Jun 12, 2008

Photo Album "Scrapping" - Yay or Nay for the industry?

Photo album scrapping - that is using the 2-Up or 3-Up photo sleeves to slip in a photo and a photo-sized embellished journaling block is a mini-trend right now. Pebbles In My Pocket introduced their "Share and Tell" system recently that offers you everything from a pure photo book to nearly a scrapbook - depending on your desire and time.

Last year, I was heavily criticized for my "Campaign for Real Scrapping". Some accused me of trying to hurt the industry by telling people to buy LESS. That was so far from the truth that it was almost funny. What I was (and still am) trying to do was to help people worry less about all the hot, new trends and more about preserving their memories. Scrapping should not be treated as a seasonal sport, but a lifetime activity. I fear many are burning out because they are trying to make every page a 3-day long marathon of technique and embellishment. As I said a couple of months ago, we should be in the business of selling memories and not just scrapbook products.

So, enter this new idea of FURTHER simplifying the hobby. Now, magazines and vendors are encouraging us back to photo sleeves. That cuts out the amount of paper and embellishments a scrapper uses. I can make several 4x6 journaling cards out of a 12x12 piece of paper. And, I can't use big, chunky embellishments. So, now all I need is a 2-up photo album, some paper, a couple of stickers and a pen. So, is THAT good for the industry? I bet some are freaking out that I'm even talking about it.

But, I'd say it IS good for the industry. Any way we can get someone in the door is good for us. It's a great opportunity to introduce scrapbooking. It has the potential to invite more people - the ones we left in the dust with all our ribbons and eyelets and fancy embellishments, to do more than just jot a note on the back of a photo and slip it into a sleeve. I see photo album scrapping as a "gateway drug" to a full-blown scrapbooking addiction.

But, are we positioning this new (old) type of scrapbooking correctly? Instead of avoiding it, we should be spinning it to our advantage. Teach a class on it to beginners (remember, it can be a gateway to full-on scrapping). Sell kits with those products for beginners (they may come back for more and start making full-sized pages after they realize they can't use all the other fun stuff on those little journaling cards).

I think we need to remember that embellishing a 4x6 card made of decorative paper is a lot less intimidating than embellishing a 12x12 page. To a beginner, a 12x12 blank page looks like an acre of grass that they have to mow with a push mower. It's overwhelming.

I think the one thing we are guilty of in the scrapbook industry is avoiding any style of scrapbooking that doesn't look like a heavily embellished 12x12 page. I know, we all need to sell a lot to survive, however, we can't go after only the scrappers who know how to stick $15 worth of embellishments on a piece of card stock. We need the simple scrapper, the hybrid scrapper, the digital scrapper, the card-maker, the paper crafter and even this type of photo album scrapper.

So, how can you add this type of simple scrapping to your business and use it to your advantage???


Sandra @ The Memory Workshop said...

I've always encouraged the 'sleeve' album method of photo organization as a stepping stone toward the "scrapbooked" page.

These albums serve 3 purposes...

1. as an organized place to store and view your photos as you plan your layouts. WAY better than flipping thru envelopes and shoe boxes that risk getting dumped or out of order. Its a temporary home.

2. as an instant way to view and share your photos. You don't have to wait 2 years for your family to enjoy the Disney photos or the birth of a new baby. It takes a TON of stress off of "being caught up".

3. As a permanent home for the photos that will NEVER make it into a scrapbook. Realistically, you are never going to scrap them all. Scrap the ones that matter and inspire you the most.

Anonymous said...

Just today my friend and I were talking about the 6-up page protectors. We are both heavy-duty scrap supply buyers AND users. We don't buy patterned paper unless there are at least 3 patterns and 2-4 solids involved, and we *love* embellishments.

Recently we have both gotten hooked on the idea of printed photobooks for large projects (major vacations, projects, etc).

And today, we decided we want some of the 6-up pages. We won't stop scrapping like we do... we just each bought at least 20 sets of new papers at GASC in Texas! But we do want to include more of our pictures, some that maybe we wouldn't scrap, but that we don't want to leave on the computer either.

I think it is a good thing for the industry, for all the reasons you mentioned.