Sometime in the last few years I decided I was tired of having all my past photographs sitting in an old box and in old albums. I was tired of these memories and photographs never being looked at but I also didn't know where to start with scrapbooking them because High School was 10 years ago for me. And I don't remember most of the details and stories that go along with a lot of my photographs haha. Anybody else have a pile of past photos somewhere just collecting dust and you're not sure what to do with them?
Well I'm going to share how I made a scrapbook for these photos and how you can do. First things first, let's talk about the skeletons in the closet. High School is rough. There are photographs from past friendships and past relationships that are totally irrelevant now days. So how do you choose which photographs to keep and which to get rid of? Which memories to put in a scrapbook and which not to? I chose a very emotional approach. If looking at photos of a particular person or memory made me smile, I included it. If it brought up nothing but bad feelings, I got rid of most of those. As for past relationships and such, I kept some photos from most relationships but most of those aren't in the album. I stuck to mostly friend stuff. :) I may choose to include some photos from past relationships but if I do, I probably won't include a lot of journaling or stories.
And speaking of journaling and stories, how do you talk about your memories if you can't remember most of the details? I didn't want to continue putting off making the album, since putting it off is what made me forget a lot of the stories in the first place, since High School was so long ago. So I just journeyed where I could, where there was a story, and what I could remember. It's nice to have stories where you can include them, but it's better to have a lot of photographs with few stories than to not do it at all because the details are hazy now.
I went to High School back in the era of disposable cameras. My first 2 years of high school, digital cameras were way fancy and expensive, it wasn't until my senior year that they became pretty common for every teenager to have one. Which means there are huge gaps in time unaccounted for in my High School photographs and album. Special events always had disposable cameras- summer vacation, prom, homecoming, etc. But all the regular days in between went largely undocumented.
I tried not to worry about these undocumented periods of time in my album. It's just part of life in that era. I just inlcude a title page for each time I'm switching years or events in my album. So after I documented prom, there are no pictures until my best friend came to visit me in Florida (she lived in Michigan,) later that summer. To show the passing of time, I just included a little divider title page that says "Summer 2005" before moving on to the next period of time I had photos. Other dividers in the album say "Feshman Year," "Senior Year," etc. That way I know what year and about what age I'm looking at when I flip back through the album.
Also, having large gaps of time that are undocumented back then makes me so grateful for our everyday documenting capabilities now days with camera phones, affordable home printers, and Project Life. Amen for that!
Standard print sizes were also different back when I was in High School. Instead of the 4x6's we have today, most prints were 3½x5 size which is a little akward when you're using modern scrapbooks which have larger pockets for the size photos we use today. I worked around this in a few ways. A lot of my photographs I cut down to fit into the 3x4 sized pockets and a lot of my other photographs, I scanned onto my computer, edited out what scratches and damage the photographs have endured the last 10 years that was easy to remove with photoshop, and I cropped and reprinted them out at 4x6 size.
Other photographs I left their original size and stapled into the pockets, leaving a small border around them that is see-through. I played up that look by also including some vellum title pages in the album that are also see-through. I love repeating design elements like that throughout an albu so everything is cohesive. I also used digital collages to create collage pages with a few of my best friends. So each best friend has a collage page in my album of pictures of just me and them throughout all of high school together. Love that!
PS. Almost every page in this blog post was made using digital supplies from Paislee Press.
I'm still not finished with my High School Album. I've got Freshman and Sophomore year done but I still have Junio and Senior year to do. Now that I am in a good rythmn and have figured out what I'm including and what I'm leaving out, the whole project is a lot easier and less daunting. I really had to let go of my perfectionist tendancies to do this album and say it's okay that photos are odd sizes or damaged from age. It's okay that large gaps of time are unaccounted for and have now photos. It's okay that there's way less journaling in this album than my current ones because I've forgotton a lot of the stories. And mostly, it's okay that I'm putting so much work into this little, imperfect piece of art.
Because it's beautiful and I feel so good having a phsyical album to flip through with my awesome (and some less than awesome,) high school memories in it. I love that my prints aren't in a box cluttering my house, hiding under my bed, getting scratched and damaged anymore. I love that they have a forever home and what stories I could remember are written down, and the photographs I love are all chronologically placed in an album. It feels super fantastic and 100% worth all the effort.
At what age did you start memory keeping/scrapbooking? If it was later in life, did you go back and scrapbook your old High School memories? Let me know in the comments below if you've done this project or if you want to try it! Happy memory keeping.