Welcome to summer! This is Amy Sorensen, and I'll be your blog host for the next three days.
Last week I got home from a vacation where something extraordinary happened: I only took 203 photos. Two hundred and three pictures in an entire week! That is far less than I usually take. Partly this just-a-few-photos thing was because my daughter and I went somewhere we'd already been twice before (San Jose del Cabo, in Mexico), so I didn't feel a compulsion to photograph everything. Partly it happened because of my dawning realization that quantity of photos doesn't really have anything to do with quality. A handful of strong, story-filled images is more useful than a whole bunch of random stuff.
Also because I tend to get overwhelmed by vacation photos and then just not do anything with them.
It's sort of like laundry after a vacation, don't you think? All those images you bring home that need attention. You get back and you download 528 pictures and then you think, holy cow, now I have to do something with these! Only, unlike laundry, it's pretty easy to just not. Not do anything.
I'm hoping I'm not alone in this problem.
So! Today, tomorrow, and Friday, I'll be sharing with you ten different approaches that will help you get your vacation photos off of your computer (hopefully you've already got them off of your memory card?) and onto some layouts.
The very biggest and most important thing I want to share about scrapping vacation photos is this one: lower your expectations. When we expect ourselves to scrapbook all the photos and all the stories, we're setting ourselves up for frustration (especially when you have 528 photos!) It's easy to be overwhelmed, thinking about all the work you could do. So, instead, decide right now to scrapbook only some of them. Even just one or two. In the vast narrative of your life, a handful of words and images about each vacation will be enough.
To start, pick just one vacation to focus on. I think of this as "one topic scrapbooking" and it's a thing I do quite often: focus for a specific length of time on one topic. I do this in January with Christmas photos and in the spring with birthday photos, but summer feels like a good time to focus on vacation pics. I chose a trip we took to Disneyland back in February of 2010. That's right friends: nearly four and a half years later, I'm scrapping these stories.
Next, gather any written stories you might have. When I travel, I always take my laptop, and then I spend twenty minutes or so at the end of the day writing down sweet experiences, or funny ones, or even awful ones. So, to get started with this project I found those notes where I had saved them. I also re-read the blog entry I wrote about our trip and I scrolled down on my Facebook page to see the statuses I'd posted.
Finally, take a deep breath and confront your folders full of pictures. I give myself several days to sort, delete, process, and print my pictures. I use Adobe Bridge to sort my photos, and here's my process:
1. A rating sort. I start with the first picture and I decide: is this a photo I want to print, want to keep but not print, or want to delete? If it's a print, I rate it with a 5; if it's a keep-but-don't-print, I don't rate it at all, and if I'm going to delete it, I rate it with a 1. I'm pretty severe with what I decide to delete, especially with photos that are almost the same. I delete blurry photos, or those with someone blinking or making a weird face. I try to keep the ones that tell a story, are evocative of the mood of the vacation, or are little pieces of the bigger whole.
2. After I've worked through an entire day's worth of pictures, I sort all of the files by their rating. The photos rated with a 1 are on top, so I can quickly select and delete them all. All of the photos I want to print will be at the bottom of the sorted list, so I can start processing them when I'm ready.
Once you've got vacation photos and stories, you're ready to make some layouts! Here are two tips to start. Come back tomorrow for four more.
1. Make a kit of supplies. While I was thinking about this trip, I realized that the reason I was resisting scrapping my Disney pictures is that I don't love and adore Disney-themed supplies. (In fact, I confess: We've been to Disney three times and I don't even own one Disney-themed supply.) Once I gave myself permission to just scrap with supplies I like (mostly based on color), I was excited to get started. I put together a kit with some of my favorite papers, alphabet stickers, and embellishments. Some are old, some are new, but they all fit together in my head because they feel like the vacation felt (February in Disneyland is nothing like February in Utah!). Then as I start each new layout, I look for supplies in this kit, rather than facing the entirety of my supply collection.
2. Go back through your photos one more time. Sometimes an amazing image gets overlooked when you're sifting through so many pictures. If you give yourself a few days and then go back to the pictures, you're likely to find an image you didn't notice the first time. I found this photo when I remembered that, duh, we didn't only go to Disneyland on that trip. We also made a rushed visit to the beach, just before it got too dark. Most of my photos were too blurry, but when I started paying attention I found this silhouette that made me gasp!
So, tell me: is it hard for you to scrapbook your vacation pictures? Why or why not?