Today I am taking a look at Photo Freedom by Stacy Julian with you. Again, I got this as part of my Scrapbook Rewards credit card. I have heard quite a bit about this book in interviews with Stacy and around the scrapping blogosphere. I chose this book because I thought it would talk about how she chooses to scrap outside of chronological order to scrap feelings and relationships more.
I certainly got that out of the book. However, what I mainly got was how she physically organizes her photos. I’m an organizer but this system goes way beyond me. In a way I loved her organization and in a way I thought it was a bit overkill.
So goes step by step on how she chooses, prints and the stores her photos. She has categories and subcategories in filing drawers for her photos. When they get too old she pulls photos out and puts them in what she calls cold storage. All of her scrap albums are based on themes such as seasons, relationships and more. This allows layouts to fit into an album without needing to be chronological.
What I liked about this book… Her idea of keeping photos with other like photos allows for making connections that may not have been made before. The idea is to print all the photos you might want to scrap and keep them gathered so when you have a few minutes you can flip through your drawers, pull some photos that inspire you and get to work.
What I didn’t like about this book… Here is where my bias comes in (and the part where I think her system is overkill)! I am mainly a print-from-home scrapper. The idea of physically printing hundreds of photos makes me cringe. Yes I am a scrapper and yes I do consume a bunch of pretty papers and embellishments. But being so wasteful as to print that many photos only to have them sit in boxes in the closet makes me sigh. I print from home specifically so I can reduce my consumption and waste. When I print only the pictures (already cropped!) in the sizes and quantities I KNOW I will use, I am saving resources, money and the environment!
How I will use this book… I am a digital photographer so that makes a big difference in how I work. For scrappers out there who still use film then this system would make a lot more sense. I can see applying this system to my iPhoto library. That way I can have the categories and the connections without requiring the printing of hundreds of photos. I can easily flip through my digital library, select photos and export them to crop and print from my Photoshop Elements. Yes it takes more time than pulling things that are already printed. But it is worth it to me not to print photos only to hide them in a closet.
In the end, if you are stuck in the “have to keep things chronological” mindset, this may be a very good read for you. With this way of thinking you can never “fall behind” in your projects. Also, if you regularly use a printing service then this could be a very good way for you to store your photos when they arrive home. I really like what this book tries to accomplish and I think you might too.