On StoryTelling


I have a lovely old photo album with family photos from the 1870′s. Some of them are labelled many are not. I have no idea who these people are or why the photo was taken. That is one of the reasons I scrapbook. I want others to know what was important about the photos that are preserved. Yet sometimes it is easier to just make a pretty page.
Over the last few years, I have been exercising my storytelling muscles. Today, I want to share a few tips with you for including the story in your albums.

1. Write a letter. Each year, I try to write a letter to my girls around their birthdays. I then include this in their album. This can be typed as part of the page. I could also be written on a pretty piece of paper then scanned and added to the page.

2. Use a quote. Sometimes I only use a quote. It gives some information about how I was feeling about the picture. It is not my words though. A quote could be a jumping off point for your own thoughts. These will be treasured because it includes you in the page.

3. Be a reporter. Do you remember in school looking a the who, what, where, why and when of a story or event? Some of this may seem obvious to you as you look at the photo. Now imagine the year is 2112, your descendants have just found your old scrapbook on the shelf. Can they answer any of those questions by looking at the page? If not write a paragraph with some of the details.

4. Write a caption. This is a short snippet under, or beside the photo that gives the main information. For this I often include a name, place and date with no other information.

5. Use a definition. Pick a main word that describes what you want your page to be about. Then add the definition of the word dictionary style to the page. I often use this as a starting point and add a short description to the page that expands on the idea.

6. Use a Poem or Song. I have written poems specifically to go with photos. Not everyone enjoys writing poetry. I used to hate it. A part of a song can fill the same function and you don’t need to be a poet to use this tip.

7. Hidden journaling. When I use paper supplies, I can fashion an envelope to hold the journaling. Digital scrap booking is harder to use hidden journaling. the best idea I have seen for this is to put the journaling on the back of the page after printing. This will not work if you print your pages as an album. It might be possible to create an envelope using the digital pieces so you can add the dimension after printing. I have a few pages where I have written the information on the page after printing because I did not want it on the web.

8. Separate pages for story. Sometimes I want to create a fancy page that has photos and embellishments but the story needs to be told. For these I create a double page spread where one side is journaling. This allows more room to tell a story.

9. Make a list. There are many topics that can use a list style for telling the story. It could be a list of some ones favorites. A gratitude list. A daily tasks list (or schedule).

10. Have fun. We are our families storytellers have fun with it.

Many of the challenges in the forums contain journal prompts if you want more ideas.

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