It is tempting to try to organize ALL the photos and then scrapbook. That's a decision to never scrapbook, because all the photos will never be organized. Scrapbooking a pile of photos is one less pile to file away. While looking through photos, I collect all photos of a topic in its own stack: cat or car or beach house or boat or Halloween photos. Collecting photos for a topical scrapbook album is rarely an afternoon or weekend activity.
I started my first scrapbook in 2001. So far I have (in no particular order) scrapbooks of :
- our trips to Disney World in one scrapbook, starting with my first trip to WDW in high school in 1974. Mickey Mouse evolves and my kids grow through this scrapbook.
- our trip to Washington DC with our parents for the opening of the World War II Memorial includes photos, programs, articles about the opening, and some of my step-dad's WWII photos.
- trips to Washington DC including our 2003 family trip, some 20 year ago day trips, a 1995 Girl Scout trip, and some historic postcards I collected along the way.
- our 2004 family trip to Montreal with my parents that includes photos from my childhood there for comparison.
- our 2005 family trip to Ireland
- trips to California in 2005 and before.
- my college daughter's trip to Costa Rica and her trip to China. She's an artistic soul and a writer, but she cannot get herself interested in scrapbooking. She gave me her photos with post-it notes on the back and miscellaneous ticket stubs and pamphlets. I printed her e-mails on colored paper to use as her travelogue.
- birth to high school scrapbook and and then high school scrapbook for each of my daughters. These scrapbooks expand as I find photos and "stuff" and get bright ideas.
My "theme" scrapsbooks are always expanding:
- all the cat photos I find, starting with my mother's cat "Duffy" in 1950, and including all the (sarcastic) greeting cards that our house cats cats have sent me.
- decades of "cute animal" photos taken at parks, zoos, forests, beaches, backyards, and fairs. It's popular when kids visit.
- decades of "cake" photos from birthday parties, weddings, showers, and graduations along with photos of many people blowing out candles. My step-dad has never seen a cake that did not deserve its own photo, usually taken from above while standing on a chair.
- Santa, Christmas tree, and Christmas morning photos starting with my parent's childhood with a smattering of Christmas cards over the years.
- "then-and-now" photos of different generations doing the same activity.