I’m all for personal expression and the thing I love most about scrapbooking is that I’m doing it totally for me and to that end I’m of the school of thought that there are no rules. But plenty of people cite creating memories for future generations as their prime scrapbooking directive. Whichever camp you fall into though there is one aspect that I’m noticing more and more is absent from many layouts.
With any photo there is much more to be said about the event, the person, or the place than you can glean from the image itself. If when you show someone your album you tell additional snippets of info and fun anecdotes you are missing a trick. This is just the sort of rich content you should be including on your page. Once you are gone there will be no one left to recount these stories as your descendants flip through the albums you've put your heart and soul into creating. If your only aim is to leave a precious vault of memories for your family but you are not adding the story I’d say you are missing a trick.
This is especially true of scrapbooking about yourself. The only thing that 20 beautiful decorated pages each simply featuring a photo of yourself, but without a story to go alongside, can tell your descendants is that you loved to craft. And aside from that one simple fact that’s no more than a simple cardboard box containing the same 20 photos could tell.
The issue is most evident in many published layouts. (I guess that because those are the ones we all see!) A recent feature that I read had some lovely pages about the designers themselves, but only one featured any sort of journaling However alongside in the magazine copy each designer had written a short piece about their inspiration behind the layout. This information enriched the page and told me so much more about the story behind the photo, and was exactly the information that future generations would cherish. These were the stories that should have been on the scrapbook page, without it they are just pretty pages.
Of course I’m not innocent in all of this and if pages without words are your ‘bag’ then that’s cool too. There are of course occasions that my journaling is certainly limited or even non-existent, but the wonderful impact of reading others’ stories has galvanized my pledge to ALWAYS include a story (no matter how short) on every page I create. Even if it’s only there to jog my own memory to those fun little facts we forget all too soon.
Tell me what you views on journaling are... I'd love to hear them.