and time saving methods. You can scrapbook digitally, traditionally or a hybrid of both. There are scrapbooks full of altered art or completely dedicated to journaling with photos being used in sparing amounts. Scrapbooking is no longer the 90’s hobby of stickers and primary color card stock. It’s vast and odds are if you browse a few online scrapbooking galleries you will find the style that fits you best.
5. Scrapbookers become good photographers. I didn’t say great photographers, I said good. Using photos teaches you what kinds of shots stand out and are more meaningful than others. As a scrapbooker, I was inspired to take more pictures, and I lost some of my old inhibitions of taking photos. Scrapbooking has honed my sense of what moments to photograph, and I do a better job of capturing an event in fewer pictures.
6. It supports healthy self-esteem. Taking the time to place photos into an album is a genuine way to display your affection for someone and for them to feel valued. Studies have proven that hanging up framed photographs in the home of a child will help improve and support their self-esteem. Displaying their pictures in an album, calendar, or on a coffee mug holds true as well. My friend Barb is the mother of five boys and she maintained scrapbooks for each of them. She’d come home from a day of scrapbooking and her boys gathered to see her finished pages. They always wanted to know, “Whose book did you work on today.” It meant something to them that she spent her free time documenting their stories from childhood.
7. It’s a great way to relax. I enjoy scrapbooking while talking to friends, watching TV, or listening to an audio book. I like that my mind can focus on the photos, pull me out of my day to day, and into a positive memory about one of my children, a vacation, or a recent celebration. At no point in my almost twenty years scrapbooking did I walk away from a layout more stressed out than when I came to it.
8. It’s a hobby your friends and family will appreciate. My husband and I received lots of nice gifts at our wedding, but there was one I’ve always had a sentimental soft spot for. My friend Jennifer flew from California to Minnesota to attend my wedding. A week after she returned home she mailed a 5×7 scrapbook, which contained our first set of wedding pictures. Fifteen years ago digital cameras were rare and astronomically expensive. It was wonderful to see photos of the wedding for the first time, and have a portable book I to show whenever I was asked how the wedding went. People love getting pictures from a special event in their life, but they love it more when you’ve documented the event with stories and flair.
9. It can help you develop and sustain an attitude of gratitude. People usually document good memories in photos. It’s a wonderful pick me up to look at photos and reflect on all the good in life. I also know people who document the hard times, illnesses, or recovery. Scrapbooking can be good therapy. A way to hang on to the memories of someone with a brain degenerative disease, or a farewell for someone battling terminal illness. It’s also a healthy way to document a hard time, while providing a way to look back with gratitude later, knowing that the difficult time has passed and better things have come.
10. It’s what you make of it. Scrapbooking is something you could do every day or twice a year. You can create with pre made pages or design layouts entirely on your own. There really aren’t rules about how to scrapbook. Lot’s of people have advice on the subject sure, but “rules”, not so much. There are plenty of scrapbooking communities to help a person get started. The best part about scrapbooking, is this hobby has a way of attracting friendly people. We’d love for you to join the party.