The art of photo scribing should not be ignored. Use your pictures to jog your memory and then write captivating stories and captions to go with them to make an improved memoir.
Photos are the driving force behind the story told in most albums–no photo, no story. It shouldn’t be
Your photos are obviously important. They are a terrific visual record—but the photos do not pinpoint the story. They don’t tell the date, don’t tell who was there, don’t tell what happened before or after the photo was taken. You need to write lifestories in your photo albums to complete the ‘picture’. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
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. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
Your photos tell stories. Did you store away a slew of photos in shoe boxes over the years–and more recently created huge photo files in your computer? (These are perhaps even worse than shoe boxes. At least, photos in shoe boxes are easy to look at vs photos as thumbnails!) Your photos tell stories.
Where you place photos in your memoir book layout is important.
While it may seem obvious, it bears repeating that where you place photos in your memoir book layout is important. It will influence how readers appreciate your story. The only way I can grasp that makes sense is to place photos chronologically within the text. Why?
First, a bit of book-writing talk. There is in reading and writing a phenomenon called “suspension of disbelief.” If I as the reader am constantly saying “This is only a book. This isn’t really happening as I read,” then it is impossible for that reader to get “lost in the story.” On the other hand, if the reader agrees not to challenge the story—to make as if the story is actually happening as s/he is reading—then there is a good chance the reader will enter the story and experience it as if it were unfolding before his/her eyes. Now the reader is only one partner of the agreement. The other partner is the writer. The writer MUST NOT do anything that forces the reader to suspend disbelief. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
Notice Gaps In Your Collection of Photos?
As you organize your photos for your albums, you notice gaps in what you photographed–in other words, the photos you don’t have. You remember events that you didn’t even photograph at all– perhaps you weren’t there or perhaps you were too busy to take photos.
You can ask around to find if anyone took photos you might have copies of. And what if no one has photos to record a time or a person in your life that you simply must memorialize? What to do? [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
“My photos tell only a part of my family story. How can I include more of it in my albums?” scrapbook consultants asked when I presented writing workshops at two national Creative Memories™ conventions in 1996 and 1997. Creative Memories is a premier, international company that promotes and teaches photo-safe scrapbooking awareness through classes and workshops.
Since 1988, I had been helping thousands of people to write their personal and family lifestories through my Turning Memories Into Memoirs™ workshops. Because of my experience, Creative Memories invited me to teach their consultants what scrapbookers call photojournaling. I taught them how to write interesting and effective narrative texts–cameo narratives, I call them–to incorporate into the well-designed, photo-safe photograph albums Creative Memories folk produce and advocate. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]