I like the phrase “memory keeping” so much more than “scrapbooking.” Scrapbooking makes me think of when I was eight years old attempting to create a page that looked half as beautiful as my mother’s or when my sister spent hundreds of dollars a month on scrapbooking projects.
No, I am not a scrapbooker. I don’t have the handwriting and I don’t have the patience. Although I will always be in awe of someone who can sit down and create a tasteful piece of art using photos and stickers and ridiculously expensive paper, it’s just not me. I figured that out yesterday when took my nine-month-old over to our local craft store to make a scrapbook for him.
My baby is already almost a year, and while I’ve photographed many of his moments and saved so many of his little relics, I haven’t done anything with them. I have a recurring nightmare that all of his pictures disappear into the hardrive abyss and we’re left with nothing except the very few pictures I have ever printed and his hospital bracelet.
Anyway, I spent three hours at the store (with a nine-month-old, that’s a feat), and left after spending $85. Eighty-five dollars. Wow. I barely had anything to work with too. I walked home thinking about my many failures with scrapbooking, my handwriting, and how I’d have to spend $185 more to just have something worthwhile, and you know what I did? I took it all back. I got home, fed the boy, turned around, and returned it all. All $85 worth. You see, I’m a computer girl. Always have been, always will be. Some people have great handwriting and can cut really straight, but me, I can code and use InDesign, so why not do it?
So, after this long rant, what can you take away from it? I’m not sure, but I’ll tell you what I’ve learned. When it comes to memory keeping, be yourself. If you love the stickers and the expensive but gorgeous paper, do it. If you just like popping the photos in a 4×6 album, do it. Here’s what I’m doing/plan to do:
- Dropbox. To avoid seeing my pictures disappear to the hardware abyss, I’ve saved them all on Dropbox, from Owen’s first day to six months (I will update the next three months soon). This is great because you can share the folder with whoever has a Dropbox. I just added grandma and grandpa so they can post a picture as their desktop wallpaper, print whatever they want, or just see his cute little face.
- Photoshop/InDesign. Right now I am using these great little programs to fix bad lighting and make myself look a little more presentable, but I plan to learn how to make a photo book with them. You can save the photo book as a JPG and send it to the printer. This way you don’t have to mess with the screwy software of the photo book provider, choose your own fonts, colors, etc. As soon as I learn, I will do a tutorial.
- Shutterfly. I have almost finished my wedding album in Shutterfly and I really enjoyed it. As soon as it’s printed, I’ll post it. Shutterfly has been a great resource. You can not only make a photo book there, but it is also a great storage space for photos. I usually make the photos I save here a bit smaller for a faster download time and save my large, full resolution photos for Dropbox. There are a million photo book websites now. I’ve also used Heritage Makers and enjoyed them pretty well (but Shutterfly beats them out on price–we’ll see on quality.)
How do you memory keep? I am truly interested because I’m desperately looking for new ideas. Has anyone ever done digital scrapbooking? My sister has done it and loved it. Tell me all about it.