Dec 31, 2007

Happy New Year - a thought to take us forward into 2008

I was at a friend's house for a meeting last night and was chatting with her husband (Hi Jim!) about converting slides to photos. He's a major photography buff who has sort of gotten a scrapbook education this year reading my blog. He said something profound for where the industry is right now and where it needs to go. He said (and I paraphrase because I was focusing on the profoundness of the comment more than the actual comment - LOL! Don't let it go to your head, Jim),

"Gosh Kim, I didn't realize that scrapbooking was really about photos. But it really is."

HELLO! When can we send this man a prize?! He gets it!!! Why doesn't the industry?? Scrapbooking is about photos... end of story. It's not about fancy paper or stickers or die-cuts, it's about photos! We can use all those things to decorate the photos. But it's about the photos - decorating them, journaling about them, preserving them. I don't believe scrapping is about contests or popularity or praise from other scrappers. That burns people out and sours them. Photos are the central focus of MOST people's scrapping. I believe that's why many retailers sell more themed products than trendy products. People want products that showcase and coordinate with their what? Their PHOTOS!

And, THAT, my friends, is going to be the center of my scrapping universe for 2008. Scrapbooking is about photos. Say it with me... SCRAPBOOKING IS ABOUT PHOTOS!!!!!! If we remember that, our minds will open up to all the possibilities out there to help our industry recover and grow. We will STOP trying to figure out if Lee Press-On Nails can be the next hot embellishment and START trying to figure out how to reach out to all those people who have precious images in a slide carousel, a shoe box, a (gasp!) magnetic album or a hard-drive. It's not about digital vs. traditional. That's like a fight between two Christian groups. We all have images and all need/want to preserve them and the stories about them. Once we focus on the photos, the rest falls into place according to your own desire -be that driven to be creative or a desire to be simple or both to some degree. But the photos are the foundation of our businesses.


Anonymous said...

Umm, it's also about the creative process and the joy that comes with it. It's more than just slapping some photos down on paper for me. It's a creative outlet that I use to balance out all the other "gotta do's" in my life.

The fancy paper and embellishments are just additional ways to express my creativity, similar to the various colors of paint and texture used artists that paint masterpieces.

Kim Guymon said...

It can be about the creative process, but it's a creative process centered on PHOTOS. Otherwise, it's just a collage.

But, how much more will there be to use on our pages? We've used everything we can think of to actually adhere stuff to the page - from glue sticks to staples. At a certain point, it's just about changing the color or size of what we use to decorate. Now we need to focus on the stories that go with the photos. Sometimes there is so much creativity on the page that there is no room for the information about the photo. And, as I have said a thousand times if I've said it once, in 50 years, your grandchildren won't care about the creativity, they will care about the photos and stories. Creativity is great, but it's really not the central purpose we scrap - or at least it shouldn't be.

Anonymous said...

I guess it's a different point of view. I don't scrap because I think my grandkids are going to cry over my creations. I do it because I enjoy it NOW!

With any craft/hobby, it's different for each person. What do they get out of it, why do they do it? These are personal questions that only the hobbyist can answer for him/herself. From a SB perspective, I don't want someone to boil what I do down to simply the photos. It's so much more than that for me even if my grandkids never see a single page I create.

Tammsmom said...

I won't be going to PMA because it is about more than just the photos - I can have a great page without having great photos. I can have a wonderful page with mediocre photos and I can have an amazing page with memorabilia and journaling alone.

Scrapbooking is about the preservation of memories - that's where it started and that's where it will end. When the industry remembers this point, it will be back on track. That is why I will NOT be attending PMA. I don't need another lens, a 5k $$ camera and bunch of photo geeks to tell me how to create lasting memories.

Kim Guymon said...

so, how does the industry "remember that fact"? So many scream and yell about it, but very few offer a solution. They would rather just keep doing what's not working. Photos are about memories, that's why we take them - so we can remember moments in our lives.

The photography industry is interested in helping us remember those moments. They are interested in developing products for us like special digital frames and albums. Much of the photo industry needs an education about the scrapbook industry in order to serve us better. Many of them had NO CLUE their products would work in a scrapbook store setting. Memory Trends is TRYING to marry both the crafty aspect and the photo aspect. But, everyone would rather go to a show full of vendors who are only in it for the craft of it. Again, how many more things can we glue to our pages? At the end of the day - who is going to "get" the reason we do what we do as you stated? I believe it's the photo industry as they are interested in preserving their stories as well as their photos. They just do it differently. It's interesting how many digi scrap companies are signed up as vendors for PMA, NOT Memory Trends. They seem to "get it", too.

