Archive for the ‘Journaling’ Category

Hopefully you are enjoying the tips on taking better pictures, ideas for what to do with them once you take them and even the ways you should protect & back up your digital images. Today’s post will be slightly different but just as applicable to anyone who takes pictures whether it’s with a high-end camera, a portable point & shoot or even your cell phone. Today, I want you to think, WHY do I take pictures?

Do you take them to preserve a memory? Maybe it’s to be able to come back to that moment in time over and over again. Maybe you don’t consciously think about it but there is a reason you are taking that photo (unless of course you are a professional, then it’s because you were hired and it’s your livelihood!).

I’m asking you to ponder this for a moment because you may just fall into the HUGE percentage of the population that takes photos and then does absolutely nothing with them! I hope not, but if you are, I want you to really think about this.

Time is precious – there is a finite amount that each of us gets and the problem is that we don’t know when that time will be cut short. A friend of mine recently lost her husband after only 20 years of marriage. I cannot possibly understand the loss she is experiencing. It makes me think of all the moments my husband and I have shared and how many more we have yet to share. Those moments are and will be captured in our photos. But the photos come alive when we can truly relive them with the stories. Our memories fade, even with photos; details are lost to most of us. But by writing the stories that go with our pictures they become vivid memories again.

I encourage you today to think of an event that you have photos from that you treasure the most and go back and read my earlier post about what kind of album you could create – just click here. We don’t know when our finite period of time will end or when it will end for that of a loved one. I also know that for me, personally that if I already had completed albums with stories, that those photo albums & photo books would be of comfort to me. However, if I only had pictures, I can’t imagine being ready to tackle turning them into albums for a long time. And what if it was my time to be cut short? How would my family find comfort without those completed albums and stories of our family? I encourage you to make time today to do something with your photos.

Share your thoughts here by submitting a comment. Why do you take pictures? Are they in some sort of album or are they in boxes or on your computer? Would you find comfort in being able to look at a completed album of a loved one you recently lost?


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Research shows that 79% (click here for stats) of people


The pictures I'm using

do nothing with their digital photos. In this post, you will see just how quick & easy it can be to complete an album with your photos & stories. You will be able to see step by step the entire process and just how quickly you can create a book, one page at a time, or the entire book if your software has the added feature to auto-populate your photos like my software does.*

    Basic Black page

    Just add photos

  1. Decide which digital photos you would like to see in a completed album. I’m using photos from our recent winter storm (yes in October!). I’m going to choose two themes to show you the variety available to you. I’ll show the steps in each theme. You will see the page in the basic black theme which comes free with the software program I use and I will also use
    Predesigned jewel

    Again just add photos!

    the Jewel theme, which has more color in the background pages as well as added embellishments. Here are the photos & blank background pages I’ve selected.
  2. Simply select each photo & drag it over & drop it into one of the gray boxes that say ‘place photo here’. Here is the finished page.
  3. Look to see if you need to zoom
    Could be finished

    Finished page

    in any of the photos or adjust how they fit in the frames.
  4. Tell the story. A future post will be devoted to how to do this so that writing about your photos & memories is not such a struggle.
  5. Decide if you would like to add any ‘stickers’ or other embellishments.
    That’s it, page complete – from start to finish, the black page took me less than 2 minutes & jewel page
    Finished Jewel

    Option 2

    took 2 ½ minutes. Time for the next page!

Which of your photos or memories are just screaming to be told? Share some here or contact me, I want to help you get it done!

*To find out which software I used click on my website here or subscribe to my newsletter on the right side.

With embellishments

Some added touches

Final version

Time to make the next page!

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I’m jumping back to the ‘Go From Overwhelmed to Organized’ post. I want to offer some solutions in case your photos are already printed and you would like to make an album from these printed pictures.

Click here to go to my website for this item

Use for photos or CDs

First get all of the photos from your event (child’s first year, wedding, graduation, vacation, etc) together in one place.

