I love my photo organizational system that I have set up based on the process Stacy Julian teaches in Library of Memories at Big Picture Scrapbooking. LOM, as SJ’s students call it, can be a life changing experience, especially for those caught in the trap of thinking that scrapbooking MUST be chronological. Luckily for me, I never thought scrapbooking had to be told in a time based manner. I approached it as an opportunity for story telling, but finding the pictures I wanted to use was time consuming. Enter SJ’s very well thought out and road-tested organizational system. I had read about it in Photo Freedom, and caught glimpses of how it was used in The Big Picture (two of Stacy Julian’s books), as well as in articles and the overall philosophy behind Simple Scrapbooks magazine. This was the key I needed to get more stories told more efficiently.
So, my process as it stands right now goes something like this:
Take pictures. Lots of pictures. Upload to my computer. (I mostly use a digi camera, and occasionally a disposable that I have a cd made of when I develop it.) I use photoshop elements (3.0!) to tag my most scrappable photos with a quarterly tag (ie first quarter for jan-mar, etc.), then I upload those highlights to Shutterfly. When Shutterfly has a free shipping event, I have my highlights printed, and then place them in three ring photo binders that I got at Target. I got 12, and that covers just about all the photos I have. Most people could stop right there, and be set for their scrapbooking life, but then, most of their stories would be event or time-based, as opposed to this wonderful connections idea that SJ talks about.
To get to this connections place, photos have to be taken out of their chronological order and allowed to mingle with photos from other times and places. To do this, I have category drawers (photo boxes actually) separated into themes. For example, one box is for pictures all about us, my immediate family. This is separated into further categories like Ethan personality, Ethan highlights (where I stash a picture or two from significant events during the year), all together, for pictures of all of us, or brothers, for pictures of just my two boys together. How does this work? Well let me give you an example:
My husband had just left for a trip, and I was on kid duty for a long and busy weekend. They had been particularly squirrelly and I had been particularly grumpy, so bedtime was a huge relief. To try to get myself out of the bad mood, I decided to try to scrapbook, and started going through my category drawers. Behind the brothers tab in my all about us category drawer I found these two photos of the boys about two years apart that perfectly described their personalities, their relationship, and just why that evening had been so hard to deal with. A scrapbook page was born.
Now what’s interesting about this is that I recorded a current moment in time, with pictures from three and five years ago. These pictures have nothing to do with what actually happened that day, but everything to do with how that day felt. I would have never been able to find these pictures, let alone put them together on this page, with this subject matter, without LOM.
This is why I love Library of Memories.
Bonus? A big laugh, and a resultant attitude adjustment.
Stacy Julian’s offering a new version of her Library of Memories class, and it starts tomorrow! Run, don’t walk, to take this class!