If you are like most people, you take a huge amount of pictures at family events, birthdays, kids sports events and then they sit… and sit… and sit… in boxes and bags all over the house. Then add pictures from recent years that are on various camera memory cards and computer hard drives. All of this adds up to an overwhelming task to give these family memories the proper spotlight for all to enjoy.
The following are the top 8 steps for creating beautiful scrapbooks of your photos for years of enjoyment.
8 important steps to preserve your photos
Store the photos chronologically for future scrapbooking: As you take pictures, print the best either on your personal printer or through a printing service and store the photos in a photo box in chronological order.
Write detailed information about the picture on the back of the photo. Think “who”, “where”, “what”, “when” and “why”. Use key words to ensure that anyone looking at the photo for many years to come will know the “story”, but more importantly, this will give you the information you need to do a proper journal of the event at a later date when you are ready to scrapbook. DO NOT use regular pen as this may imprint through to the front of the photo and the acid in the ink will degrade the picture. Use Photo safe pencils/pens to ensure that the writing does not imprint to the front of the picture and the lead/ink does not degrade the photo.
Store pictures in the same environment that you live in. Keep photos away from exposure to extreme heat/cold and humidity. Bring your stored pictures out of the attic and basement as soon as possible!
Use Acid-Free and lignin-free paper and adhesive products. You are finally ready to sit and scrapbook the pictures you have taken. It is important to use the correct products to ensure your memory album lasts for many generations. Acid-free and lignin-free paper will not yellow or degenerate your photos. All craft stores now carry many varieties of proper scrapbooking supplies.
- Include background details in photos when cropping. Cropping aphoto is generally done to focus on the main person or event of the story. However,care should be taken to not crop out important details of the photo that give reference to the time in history. Isn’t it fun to see what the cars and streets looked like in the area that 30, 40, 50 years ago!
- Use personal handwriting to describe events. This is one of the most important tips to remember. Precious is the handwriting of your parent or great-grandparent especially when they are no longer with you. Your family will also appreciate the time you spent journaling the stories. It doesn’t matter if your handwriting is not beautiful, in fact, this adds to the scrapbook’s personality.
Include memento’s, hand-written notes & report cards, etc. Attach additional items either to the scrapbook page, or provide a pocket in the scrapbook for the item to be removed and viewed.
Don’t become overwhelmed with all the scapbooking products and techniques that are found in the craft stores and online. These are fun and make your memory book colorful and creative, but remember - the important part of Scrapbooking is to enjoy your photos and journal the “story” of your life. The fancy stuff can come later!