So now that we have a plan and a general idea of what stories we want to tell, we are inevitably going to run into a real problem. We are going to have far more photos than we have time (or even desire) to scrap. This is especially true if we are trying to stay fresh in our current albums as well as dip our toes in the past. I know that I have thousands upon thousands of photos and there is no way I will scrap them all. So what should I do with them?
Here are some tips and suggestions. Find out what works for you, but don’t let the plethora of photos keep you from digging in and getting started. Remember, your life before scrapbooking is full of stories worth telling!
First and foremost, make sure your photos are well preserved. If your photos are already printed, I would highly recommend storing them in airtight container. Even better, why not have them scanned so that you have a digital copy of all the images? If your photos are digital, make sure to back them up. You should have copies in at least two locations, with one of them being somewhere other than your house.
Here are some ideas of what you can do with your photos, once they are properly preserved.
1. You can do nothing. That’s exactly what we have been doing all along, and it (most likely) won’t do any harm to continue doing nothing with them. At this point in my life, that is probably what will happen to all but my NOW stories.
2. You could attempt to scrap them all, but for most people, that option is highly unrealistic.
3. You can purge them. Although I know some people don’t delete photos, there is some reasoning behind getting rid of some photos. If you are like me and have 30 pictures from one day of a kid eating ice cream, a little (or a lot!) of deleting can’t hurt!
4. You can print them out into a photo book. No words, no stories, just photos. Up until recently, isn’t that what most photo albums were?
5. You can work on organizing them so that if/when you are ready to scrap them, they are ready.
6. You can import them into some kind of photo editing/organization program (Elements, Lightroom, ACDSee, etc) and tag them or embed metadata. This might help if there are little bits of information that you might forget later on. This will also help if you want to pull up photos of a certain person/place/item and they are from many different time periods.
7. You can make a copy for them for someone else who might enjoy them. I have old family pictures that I had scanned and I have never given a copy to my siblings. I really need to do that!
8. You can relax and not stress out about everything that isn’t scrapped. I always tell people to never feel guilty for not scrapping or being “behind.” Since there is no rule saying that you must scrapbook, you can never be behind. Every page is a page ahead!
Stay tune for Part 5 of this series where we will look at choosing a style and voice for your journaling!