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Organizing your photographs



Keep a calendar of daily events. Write down notes on the calendar. This will help you remember when things actually happened. Keep a notebook of important events. It is best to sit down after an event and write down some thoughts while it is clear in your mind. Try to be a specific as you can about where, when, who, what and why.


Decide how you want to display your photographs. Do you want to have a book for an event, a child, a year of life, a lifetime, a vacation, sporting events, birthdays, major life experience, scouting, and many more.

        I have a book for each year of my children's life, a family book of vacations, an entire book on a trip to Disney World (very fun book), a "Heart" book collecting all the well wishes and events of my daughter's surgery, and books with professional and school photographs in order from birth. The chronological book of birth continued is a great way to see the changes each year of my children's life.


Separate your photographs in separate boxes or containers depending on how you want to display them. That way when you are ready to put the photographs in a book, all you have to do is grab a box and start working. It is really helpful to put the calendars with the corresponding box, when applicable.

        I use small Rubbermaid® containers large enough to hold a years worth of photographs, ticket stubs, awards, brochures, post cards, programs, other memorabilia, and the calendar.


Keep memorabilia with corresponding photographs. This is a time to put those award certificates, programs, or tickets to use. These items will date an event, as well as, add useful information to your collection of memories.


Depending on the amount of photographs you have for a book, decide on the size of book you want. You have several options:    

5x7 Small - Event 20 1-2 per page
8x10** Medium 30-60 3-5 per page
8½x11 Medium 30-60 3-5 per page
12x12 Large 30-90 5-8 per page
12x15 Huge 30-90 6-9 per page

        *The number of pictures per page depends on many factors including the actual size of your pictures and how much you crop. The estimates given are based on 4x6 photographs.

        **The 8x10 book was actually replaced by the 8½x11 book to accommodate the 8½x11 standard size sheet of paper.   

        I use Creative Memories® products. No endorsement is either expressed or implied.


Organize your pictures. This sounds like an overwhelming job at this point but once you get started it all comes together.

       I have pre-cut card boards cut to the size of book I am making. I lay out the boards in two page spreads and fill up the pages with photographs depending on the theme, subject matter, and color coordination. I then stack the pictures on top of each other. If I find picture in my pile that I have forgotten, I can just add it. This is a good time to think about your "page ideas."


With all your "tools" at hand, start laying out your page. See "Supplies." This is a time to arrange your photographs on actual memory book pages.

        Tools include:
Mounting adhesives To attach photographs, etc. to page
Colored paper To coordinate color with "theme"
Cropping tools To crop pictures
Corner Rounder To round corner photographs
Acid Free Pens To journal each page
Stickers and Die cuts To add color to your book
Oval/Circle Templates To make photographs and paper more decorative

        I use the corner rounder on almost every photograph I mount after I crop. This gives the page a cleaner, more professional look.


Journal. Write down what, when, where, and who.

        Your hand writing, no matter how good it is, is very important to your collection of photographs and is part of the scrap booking experience. You can use little letter stickers to write text or just type the information on the computer. The large letter stickers are great for headers.


Cover your finished page with a clear protective cover

        I use a cloth diaper to wipe off fingerprints on photographs before covering page. You can purchase a product called Googalies that is a photo-safe cleaning cloth.