I'm really sorry that more companies aren't supporting Memory Trends this year both as exhibitors and attendees. We've got to start somewhere to turn the ship around. Back in the "day" consumers found stuff at the craft store to put on their pages. The scrapbook industry then repackaged and charged double. Then the frenzy of who could package WHAT first started and it turned into more about craft and less about memories. Only when we refocus on the reason MOST people scrap can we get control again.

Merrie said...

Scrapbooking is ultimately about capturing your family history. You do that with photos as your primary focus (if you have them of the event), because they will allow future generations to see what it was like "way back then".

My 7-year-old grandson is amazed at pictures of me at 7 on the back of a big concrete dinosaur! I could describe it, but it wouldn't be the same.

When there are no pictures of something that you want your family to remember then you journal, use memorabilia, etc. in an effort to get the memory across as best you can.

I have been stymied for over a year in my scrapbooking because I might not have the perfect picture. To heck with that in 2008! My goal is to get the pictures down with journaling to tell the story. In other words, I'm going back to where the fun originally started and back to the roots of scrapbooking.

Sandra @ The Memory Workshop said...

Scrapbooking is about preserving memories. I use photos, memorabilia and stories in order to do that. These are the common denominators of ANY scrapbook page, no matter how plain or adorned, no matter the size, shape or style.

Add as much creativity and artistry and STUFF as you want...without the [b]photos & words[/b], IT'S NOT A SCRAPBOOK.

So what is it? Who cares! Sky's the limit with what you can craft with paper and embellishments. If creating beautiful things from scratch with paper is your your hobby, that's great. If you use those crafty talents to adorn your scrapbook albums, two thumbs up.

Beyond the *responsibility* of preserving history, and the *creative expression* of crafting with paper products, scrapbooking is a HOBBY. It's social, theraputic, inspirational, stress-relieving and educational. It's a fun way to spend time. Period. Not fun anymore??? Time to make an assessment.

It's a sad turn the industry has taken. Magazines are now showing us how to "Artfully arrange" a variety of products on a piece of paper and add a single photo and a *word* and you get to call it a layout. Is it really? I've seen so many beautiful and technically excellent "layouts" where its obvious that you could "insert any photo here" for equal effect.

That's not to say that every 1-page, 1-photo layout doesn't count as a layout -- but when it's ALL ABOUT the product and the process, and there's NO story, and the photo is just window dressing, then is it really a scrapbook page?

I don't NEED paint, ink, rubons, chipboard, ribbon or a Crop-A-Dile to preserve my memories -- but they make it a heck of alot more fun!

Focus said...

I have subscribed to as many as three photo magazines at a time; I have several books on photography, but I don't recall seeing anything about scrap booking in any of them. But I can understand scrap booking now after subscribing to Kim's blog, and will recommend it to my daughter now that I got her two girls cameras for Christmas. And you don't need a high $$$ camera with a big lens to get outstanding photos - some of my best photos are from my least expensive cameras. can scrap book online, which really appeals to me. I'm just amazed that more people aren't involved in scrap booking these days.

Kim Guymon said...

Great points, Focus! The scrapbook industry hasn't reached out to photographers - just the crafty moms. We aren't advertising in too many magazines outside our own industry. We can't keep preaching to the choir because the choir is shrinking.

If we bring in someone who doesn't really like a lot of stuff on their scrapbook page, we've still brought in someone who will buy stuff from us because they discovered scrapbooking.

I'm really just trying to shape a vision for the future that is inclusive. I believe that there are many more opportunities that the scrapbook industry can tap into that we haven't discovered because we haven't looked. It's time to look.

Musicmom-Amy said...

Call me strange but to me a layout without pictures or memoribilia is a journal/diary entry. Most times that's where I put those thoughts ~ in my journal.

I get just as much pleasure reading my Mother's journal as I do looking at her 1940's version of scrapbooking. BOTH are treasures. To have a photo of my Dad before he married my Mom and see that he has features similar to my son, is nothing that can be described. Photos do matter!