I want to start our Q&A with this email that I received on Sunday, from Kelli:
I just finished reading Photo Freedom and can't express my gratitude. The reason I say that is my Mother recently became very ill and was hospitalized. It was unexpected. I met the ambulance at the hospital and spent the first evening with her, she was not doing very well. When I came home I had a need to do something for my Mom but I had my three boys (12, 4, 8 months) to get to bed. I made sure to get up early the next morning, before the boys, and opened my People We Love box…went to the tab for Nana and was able to pull some of my favourite photos of my Mom with her grandchildren when they were little and some of me. She was happy and smiling in each photo and I hoped it would brighten her day. I made a 4×4 mini ring album in a little over an hour. I would never have been able to complete it without having been a part of your class or having reorganized my photos…and for that I wanted to say THANK YOU! It did brighten my Mom's day and she has it sitting out to look at when she begins feeling low.
With a little effort in organization, this system gives you the ability to put your hands on pictures you want when you need them. To me, this is powerful stuff and far more important than any exercise in breaking free of chronology. Regardless of how you approach, store or display pages and projects, when you enrich the organization of your photos, you also enrich your ability to find and create in response to inspiration.
Ok, let's get started. We're going to start with some easy ones!
Questions from Darlene:
In your BP book you use acid free tabbed dividers to separate groups of photos in the category drawers. I have done a search and can't really find many choices. Will you share which brand you use with me and a link?
Absolutely! I used acid free tabbed dividers from Highsmith. The link is super long, but if you will visit highsmith.com and type "acid free index cards" in the search box, they will come up. They cost just under $7 for a package of 50.
Also, I don't have a huge backlog of photos…but I am nervously trusting you and beginning to file my prints as you suggest. I really need a class on what to take pictures of…sounds silly I know, but I was from the era where you might only take 2-3 rolls of pictures a year. I can't seem to get out of this mind set and take ordinary everyday photos. And you know these layouts and memories are always my favorites!!
I have a couple of ideas/resources that will help you see more everyday photo opportunities. First, read Ali's blog and any of her books. In my opinion she truly turns everyday moments into art and captures so well the fleeting, and often imperfect dailiness we all live with and sometimes fail to see as "scrapworthy" You would love her book, Life Artist.
I think you will also enjoy the class I am teaching this summer, called Have More Fun. Our September project will be a perfect remedy and may change your picture-taking habits forever!
Question from Jeannette:
I have been doing some research for purchasing the components to make my LOM system. I have found 4 x 6 as well as 5 x 8 file boxes to use for the category drawers. Which do you use & why did you choose that size?
I initially purchased one 4×6 set of two metal drawers and put two categories in each drawer. About a year later I added a second set of drawers. At this time I rarely, if ever made enlargements. Since then, digital photography has made it very easy to order prints in different sizes and I love working with 5×7 photos. In fact, when I upload a seasonal highlights folder to Shutterfly and order prints, I often order 5 to 10 or more 5×7 prints. So … my answer is, I have and love 4×6 drawers and have created a place and method where I can reference and store my enlargements — I think though if I were setting up the system now, I just might purchase the larger drawers! I realize this may come off as one of those "non-answers" so here's the summary:
1. The metal drawers that I recommend and LOVE are expensive. Feel free to start with one set of drawers (and add a second set down the road.) There are some options to the more expensive metal file cabinet drawers. In fact, Cheryl at Croppin' Companion is letting me give away a set of her sturdy cardboard drawers, so if you would like to be part of a random selection process, leave a comment!
2. If you print and use lots of 5×7 enlargements, consider purchasing category drawers that will accommodate them. The drawers I use are made by SteelMaster and can be found at staples.com by searching "steelmaster index card file"
More answers tomorrow!
On the homefront, we had a marvelous Memorial Day, thanks to all who have sacrificed for and continue to defend our freedoms … I'm just happy when in Washington it doesn't rain on this first celebration of summer.
attended the church picnic. there is just something so delicious about that first grilled hamburger of the season!
had so much fun capturing images of Red Rover …
and we initiated our new firepit! Some of us need some roasting practice.
Happy Tuesday (thanks to all this fun, I've been sending Happy Monday Morning emails all morning — oh well.)