Decide if you would like the photos chronologically or by theme. For example, if I was to go back and put together an album of my childhood, it would be easier for me to put all the Christmas photos together, all birthdays, all summer/vacation etc. It would be difficult for me to figure out which holiday came before or after a certain birthday since those photos are all jumbled together. But if you already have them in some kind of an order or at least by envelope from where you had them developed you may want to sort chronologically.

Once they are all gathered together, it’s time to sort.

To find out what items I use & recommend, subscribe to my newsletter for more details. I use these dividers to keep months, days or events separated. Once I complete an album, I can re-use the box or keep CDs or negatives in it too. Additionally, the box is a safe home for my printed photos, negatives and memorabilia.

This Box holds 2400 photos!

This Box holds 2400 photos!

If you are in a pinch you can use Ziploc baggies to sort events and then put them in a Rubbermaid container or shoe box. IMPORTANT note here – these items can be harmful to your photos in the long term so quickly move onto the step for making your album.

Need more help on this step, subscribe to my newsletter and put that in the notes section and I will send more details on organizing printed photos.

Happy Sorting!

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For most of you summer has arrived, for others it’s just around the corner. Once school is out, many of you will be going on vacation.

Take a picture with the name on it especially when in a foreign country

Take a picture with the name on it especially when in a foreign country

What does that mean? Lots and lots of pictures! Before you pack up and head out the door, here are a few tips that may help you later.
If you are like most people, you do not have a photographic memory!  Many times you can’t remember what landmark is in the picture you took a month ago, much less last year. This is especially true if you are on a vacation that includes lots of stops or if you travel frequently. So why not use your camera to help you have a ‘photographic memory’?Big Island

  1. Take pictures of signs – like entrances to theme parks. You can then use these to simply trigger your memory or actually use them when you create the album as the title page.
  2. Every time you change locations, take a photo of something that tells where you are now. You don’t always stay in one place an entire day, so since your clothes
    Details can be educational to children

    Details can be educational to children

    won’t change, take a picture that shows you are now in a new place.
  3. Take photos of the description or details of the landmark or statue. Especially if it’s something really meaningful to you, you are not going to remember the details so take a picture of the sign in front of the statue with the detailed explanation.
  4. Take photos of the outside. If you are going into a museum or on a ride that is memorable but you Disney Quest

won’t be able to take pictures inside take one of the outside to help you remember that you stopped there and then simply write about the experience when you make your album.

I hope this makes your travels even more memorable! Check back for more fun ways to document and remember your vacations.

We took a photo of the fish ID card from our glass bottom boat trip

We took a photo of the fish ID card from our glass bottom boat trip

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Growing up in Chicago, I remember going out to my great-uncle’s home in Lake Geneva on Memorial Day. He lived on a few acres and to this city kid it was a little slice of heaven. They always had the pool set up and badminton with tons of rackets. Our entire extended family would gather for lots of food and fun. I especially remember having all the cousins, aunts and uncles all playing badminton at the same time. We would literally have fifteen people on each side swinging rackets but I don’t remember ever getting hit – maybe I was just short enough then!

Just thinking about it, puts a smile on my face. But I only have a couple of photos and nothing written down to really bring those memories back vividly. And sadly, I only remember names of four or five of the group.

Here are some steps to help you remember the fun times.

  1. Take pictures. There is a reason they say a picture is worth 1,000 words. Try to get a picture of everyone at least once, include the photographer!
  2. Write down the information while it’s fresh in your mind. You can use your computer or hand write it. Include all of your senses as you jot it down in story format or bullet points.
  3. Print the photos – even if it’s just 10 photos from each event.
  4. Put them and your story into some kind of a photo album. There are many options for this, from a scrapbook, to a digital book created on your computer, to even the time saving slip in style album.
  5. Put the story with your photos.

What memories do you want your children to remember? What are your fondest childhood memories? How do you remember them? Do you have photos to go along with the memory?

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