What to Do When There Are No Photos
The Memory List that you completed when you first began writing your memoir is integral to the writing process. The Memory List will suggest topics to write about, but what follows is additional tips you can use when you don’t have the photos.
- The reason the people were together. What impact did the event have on them? Include information about what led up to the moment. Particulars about the event, people, or setting you wish to memorialize. You can include clothing, words, props, interesting or unusual physical features.
- Portraits of people. There are two kinds: physical and character. While photos give us a person’s physical appearance there may be details it does not capture. Older photos may be black and white and not reveal the color of the eyes. Photos do not reveal much about what’s going on inside someone, her character. (More on that soon!)
- Dialogue. Including conversation allows us to “hear” people’s voice. Favor s/he “said” over fancier words (ex: she chortled!)
- Settings are the environment in which people live and in which action takes place. Setting includes the place (geography buildings) atmosphere, (mood, feelings, ethnic culture, religion, education), and the time (day, month, year, season). Describe these in detail.
You can apply these cameo narrative writing suggestions to complement photos you have on hand. Cameo narratives are great even if you have photos—you can always add to what was photographed.
You Are not Limited to Just One Cameo to Replace a Photo
Write as many as you want to fill the gap in your album. Incorporate these narratives on your page with the same care and attention you give photos.
Your albums need the stories of the photos that are not there—and they need the stories behind the photos that are there.
Don’t stories and photos go great together? We think so!
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