Scrapbooking at DesignerDigitals

    Over the course of time I have frequently been asked the question: Why? Why spend so much time and energy scrapbooking? The answer to that question lies in a battered cardboard box my aunt entrusted to my care several years ago. Nestled inside that carton is the one of the most precious gifts I've ever received, family moments frozen in time via an extensive collection of photographs. And today it's easy to convert these to a digital format for future generations. What a great way to preserve moments through scrapbooking photos turning them into lasting memories for yourself with Adobe Photoshop, Elements or your favorite photo editing software.

Scrapbooking a Moment in Time

Remembering My Great-Grandfather Scrapbooking layout

    My treasure trove contains a faded sepia photo of my grandparents wedding day taken in the 1920s. There are black and white images from the 1940s and 1950s. And grainy color shots chronicling our lives in the decades that followed. While the style and format of the photos vary, I was immediately struck by a common thread when I first looked through them. I wanted to know the story behind each glossy image. The faces from the past had been captured, but the thoughts and emotions lurking beneath the images were absent.

Record Your Family History

    It's too late to ask my grandmother to tell me the tale of the courtship. What led to the stiffly posed wedding photograph? That story was lost with my grandparents passing. With it went a vital part of the history of our family. As I looked through the remaining photographs in that cardboard box I found I had more questions than answers. I knew then that I wanted to give my children (and generations to follow) better memories than the faded photos provided. Thus began my journey along one of the most rewarding roads I've ever traveled, digital scrapbooking.

Remembering Family Scrapbooking layout

    I couldn't help but notice that in a black and white photo of my mother holding her first born. She looked radiantly happy. There were also huge dark circles under her eyes. In asking her to tell me what she remembered about the photo I learned that she had lost several babies before I was born. While she was over the moon to finally realize her dream of becoming a mother, it was much harder to adjust to a colicky baby than she ever would have realized. Other photos brought additional stories to life; stories which I have begun to record for my children; stories which have created new bonds between all of us as the memories are shared.

    Every family has its own history. While the dynamics of each family may differ, we all have a story to keep alive. This has allowed me to capture our memories, while offering a creative outlet that I find richly satisfying in scrapbooking. Some of the moments from the past that I've uncovered are from happy days. And others are from difficult times. They each play a role in who we became as a family and each provides us with a greater understanding of one another.

Capturing The Story of Our Lives

sweetness layout

    For me, the reason I do scrapbooking isn't about creating a page that's filled with technically perfect photos. It is about the story. The story of our lives. From capturing a grandchild's first steps. Vacations, a treasured event or prom night make great captures as well. It is to ensure that our words and experiences can live on for generations to come. I believe that the greatest gift I can leave behind for future generations is an understanding of the thoughts. Also feelings and experiences of those who came before them.

The Future

    And nowadays with digital cameras and photography, computers and photo editing products like Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Photoshop Elements it is easy to capture lasting memories. Take your cell phone camera and interview your parents, grandparents or a close family friend. Ask about the stories that you heard as a child and record them for future generations. Take the time to learn about digital scrapbooking and how easy it is. Best of all there is no mess! And you get to use your stash over and over again.

    Here at DesignerDigitals we provide high quality scrapbooking kits and products that help make the process easier. This is a great way to preserve moments for yourself and future generations. We've even put together a step by step guide on producing your first digital page entitled Your First Digital Layout using Photoshop or Elements. There are also a large number of resources on the site to help you get stared, answer common questions, provide challenges and inspiration, and help build lasting friendships and community with people of similar interests world wide!

By Pattie Knox, 2009

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