Planning to Scrap Events


The holidays provide us with many pictures and memories to add to our scrapbooks. Almost an overwhelming number! Here’s a partial list of the events that I know I will want to capture in my scrapbook:

  • Gingerbread house decorating
  • Ornament creation
  • Christmas list making
  • School concert
  • Christmas lights tour
  • Various Christmas parties
  • Decorating the Christmas tree
  • Christmas Eve dinner
  • Christmas morning

I’ll outline below my “plan” for capturing all of these memories. I think of my scrapbook pages in three major categories so that’s how this post is organized:

  • Pictures
  • Stories and Facts
  • Papers and Elements

Picture Planning

Many of us have SLR cameras and a variety of lenses and equipment. Before an event, try to plan out which photography equipment is needed. For example, sometimes you will need an external flash or a tripod or a remote shutter trigger.

As a scrapbooker, I think of the types of shots I will want in three categories:

  1. First, I think about the wide-angle shots that will set the scene. Where is the event? Who is there? I like to capture the “big picture”.
  2. Next I think about those little details that are key to the overall event.
  3. Lastly, I try to image the “action” moments that I will want to be ready for to capture.

Here are a couple of examples:

Gingerbread House Decorating
  • Scene: Entire family gathered around the unfinished house and later the finished house
  • Details: Bowls full of candies, close-ups of the finishing touches on the house
  • Action: Hands putting on decorations, everyone munching on the candy decorations, the kids laughing
Christmas Eve Dinner
  • Scene: Entire family at the table
  • Details: Full plate, Christmas crackers, cracker treats, serving bowls of food
  • Action: The kids pulling open Christmas crackers, everyone putting on their paper crowns, reading the cracker jokes out loud

I use Adobe Lightroom to organize my photos. Since I rarely delete photos (see Steph’s post here for more on that),  I can end up with hundreds of them after any event. In order to avoid being overwhelmed though, when I upload my pictures onto my computer, I mark them to show “Picks” and “Rejects”. I can view just the “Picks” at a later date and be certain those will be ones that I will want to scrap.

As an aside, I recently added photo-tagging to my “month’s end to do list”. I take about 700+ photos in a regular month and I can tag them all in under 20 minutes. I’m almost caught up on tagging all my prior digital photos, too. It is a pleasure to be able to keyword search my photos and have the ones I want pop up. It makes finding the right photos to scrapbook so much easier.

Journaling and Details

My photo folders are automatically named in the YYYY-MM-DD format. As the month progresses, I rename folders to append the event name. (For example, 2011-12-04-Gingerbread.) This helps me to quickly scan my photo directory and find events that I want to scrap.

As each event happens, you can create a simple Word document to record any immediate memories, quotes, etc. This can be saved in the folder with the associated pictures. This way the journaling and photos are ready when you have time to scrap.

If you work on multiple devices, online tools like Evernote or Google Docs might be useful to you to efficiently capture thoughts no matter which device you are using.

Papers and Elements

Some of my pages start with the photos and story, and then I search my digi supplies to find a kit that matches theme of the page. Some of my pages start with a beautiful kit that I can’t wait to use and I’ll scrap the page and then find photos and journaling to match. Both approaches work because for me scrapbooking is an equal mix of wanting to capture the memories and enjoying the creative process.

I use ACDSee to tag my kit previews. I tag them as “Previews” and by store name and designer name. My mind seems to associate kits with designers, but if that doesn’t work for you, you could tag them by dominate colours, themes (Christmas, Winter, Birthday, et cetera) or some other method that helps you to find your kits quickly and easily.

I tag all of my page templates individually as well. Many scrapbookers organize templates by the number of photos that each one holds which can help you to quickly find the right template for your page.

There may be as many ways to organize digital supplies as there are scrapbookers. The key is just to pick a method that works for you and lets you focus on scrapping and not on hunting for the right products. Here are some ideas:

I hope some of these ideas work for you and help you capture your memories!