I’m getting this question a lot:
What do you do with your travel pictures? Do you do a photobook, photo album, layout? Please tell me because I don’t know where to put all the pictures I take in my travels.
It’s an excellent question and on a lot of our minds … so let’s talk about it.
I’ll tell you what I do (you’re going to get a healthy dose of my personal scrapbooking philosophy) and I invite you to share what you do with your vacation/travel photos. Everyone needs to do what feels right for them. Do what works for you, not what you think you “should” do because you’ve seen so-and-so do it that way. Let’s just share ideas and inspire each other, right? Right.
WHAT I USED TO DO. For years and years and years, this was my system: After traveling somewhere I would add that trip to my list of layouts-to-do. It was right there on my handy-dandy list right along with birthdays and holidays and momentous occasions and school pictures and … you name it. Anything and everything I wanted to scrapbook went on this list. I’m an organizer. That’s what I do. When time allowed, I would get around to creating those layouts, one at a time. This layouts-to-do list was always long and I never felt like I could get where I wanted to be, which is current.
WHY THIS NO LONGER WORKS FOR ME. I have this innate need to feel like I’m on top of my pictures. As a lifetime scrapbooker, I was finding it impossible to keep up with my wishful thinking of countless layouts. I wanted to play with my kids instead of spend gobs and gobs of time putting layouts together. I enjoy the art – don’t get me wrong – but it can be oh-so-time-consuming. We all know it. So my list got longer and longer and I wasn’t actually doing any scrapbooking with our pictures — travel and otherwise.
I evolved in my philosophy and approach to scrapbooking. I evolved to a place that is do-able. Realistic. Fun. Focused. And my pictures? I’m scrapbooking them. My list? I’m so over that.
WHAT I DO NOW. Pardon the shameless plug, but I have two words – Project Life. This is how it works for travel pictures: We go somewhere. We come back. I go through our pictures, narrow down, and organize them in our iPhoto library. And then … I choose one picture per day to represent our travel. I add that to our ongoing Project Life book (I personally prefer the digital version). Those travel pictures receive equal treatment to every other picture that goes in our book. That amazing hundreds-of-years-old building we saw? Just as important as Crew learning to feed himself, Claire lining up her stuffed animals for a tea party, Porter losing a tooth, the vegetables we pulled out of the garden, the friends we hang out with.
The little stuff in life is just as important as, if not more important than, the big stuff. It should all be included in telling our life story.
WHY THIS WORKS FOR ME. I am a practical woman. Like really, truly practical. I try to do what makes the most sense and feels right. So for me – for our family - we now have our pictures and stories actually being recorded and preserved in a format we can enjoy, instead of making a list of scrapbook pages I’d like to do “someday”. If you see me in person and ask about it, you’ll have a hard time shutting me up because I am that passionate about the system and its ease and its flexibility. I want this to help so many people (scrapbookers and non-scrapbookers alike) because it has helped me.
WHAT ABOUT THE REST OF THE PICTURES? I knew you’d ask. : ) We took a lot of pictures on our recent trip to Finland. After narrowing down, I have exactly 573 pictures that are now stored in iPhoto. Will I scrapbook all of those? Of course not. Would that be nice? Sure. Is it realistic? Heck no. There are thousands and thousands of pictures in our iPhoto library that aren’t being scrapbooked. I’m over it. Sometimes we browse through our pictures on the computer. Sometimes we incorporate our favorites into our home decor. Sometimes we share random pictures with loved ones. Sometimes we make iMovies with the pictures. There are so many other ways to enjoy photographs outside of actual scrapbooks.
ABOUT THAT LIST. Going back to what I said about “do what works for you” — I do realize that there are many of my readers who are true-blue-traditional-layout scrapbookers. I love that. For those of you in that category who are also list-makers and who would be interested in keeping an ongoing list like I mentioned (because it works for you), I’m happy to share that list format again:
So … what works for you?