Welcome to my world of the practical scrapbooker

Here is ten years of scrapbooking my photos and memorabilia onto actual paper .....without major art projects or (too) complicated techniques.

I blend traditional paper and "new" digital techniques to tell the stories of my family's fun, travels, and history.

Here are my thoughts as I sort, shop, crop, organize, arrange, journal, and decorate my scrapbook pages.


Tiny Back and White Old Snapshots

You can almost date photo snapshots by their size because they have been growing over the years. 4x6 photos are recent. In the 1980's, 3 1/2 x 5 prints were standard. In the 1970's most snapshots were 3 x 3 squares. In the 1960's the snapshots were smaller squares. 1950's snapshots were smaller. Many 1940's family snapshots are 1 1/2 squares or 1 1/2 x 2 1/2 rectangles -- truly tiny compared to today's monster prints.

These "tiny" snapshots should be copied before scrapbooking. I scan them at home, and two simple steps improve most photos. My scanner has a "restore color" option that works great even on black and white photos, and even ones that I do not think are faded. It's a check box, and so easy, so check your scanner. Most photo editing programs have a "convert to black and white" option that improves black and white photos too. I do these two steps on most photos.

For photos that are very damaged or faded, I use Photoshop Elements. My favorite book is Matt Kloskowski's "The P-S E Restoration and Retouching Book" that I bought at Barnes and Nobles. It is more useful for old photos than Barbara Brundage's "Photoshop Elements 5 The Missing Manual" that I also bought at B&N.

These little snapshots usually are not sharp enough to enlarge much at all. So it's easy to put several on a page. But what if there's only one for the event ? That leaves a lot of space to put a more recent photo of the same place / person, a vintage postcard, a photo from the internet, some remembrances or history, captions, and maybe all of it !