Time to Make Memories

web journaled

Credits: Merry and Bright by Kate Hadfield and Kaye Winiecki. Template by Kaye Winiecki. Fonts: CK script & CK footnote. Photo from istock.

It is almost time for Christmas in my part of the world, but some of you are already there! Even if you don’t celebrate this holiday, you are bound to have some big events coming up where you will want to focus on making some wonderful and lasting memories.

As scrapbookers, we recognize the importance of taking pictures and documenting special moments in our lives. Sometimes we put too much pressure on ourselves to be the perfect memory “catcher” on a day like Christmas Day. We worry about getting the right shots photographed, taking mental (or actual) notes of all the happenings, and trying to remember every little detail.

I’ve decided to change my focus this year from being a memory “catcher” to a memory “maker” . Sure, I still believe in capturing the moments so I can share them (and scrap them!), but I really want to spend time with the ones I love, and not lose sight of living in the present all for the sake of scrapping it in the future. I’ll still be behind the camera, but I plan to spend plenty of time away from it also.

Here are a few QUICK and EASY ideas to help you be present during the big celebrations:

  • Arrive a few minutes early to a gathering, or set aside some time before guest arrive to capture the shots that will help you tell your stories. Wrapped presents, a lit tree, a set table, or even the entryway to a home, are all good scenes to photograph, and those pictures will make great illustrations for many types of pages.
  • Keep it simple! Use the auto mode on your camera. It will work just fine, really! Try to use natural light instead of a flash. Tripods help eliminate blurry pictures. Use the self timer or a remote shutter release if you have one. Read about Janet’s creative idea here.
  • If you want to get creative, make use of expert advice and make some notes on a few ideas you want to try. Digital Photography School has a fabulous post of photography tips for Christmas. Pick one or two to try if you have the time.
  • Share the responsibility. You don’t have to be the one that takes all the pictures, pass the camera around. It will give the kids something to do anyway while they wait for their turn to open presents. Pass around a voice recorder (many cell phones have them) or a notebook, and have everyone list some of their favorite presents and/or memories of the season so you will have material for journaling later on.
  • Move on if your pictures don’t work out. The developer lost the pictures from my son’s first birthday (no digital back then) and I was heartbroken. All the photos were ruined from my son’s 9th birthday party (can you believe it?) Sad again, but I have still been able to scrap both events. If you don’t have the “perfect” photos, just move on and enjoy the ones that you do have.

Finally, take a few minutes to set out your camera, charge and/or replace batteries, and gather anything else you need to be ready for a day of memory making.