Sunday, March 20, 2011

Telling the story

An integral part of scrapbooking for me, in addition to capturing a memory or moment, has always been about telling the story behind the photo.  Sometimes I tell the story with the photos alone, using journaling, or creatively with the elements I use on the page.  Often a combination of the three.

I guess the story telling aspect is important to me because of memories I have from helping my father with family history research.  We had all these photos, and although many of them (fortunately and unusually) had names and/or dates on the back of them, we had no idea of the story behind them.  (PS:  A lot of them didn't too!)  Unless the date was of significance, how were we to know that everyone was gathered for Great Aunt Charlotte's 50th birthday party?  Oh and my family were fortunate to have cameras and or access to studio portraiture going back for a very long time, so there is a wealth of photos, just not a wealth of stories to go with them.

The way I see it, when the generations of my family who follow me look through my albums, I'd rather they not be as bamboozled as my father and I were and simply look at photos with names and dates (if they are lucky).  I'd like them to know why the photo was taken and, even more importantly, why I chose to scrap it.  I am sure any family historians reading this will agree with me on the importance of telling the story.

To celebrate Halloween last year, a friend of mine Lucy (hi Mumm!!) set those of us at ScrapChat a challenge to create a layout using only orange and black (possibly my least favourite colour combination of all time ... to put it mildly), a black cat, a broom and for it to be spooky related.  Ordinarily the orange and black requirement would see me saying 'thanks, but no thanks'.  But not this time.  I had a story to tell ...

Quite a few years earlier GB, Hayley, Max and I were all nearly locked in overnight at Melbourne General Cemetery one gloomy winter's evening.  I had always wanted to scrap the fabulously gloomy photos we took that late afternoon but for oh so many reasons, had never before done so.  This challenge presented the perfect opportunity.  For whom did the bells toll? is the layout I created ...

products used: way too many to mention but I can say lots and lots of 7Gypsies, some Tattered Angels, Tim Holtz, Little Yellow Bicycle, K&Company, Prima, Jenni Bowlin, and a touch of Smiggles thrown in for good measure

For this layout, in addition to the photos, I relied heavily on the elements used, as well as a significant portion of 'poetic license' to tell my story.  I used the journaling in two different ways ... one as a background piece of paper ... the bits that can be read 'whet the appetite' for more (I hope LOL) and for those who are curious enough, the journaling has been hidden behind that piece of paper and can be removed with the tabs from the right to be read in full.  Because the story really was worthy of telling a good tale (LOL), I chose to 'amp' it up several notches and presented it (as best I could) in an old-fashioned newspaper style format.  In the end, despite a significant loss of mojo after building our new home, I was really happy that I had managed to convey the tone of the overall story.

Not all photos have such elaborate stories behind them, but honestly I encourage you, whenever you can, even if its on the back of the layout (similarly to how our predecessors used to write on the back of photos), tell the story ...

PS:  Meanwhile, here's the scoop ...

1 comment:

  1. Just wanted to say Ms. Alz that I'm loving your blog. I love the humour in this story and I know you're having dark days right now so I am filled with admiration for the way you are gettin on with life and living it.