The Pictures We Choose For Our Scrapbooks

When I first began scrapbooking, I didn’t have a lot of pictures. My first album contains all the pictures I have of our first eight years of marriage. About forty 8 1/2 by 11 pages. It also contains some of our dating and college pictures.

My husband had a very nice camera, but it was broken half the time, and we often went for long stretches with no camera because we couldn’t afford to fix it. Sometimes, the film was bad, or was accidentally exposed to the light before development. Some years we only have the pictures that others shared with us.

So, almost every picture I have from that time is precious, even the ones that are a little blurry, too dark, off center, etc. I keep them anyway, because those pictures are the only ones I have.

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My son with our dog, Sally. I can almost see the pacifier.

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The framing of this picture is off…quite a bit, but again, I don’t have any other photos of this event.

Our rolls of films were a mystery until we developed them. We threw away the really horrible pictures, and kept the ones that were passable or better.

When disposable cameras came out, I didn’t have to depend on my husband’s camera, so I have more pictures from that time.

Then, when my oldest daughter was twelve, I began scrapbooking. I started taking more pictures just for my scrapbooks.

I bought my first digital camera in 2002 to take pictures of items to sell on eBay.  It was a used 3.5 megapixal HP camera and cost $200. It quickly paid for itself.

I loved that camera. Some of the best pictures I have were taken with that camera. After taking a picture, I would know if it was good or not. Immediately. No more waiting at the one-hour photo store to see my pictures. No more forgetting for weeks that I had pictures waiting for me at the grocery store.

The number of my pictures exploded exponentially. I could take pictures of everything and anything I wanted…and have some confidence that they were at least reasonably good. For the first 8 years of my marriage, I have one scrapbook. For the next 20, I have 8. I am currently three years behind.

I have page after page of my son’s marching band in formation. My pages started looking the same.


I found that I needed to start making choices, ruthlessly. Only two or three pictures of the band on the field could go in my scrapbook per year. I tried to take close-ups of the instrument, individual band members, the band director on his stand. Only 8 pages of band photos for one year was my rule. Otherwise, an entire album would be devoted to band.

Do you have guidelines for choosing your pictures for scrapbooks? Limits?




About Your Remarkable Journey, too

Using scrapbooking and journaling to tell your remarkable story
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8 Responses to The Pictures We Choose For Our Scrapbooks

  1. I have the same problem – picture after picture of the same event, usually the same pose! To limit pictures of an event, I try to include at least one shot of each person in attendance, or each person important to me. And then I try to include a shot of the venue. When I took photos of my granddaughter’s birthday party I found I had twelve pictures of her opening various gifts – but only two went in the scrapbook because one included her little brother trying to get in on the action, and one was her holding the gift up with a smile, so they were different.

  2. Since I’ve started scrapbooking by photography has increased. I want to capture everything important to me. I love digital cameras. I can go through the pictures and choose only the ones I actually want to print and use in my scrapbooks. I still find I have too many of one thing and have to weed through the photos to keep the ones to put in the scrapbook, I find that’s half the fun of scrapbooking – going though the pictures.

  3. ruthsplace says:

    I try to take photos that capture the experience or the location, as well as mark my daughter’s growth over time.

  4. abycat3 says:

    I don’t have limits really. Some events get three or four pages, depending on the pictures I get. Others only a page. Some get a whole book. I ALWAYS took a lot of pictures – even before going to a digital camera. Actually, the digital camera stifled me a bit (especially with cross country pictures – always got the kid behind my son) until I got a DSLR. . . then I took tons more. I subscribe to pixels2Pages and use a lot of my unused pictures for challenges and such. A nice way to use some of those extras and have something totally unique.

    • I have many 3-4 page spreads, and a few 6-8 page spreads…but the pictures told a story that I could not have told without it. But I found that I needed to limit my son’s band pictures because we went to four or five competitions each year, and I often ended up with many photos that looked alike. My digital cameras were slower, but I knew if I liked the shot I got. I guess I got used to it. Thanks for the tip on Pixels2Pages.

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