Today I’m going to share why I believe every single scrapbook page should have scrapbook journaling. And why, in my own pages, I consider it an absolute must. I believe that if it’s worth taking the time to scrapbook, it’s worth truly taking a moment or two to tell the story- the one that pictures can never tell fully. Let’s face it, if we aren’t willing to do any journaling on a page, those pictures could just go in a photo album with a small caption. There’s too many stories to many other stories to tell. I’ll share a few tips for including journaling along the way today, but later this week I’ll be sharing more of my my top tips from years of always including journaling in my scrapbook layouts.
Do I really need scrapbook journaling?
Yes. Yes. Yes.
It’s in the journaling where the real magic happens. We can share a picture but it can’t speak for you- it can’t talk about what else was going on. It might come close to sharing what you were feeling, but the picture leaves a person to assume. To assume a lot. But, honestly, it’s what the picture doesn’t say that’s missing from your story without the journaling. And, I will tell you from experience, it’s the journaling that draw a non-scrapbooker into your pages and to walk away from your albums feeling something more than you’re just a crazy scrapbooker. It is after all the story that they are enjoying and not the stuff.
Let’s take a look at some of the pictures that I think come close to telling the story- and the journaling on the pages about them that tells so much more.
Photo vs Journaling, Scrapbook Journaling Example 1:
The Journaling: “One is an absolute nut who’ll do anything to get a laugh. The other’s getting older and starting to show the signs of getting embarrassed by the nut. Me, I can’t help but start smiling and laughing overtime I look at these pictures I took in our backyard while laughing hysterically. I hope we never outgrow moments like this.”
Scrapbook Journaling Tip: Whenever doing kids pages, always include something of yourself- something you noticed, how you felt, etc. In this case, it was the reality that Jack, our nephew, was getting older- crossing over that place where embarrassment starts to sink in.
Photo vs Journaling, Scrapbook Journaling Example 2:
While, we’re on the topic of “the Nut” A.K.A. my husband, how about this one. I could just title this one “Completing Photography Assignments with the Nut”. I’m guessing that gives you a clue what it’s about. Right?
But, wait, let me share with you the layout. . . with even more pictures of this nut.
The Journaling: “When Snapshots of a Good Life began, you were so supportive. That is until you realized you would be the subject of, or should I say “subjected to”, my assignments. By the end of the class you dreaded the camera. I gave up trying to get great shots of you and focused more on the technically perfect photo. In the end, I’m just glad you helped me get the assignments done so I could learn from them. I want to always remember how much you do just for me.”
And you know what happens overtime my husband sees this layout? He smiles. It’s not his antics that make him smile- it’s the journaling that shares that love that I have for this nut.
Scrapbook Journaling Tip: Don’t worry about perfect grammar, spelling, or typing. You might notice in this layout, there’s a few typos. This was when I really didn’t use spell check routinely, but still today, my layouts have typos- and I don’t worry about it. I try to get it right, but if not, oh well, you still get the story. I’m sure you’ve seen the messed up grammar/spelling example where you can still read it. Let go of the worry about being perfect or following all those rules we learned in school. Give yourself freedom to just tell the story.
Photo vs Journaling, Scrapbook Journaling Example 3:
I have some pretty wild pictures of Ms. Lorna there on the stand up bass. Three nights of seeing this band and having so much fun also means I have a series of pictures of Lorna being Lorna. So, sure, you get a feel for the story of what I saw those three nights. But no idea what I felt watching her.
While I also scrapbooked about the full weekend, all the shows and places we went. I really wanted to tell this story- of what I felt watching this band and Lorna more fully. I will often do one layout summarizing a trip with lots of pics on one side and some details that I want to remember but then I like to go back and capture a few of the moments where there’s more to the story that I want to tell more fully. Two-Four scrapbook layouts and I’m done with a trip and ready to move on to other stories.
Scrapbook Idea: Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone every once in while. I suppose maybe it’s appropriate that I did that with this layout about just that. This entire page is really different from most of the pages I create. And yes, the journaling’s a bit difficult to read on screen but I made sure it wasn’t when I got it printed.
Journaling Reads: Skinny Lister, you’re pure joy stole my heart. Each night there were several constants- we had a blast, the show was way too short, and I wished I could be more like Lorna. I was excited to share that joy with my cousin Rob- it’s just so infectious. But while I was pondering how I wished I could be more carefree, completely let go, and have some of that Lorna fun, I realized I needed to stop wishing I could be someone else. Sometimes I think the world’s message to alway strive to be better, makes us long to be someone we’re not. I can, of course, have fun but it’s in my own way but, I can’t ever really say it’s carefree. It’s just not in my nature. God gives us each our own personalities and as they say, it takes all kinds. I need to work on being comfortable in my own skin. Of course, I can let Lorna inspire me to have more fun and totally enjoy that Skinny Lister joy!!!
Here’s a fun fact about this layout. I posted it on Instagram tagging Skinny Lister and they left a really nice comment on it.
Photo vs Journaling, Scrapbook Journaling Example 4:
I love this picture and the series I have of my niece Amy Lynn and me.
But you know, it’s the story that’s happening. There’s so much more going on than what you see. Sure I could title this “Shh, Don’t tell your mom. This is our secret.” But, I’d be missing a bunch of opportunities.
Journaling Reads: Shh! Girl, don’t let your momma know. We both know how she feels about it. But your secret, our secret, is safe with me. We’ll just keep it between us Amy’s. So, as long as it’s just our little thing and we’re just having fun, go ahead and stick that tongue out at me. It’s that little special something between us much like I had things between my grandmother and I that I’ve always cherished. Moments like that have stuck with me and I’d love to have more with you. But, let’s just keep it between us girl.
Scrapbooking Idea: There are often times a story presents an opportunity to tell the kids in our lives about our own childhood. The journaling is where you get the chance to share something like that which they’ll cherish for years.
The stories we tell are part of the human bonding experience- which is really what this layout is all about. It about the bond my grandmother built with me and the bond I’m building with Amy Lynn.
Do you really need to journal in your scrapbooks?
Slap a title on it and let the pictures do the talking. I know it’s tempting. So many pictures, so little time. The thing is if it were just about getting the pictures off the computer or out of boxes, we could put them in photo albums or online. The thing is, it’s not about the pictures. It’s about the stories. When you remember just what it’s about, the journaling is a no brainer. Because really it’s
So Many Stories, So Many Opportunities
Just take a look at what I would have missed out on- an more importantly what others would have missed out on- without the scrapbook journaling on these pages.
- What it’s like to watch a child growing older
- How much I love and appreciate my husband- even when he’d rather be almost anywhere else
- A lot about just who I am
- One of my favorite things about my grandmother
Can you imagine these pages without that scrapbook journaling? I know. Totally different.
So, yes, take a few minutes as you create your pages to include the full story- the one that can never be fully told with pictures and a title. You’ll thank yourself for it later.