A spin on the scrap book mania

I’m an avid hobby photographer. We have a great camera that I use often – but what do I do with all these photos once their on my computer?
The fun ones, good ones, archival ones make it to flickr, I email a few to my family every few weeks, I order prints to send out to family or make mini-Qoop books online and I used to scrapbook with Creative Memories brand like a madwomen.
Jessica’s book is about half way through her 2nd year, not making it past Halloween and I just stopped. I quit scrap booking. I’m done. What happens in 20 years when we give her these beautiful books? We still have the photos – but the memories I wrote down or the letters we wrote to her – she’ll take them with her. Which is great – thats the point, but we want them too.
Here’s my new venture in keeping an album. Through the years of my scrapbooking I greatly decreased the amount of “flare” I used on my pages – I sold almost all my shape-cutters, special cutters, die-cuts and stickers and went to the very basics. If it’s not square, I didn’t keep it. I kept one cropping tool and some paper. I’ll use stickers, if they’re big enough and I’ll use paper for borders if they’re pre-made. Otherwise – it’s slap on a piece of paper, crop the photos, stick em up and journal. Thats it.
I’m changing that even more. I order all my photos through snapfish.com and they have this wonderful option at check out that I can choose to have my photos printed with a thin white border, for free.
I do this, every single time, on every single photo. I also only order matte finish photos. I like them better.
I no longer crop my photos – what I order is what I use, with all the digital photos you can crop on your computer before you order them so I’m just done with that step, too. Once I get the photos (I’ll order about 3 months worth at a time) I put them in a photo album. Not a scrapbook – no stickers or paper. Very vintage. I might keep some mementos from things we’ve done or from where the photo was taken and include that in the album.
I’m in love with letting the photos speak for themselves. I’ll also write a few things next to a picture if there’s something special I want to remember about it – like “Family photo 2007” or “Jessica learns to ride a bike” and if I remember, IF, I might include a date.
We still sometimes write letters to Jessica, or include special letters we’ve gotten in the mail or to and from each other in our books because those memories are just as special as the photographs.
The photos albums I’m using right now are from kolo.com but I am still looking in case I find something a little more durable, with the same style and weight page. I also love perusing etsy.com for their handmade photo albums. And at snapfish you can also make photo albums right online. Which I might try one of these days.
Also – some other fun links:

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