Did you know that last Saturday was National/International Scrapbooking Day? To celebrate, the 2013 Project Life Creative Team shared their favourite tips and layouts in this video which you can see on Becky’s blog. I can’t bear to watch my bit (seriously do not like seeing myself on camera), but I loved seeing the other lovely ladies! Apparently I have an Australian accent, but I’ll let you be the judge. Anyway, as the video clip was due just a week after I came out of the hospital with Edward, I had neither time nor headspace to actually share a useful tip. So to make up for it, I thought I’d share ten (actually, eleven) tips in this post about how to keep Project Life stress-free, easy and, therefore, fun!
1) Just do it. Try not to over-think the process, or the final result. Remember that if you really don’t like a spread, you can always re-do it later on. Chances are, a few weeks down the track, you’ll probably forget about whatever qualms you had about a certain page or layout and instead, you’ll simply be thankful for the fact that you actually documented your precious memories.
2) Keep it simple. You don’t have to use a multitude of embellishments to make your pages special. The whole point of Becky’s core kits (and mini kits) is to take the work out of it for you. Choose your favourite photos from the week, choose the cards from the kit(s) you have that work best with the colours in your photos, do some journalling (by hand or digitally), print your photos (and cards if you’re working digitally), and slip them into the pockets! At the end of the day, all you really need are images and words. Isn’t that what memory keeping is all about?
3) Allocate time each week to work on the previous week’s layout. This is one of the best ways to turn your Project Life efforts into a weekly habit! Work out how much time you take approximately to complete one week’s layout from beginning to end. Then try to schedule in that amount of time during the week. Maybe it’s when you have a day off from university, or maybe it’s during the evening when the kids are asleep, or maybe it’s over the weekend sometime when your partner is at home to help with the children. If you don’t have one big block of time, then you could try scheduling two smaller blocks of time. For me, I use Monday evenings to select photos, edit them where necessary and add my journalling/text directly onto the photos. I also layout any inserts I plan to include during that time. On Wednesday evenings, I print out the photos and slip them into the page protectors. This way, I only have to focus on one part of the entire process at a time, and therefore more inclined to dive into it.
4) Don’t stress about nailing your ‘style.’ Rest assured it will evolve over time. In fact, I don’t think it’s realistic to develop a ‘perfect’ style and expect it to always remain the same. Your style will change as you change, as you learn different techniques and as your photography style changes. I’ve only been doing Project Life for over a year, and I’ve noticed that my pages now look and feel quite different to when I first started. But I’m okay with that, because I know that my style a year ago was a true reflection of me at the time. In fact, I like the fact that my pages looked different back then – it makes me feel all the more nostalgic for that period in my life and our family’s life. I’m sure that in a year’s time, my style will be different to what it looks like now, and that’s good too.
5) Don’t compare your layouts to other people’s layouts. Sometimes there can be a fine line between being inspired by other people’s work and having it negatively impact on your confidence in your own memory keeping efforts. Be inspired, for sure, but don’t let it leave you feeling bad about what you’re doing. Remember, your style is your own, and should be a reflection of who you are.
6) Don’t worry too much about taking ‘perfect’ photos. A photo doesn’t have to be ‘perfect’ in a technical sense for it to be a powerful photo. Some of my favourite photos are blurry and out of focus. Focus instead on capture the moment. After all, it’s those moments that will tell the story in years to come.
7) Use your phone camera and don’t feel bad about it. I know I say this a lot, but my iPhone camera is my favourite camera, over and above my DSLR. It’s the one I have with me all the time, which means it’s the one that allows me to capture moments as they happen. Plus, the quality is great, and all the wonderful apps available mean you can have your favourite photos processed/edited even before they hit your computer. I’m not saying don’t use your DLSR, but what I am saying is that you shouldn’t feel like your layouts are somehow inferior if most of your photos are taken with your phone camera.
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