Ok, so when's the last time you visited the color and quote page (and archive) at Big Picture Scrapbooking?
I ask simply because it's pretty cool and could potentially provide you with some needed inspiration!
I LOVE it.
So, I'm back with some Q&A for you. As you may or may not know, I've made some adjustments to the way I handle incoming email, which I'm sure you know can be a real time and energy sucker (I love getting email and email is NOT a bad thing necessarily, but as I've paid attention to what takes up my time and what drains my energy there is a direct correlation to the number of messages in my inbox) When there are things you are itching to do and you can't seem to make time for them, you often need to do some eliminating. Luckily I have two partners that totally get me and want to help me and they are — thanks Paula and Kayce! Rather than respond to email questions personally, I'm going to address them on my blog (unless of course someone asks me not to. In these cases, I will respond in private) so, anyway here goes …
Q: I finished Photo Freedom recently and I'm working on taking the plunge into better photo organization – my hangup? I don’t upload and print photos. Is this a necessary thing for the tangible ability to flip through the storage binders?? Or couldn’t I use photo tags in my photo organizing computer program that will allow me to ‘virtually label’ my ‘keeper photos’ both chronologically and using ‘category drawer’ labels and THEN print the ones I want to scrapbook when I’m ready?
A: So, this is a really good and important question and a good place for me to say that I will always give you my hard-earned opinion because I want you to know what I have learned through years of trial and error. Obviously, you can and should do your own testing and tweaking of this system until you reach an adaptation that works for you. Ok, here's the deal (hard-earned opinion) YOU CAN'T SCRAPBOOK PHOTOS YOU CAN'T SEE (and touch) If you are a traditional scrapbooker (at least some of the time) I believe you must have a stockpile of printed photos that you can see and review over and over again. Yes, you can see photos on your computer and yes you can print photos when you are ready, BUT (and I think it's a huge but) there is something magical in having printed photos in viewable albums that you can flip through again and again and again. It is in the very act of flipping through binders that these images are seared into your brain so that a subconscious prioritizing can occur. Without really being aware of it, you will, with storage binders in place, scrapbook those memories/pictures that are MOST important or most telling over time. You will in the physical viewing and triaging of your binders make connections that can only be made when you can flip back and forth and pull and sort by category, etc. etc. As you deplete pictures in these binders there is also a wonderful sense of accomplishment and absolute feeling that you are making progress and that is critical. Now, if you are digital scrapbooker you clearly do not need as many physical prints available to you. NOTE I said "as many" — I still whole heartedly believe that your family deserves to have at least a limited selection of printed pictures available to them, while they wait for you to get them scrapbooked. Frankly, our families don't really care if pictures end up on pages or in mini books or printed photo books or just storage binders. What they want to see are the pictures you are constantly snapping — and trust me, if they get to see them, they'll be much more willing as photo subjects. I think digital scrapbookers should still print 5 to 10% of the pictures they take and either put them into storage binders to include in a physical project here and there — or simply slip them into photo albums to be enjoyed right away.
I know this is long, but I have one final thought on this issue. I don't know about you, but when I get the urge to engage in the creative process of assembling a page, my urge is fragile. If I have to sit down at my computer and scroll through pictures and potentially edit and determine the size I want the pictures to be (based on a potential sketch I may not have selected yet) my energy would go right out the window. If on the other hand, I can come downstairs and in a matter of minutes put my hands of prints and begin to play — I am productive (meaning, I can in fact make a page) and I go to bed feeling refreshed and I wake up happy and eager to run back downstairs and look at my completed page and I have a sense of renewed energy for the day at hand. I cannot tell you how often this happens for me and how often I need this to happen for me, so that I can sustain the work that I do.
Before you weigh in on the issue of "to print or not to print" ask yourself this very important question:
Are you scrapbooking as often as you'd like to?
If the answer is NO.
Try implementing the idea of storage binders (with just one season's worth of pictures) and see if it makes a difference for you.
and … have a wonderful Monday.