Monday, May 24, 2010

Scrapbooking: The Who, What, Where, When and Why

In years to come when we are reminiscing and looking over our cherished scrapbooks are we going to know who is in our pictures? Why they are in our pictures, where the picture was taken, when it was taken and why. As time passes it can get harder and harder to remember these things and so now, while we are creating our scrapbooks and compiling our memories we need to document the who, what, where, when and why.

People change over time. We start out as babies and age into cute elderly grandparents. But when you look at your scrapbooks are you going to be able to decipher who that cute little baby is or who that elderly woman is holding that baby? When scrapbooking it is so important to label who is who. “Great Grandma Jane holding baby Ella.” Now you know who is in the picture. However is this going to be enough? Every now and then labeling last names and relations to other people can help future generations in knowing that “Great Grandma Jane” was my dad’s grandmother.

Sometimes when looking at a picture it can be hard knowing what was going on. Why was our entire family gathered together? What were we doing? While labeling who is in our pictures it is also important to know what was going on. Were we gathered together for a reunion, funeral, party? Just by knowing what was going on can help us understand how we lived, how we chose to spend our time and what was important to us. “Jensen Family Reunion, cleaning up a city park.”

Now we know who is in our pictures, what we were doing but where were we? In 50 years to come how awesome will it be to look back at a picture and see that you visited Malad Idaho every year with your family. Places change over time and to know where a picture was taken can help us see how things have changed. The way life used to be. Including addresses, this can also be an intriguing thing for us to investigate in the future. “Our first home, 505 W 5000 S Ogden Utah.” Knowing an address our future generations can visit that precise location and see where their family once lived. Also when cropping your pictures to fit on your pages make sure you don’t cut too much out. It says we were at Grandma’s house in Layton Utah but what did her house look like? When you cut too much, memories can fade away and we won’t remember the way your grandmother kept her yard or what the house looked like 50 years ago.

It is so easy to forget to label when a picture was taken. Our cameras so conveniently keep track of those dates, but are we transferring those dates to our scrapbooks? To know when pictures were taken helps future generations to know how long ago certain events happened and most importantly birthdates or perhaps when a loved one passed away. By knowing these dates we can determine how old Grandpa was when Grandma passed away. Or how old baby Jake was when he took his first step. By having this information you can look back and compare your own children’s progress through life, or even understand how your great grandfather always had his fields planted by mother’s day.

And finally why was this picture taken? What motivated someone to take a picture of their toddler sitting on the second step of their home? Scrapbooks really are journals. Record your feelings. “When Jamie sits on our front porch waving to our neighbors passing by I feel like life is perfect.” Or why someone took a picture of a sunset, “Driving home every day I watch as the sun sets over the trees and I know I am almost home.” Or even a picture of a rose bush. “Mom’s red rose bush she took care of all summer so it would continue to bloom.”

So much information. It can make scrapbooking feel like an endless job of personal and family history. Well it is. But as you scrapbook remember that you don’t have to label each and every picture. Group your pictures together chronologically. “All these pictures were taken at our family reunion 1987.” Then once you’ve labeled who is who you don’t have to repeat it time and time again for that one event. If Grandma Kelly shows up in several of your pictures you only need to label her once. Good luck scrapbooking and always remember the who, what, where and when of all your memories you will cherish for lifetimes to come.

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