Sunday, May 4, 2008

Preachin' the Message: Sermon on the Shoebox

Thank you so much for allowing me to indulge in a sermon last weekend. I so hoped that I would inspire you to get your photos out of shoeboxes (or hard drives) and into albums. And what happened? You all inspired me! It was so great to read about all of you already working on your albums…and writing down your stories. And to know that some of you might have even been inspired to start is gratifying to say the least. And the request to keep up the nudges was all the encouragement I needed to get back up on my soapbox for yet another sermon.

There are a lot of sources if you need some creative inspiration. There are places that can show you all sorts of design layouts; sticker arrangements; pop up pages; pages with stamps; and so, so much more. Trust me…I am not that source. What I would like to do is to encourage you to document your photos. Because, your photos are the heart of your albums…and your words are the soul…

Here are some of my pages with a whole lotta soul:

Top five reasons given for not journaling:
I don't like my handwriting
I don't know what to say.
I am worried about proper grammar and punctuation
I don't feel comfortable adding words that will take away from the decor of my page.
I can't remember the exact dates or events.

"The palest ink is better than the poorest memory."

Journaling is hard for most of us. Maybe not so much for those of us that blog. Because we are the type that take pictures to go with our crazy stories. Or maybe that is just me. But, journaling does become difficult for me when I am behind on my pictures. Did those pictures of the raccoons in our garage happen before or after the Disney trip? Did Claire go to the beach with us last year, or two years ago? What year was that Easter picture taken?!

Let me share a great technique which has helped me keep up with my journaling. What I do is to sit down at the computer as soon as possible after an event and write whatever comes to mind about that event. I just add all the entries to the same document. Then, after I have done several album pages of photos and I am ready to journal, I print out everything I've written that pertains to those pages and use it as my guide. This method has helped me capture more of the meaningful details, and more of the emotion of the event, than I previously had been doing. I may revise or add to what I've written as I transfer those thoughts into my albums. I can either copy my journaling into my album, or if I am pressed for space, I can change it to a fun font, and just print it right out on inkjet paper, trim to fit, and mount that in my album.

Your albums:
-are powerful
-dignify and honor those you love
-communicate with your loved ones at a distance
-celebrate and validate your lives
-help you remember the life around the photo
-capture the quiet glory of ordinary moments
-lift us all to an emotional place

Without journaling, the above results are a mere fraction of what they could be. I hope you'll consider your album's heart and soul as you work on your pages. (Can I hear an “amen?”)

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Heather said...

I'm just too embarrassed to tell you about my lack of scrapbooking. I won't talk about where the pictures of my precious babies are stored. I'm a scrapbook sinner.

I DO want to talk about your counter, though. Do you watch LOST? We need to discuss, girl.

Keys to the Magic Travel said...

Aren't we all sinners? ;-) I am about two years behind on my books. And I have just recently gotten back into the groove. I am working on reforming (or is it repenting? confessing?)

I am completely and totally obsessed by LOST. Katie did physics this year for when we read about Michael Faraday...I just knew we'd discover the secrets to the island. I tivo lostpedia...and know that I'll never come up with the things those people figure out. I just found that counter...I'll see if I can find the link if you want to add one.

Angela said...

What a great blog and the photo journals are wonderful! They will be such a great resource for generations to come!

Rhea said...

I love journaling and I love photography, so you'd think I'd have gravitated towards scrapbooking a lot time also. I also love creative projects (although I'm not all that great at them). I've never really done a scrapbook...but I do put my photos in albums and sometimes write a little on the side if I can...and I also make photobooks through Shutterfly where they allow you to make books where you type words and descriptions.

I really should try scrapbooking. I think I'd like it.

I love that your preaching to us got you inspired. hehe

Keys to the Magic Travel said...

Rhea--me too...who knew I'd inspire myself? :-) But...I really really want to get caught up! After your comments last week, I had not realized that you were not a scrapbooker. Except that to me, those books you are making on Shutterfly count! You ought to look at the ones Creative Memories does...they even have a computer program (another program that I need to learn) to make your albums (their entire product line is available digitally)...

Angie's Spot said...

Oh yea!! Another scrapbooker!! I am behind on my albums, but you're inspiring me to pick them back up and quickly. I'm totally with you on journaling. My best friend hates to journal because of her handwriting (which I think is beautiful), but I think I've convinced her to get past that. Her grandkids will thank her!