10 scrapbookingThis article originally ran in the March 2020 edition of Women's View Magazine.

I remember certain events from my children’s childhoods vividly, and yet some things I question, especially as the years pass by. So, I enjoy having as many memories preserved in photos  as possible to review and confirm details. I am also the historian in my family; when other family members can’t find a photo of a loved one, I am the one they come to see. I have scrapbooks meticulously organized, going back to my childhood.

My first experience with scrapbooking was through my stepmother, Nina, who faithfully preserved all our adventures in books for us to bring home at the end of  each summer. Of course, these were the old-fashioned scrapbooks with a film over the pictures to hold them in place. Her detailed preservation of family memories helped me to develop an interest in and create my own way of scrapbooking. Consider these tips before starting your first book.

First, get old pictures out of nonphoto-safe memory books as soon as possible. Those old books can damage pictures and are not the best way to preserve memories.
Secondly, convert your old photos to digital copies to prevent further damage. Mark them as close to the date taken as possible, to make it easier to find these photos in the future.

Lastly, save those digital copies in at least three different locations. One can be on a computer, another perhaps an external hard drive kept in a different location and lastly, maybe an online service or in the cloud.

Update these pictures with your new ones regularly in all locations at the same time, so as never to be caught by surprise if a smartphone or computer dies. Some popular sites for saving photos are Google Photos, DropBox, One Drive and the Amazon Prime app.

Many traditional scrapbookers are still out there,  those who still put the photo to paper with glue and decorations, but more people are scrapbooking digitally. If you still use traditional scrapbooking methods, be sure you are using photo-safe paper, tape and scrapbooks, so all pictures will remain vibrant for years to come.

Digital scrapbooking occurs in several ways. I like to make an annual book for my family to recap events from the past year, but I also create special books from time to time, particularly of vacations, such as from a 2008 trip to St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

I’ve also made special books for my sons from the major events in their childhood. Both children have baby books and albums of their sports and extracurriculars.

I print my photo books through Creative Memories, a service that also sells the supplies for both traditional and digital scrapbooking, but other services are available to consider. Do keep in mind that some of the low-cost options do not always have the best quality outcomes; the books should hold up for years to come. Some of these other options, though, do make it easy to drag and drop your pictures into precreated albums, a nice convenience.

My last suggestion is that you don’t just lay out pictures. If you are doing traditional or digital scrapbooking, be sure to record notes or captions about the picture or the day to enhance your remembrances. These details may be important to you or a descendent in the future. Either way, it is another memory preserved – that is what scrapbooking is all about.

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