Scrapbooking is a hobby that terrifies me because all of the stuff that accompanies it. Digital scrapbooking expert Gina Maria Myers, however, knows how to create beautiful scrapbooks without a single sticker or sheet of fancy paper. She is owner of the Scrapbooking Resource Center and publishes the blog Pieces & Pixels. We hope you enjoy her guest post that follows:
What’s the most commonly collected item among all demographic groups? Well, it’s not ceramic figurines, I can tell you that. It’s photographs.
So, how do you deal with the clutter of photos? There are several solutions ranging from “don’t take so many” to “sort into photo boxes by century, decade, and year.” My new favorite is just “don’t.” Don’t deal with the physical clutter of photographs, digitize them.
First, it helps if your photos start out in digital format and that can be taken care of by using a digital camera to take all your pictures. If your older photos aren’t already digitized, you can get them batch-scanned through any number of local and online sources. Once your image files are in your possession and thoroughly backed up, I’d store the negatives in an off-site location and dispose of the paper copies (I’d offer them to family first, but I’d definitely get them out of my house.)
If you’re just starting out, now is the time to be the architect of your digital file storage system so you’re not trudging through thousands of images in a couple of years. My own photo archiving system is organized by year and broken down into months with events like vacations broken down further. I keep copies of my photos on two external hard drives and back them up to disks with index prints annually.
Now, you’re probably wondering how I share these photos if I’m no longer making prints. It’s a valid question since we’re all used to shuffling through stacks of photos and passing them around with friends. I scrapbook.
You’re probably shaking your head and thinking: “But scrapbooking involves stacks and stacks of paper, stickers, paper cutters, pens, and a plethora of other crafting supplies that would take forever to list as well as thick, heavy albums that take up precious shelf space.” You’re right. Or, at least, you would be right if I still practiced traditional scrapbooking.
But, I don’t practice cluttered traditional scrapbooking. I make scrapbooks with digital supplies. Online Digital Scrapbooking stores make it possible to buy digitized “paper” and other elements, and I use these to create albums that look just like those I used to make with layers of paper, photos, stickers, brads, and doo-dads.
In the end, I have pages that look textured and dimensional, but, once printed, are only as thick as a single sheet of paper. Even better, these pages can be uploaded to online photo processors and printed in a bound book that takes less than an inch of space on your bookshelves.
If you’ve never given a thought to digital scrapbooking, take a look at this post on how to get started.