Saturday, June 27, 2009


This is day one of my scrapbooking blog, yet I have been scrapbooking for 8 years. It then fol-lows that we have a lot of catching up to do! That said, I will admit that I am taking a breather this weekend--away from work, away from home, away from scrapbooking. I am in the woods in New Hampshire, tucked away in the quiet coolness of a June afternoon. My companions are of the four-legged and winged varieties, and I am delighted with their company. Ah, but I are here to read about scrapbooking.

My primary job at this point in my life--other than wife, mother, step-mother, grandmother, sister, cousin and friend--is that of being the senior designer of K WALLACE WEDDING SCRAPBOOK DESIGN CO. As our name implies, we create wedding scrapbooks, helping brides and their families preserve for generations a very special moment in time. Since this is June, "the" month of weddings, let us begin with learning something about a new kind of wedding album.

Today's wedding album is not an album at all. It's a scrapbook. Modern brides and their families are opting for more than just sticking wedding photos in albums. Some who have the artistic talent and time choose to create their own keepsake. However, it might not be a good idea to make your wedding the focus of your first scrapbook attempt! If you are not so inclined, you should begin searching for a custom designer to create your unique wedding scrapbook.

If you have yet to encounter the complex world of scrapbooking, you are in here for only a brief education. Scrapbooking is as old as drawings on cave walls and as new as this minute. While it continues to be true today that a picture is worth 1,000 words, the words--or journaling--that accompany a picture in a scrapbook help future generations to know that great grandpa's best man was their great grandma's younger brother Bill--a fact that the picture alone could not convey generations later. The monetary investment in a wedding scrapbook becomes a wise one when one considers it an investment in family history.

Choosing a wedding scrapbook designer may seem daunting, but the field is so new and highly specialized that you can just skip the Yellow Pages and go straight to the internet! Google can help with your search by using simple key words like wedding scrapbook designer, custom wedding scrapbook, or just custom scrapbook for more generalized designers. The designer you select should have an online gallery where you can see examples of her work (see image for a sample layout from my online gallery). Before signing a contract or, worse, making a payment, contact the designer by phone or at least by e-mail to get a sense of your compatibility.

Once a designer has been chosen, there are more choices to be made. Color scheme is usually an easy choice, and might likely be the color(s) chosen for the wedding itself. Choices become more complex as one decides the tone of the scrapbook. Tone might be very formal, strictly casual, or even with a pop of whimsy. Unless your choice is strictly formal, if you liked the layouts in the gallery, give the designer full license to use her creativity. Picture selection might present your toughest job. A single-page layout generally will include between one and four photos, depending on the sizes of the photos used. Let's guesstimate three photos per page x 20 pages, and you can plan to choose around 60 photos for your scrapbook.

You should expect to pay the quoted price, as the designer will see a discount as devaluing her artistic work. You may, however, ask if there might be a monetary consideration given if you are willing to sign a model release. A model release will give the designer the right to use one or more of the custom layouts created for you, including your picture(s), in creating a portfolio of the designer's work or in advertising in all media types. She will most likely want to post her favorite layouts to her website gallery--which is a fun way for you to show off a bit of your scrapbook to out-of-town relatives and friends! You should plan to pay between $250 and $500 for your scrapbook--half before the work begins and the second half before receiving the completed work. You should receive a good-quality album containing 10 two-sided plastic protector sheets. This will give you 20 scrapbooked pages. Generally, the album will have a single first page and a single back page with nine two-page layouts in between. You will need to spend a lot of time "shopping" the galleries! This is one area where paying more might not get the best designer. There are designers charging upwards of $500 for gluing your pictures to colored paper much as an elementary child does a school project. You just have to keep looking until one day, when you open a gallery and begin looking at layouts, you hear yourself say, "I love this. This is really, really good!"

It’s best to provide your photos to your designer digitally and in what's called "jpg" (pronounced J-peg) format. Ask your wedding photographer if you can purchase your wedding photos on CD's. Along with this comes your right (and, therefore, your designer's) to reproduce the photos. This will provide your designer the safest way to handle your photos. Never send originals! If you have only originals, get them copied and send the copies to your designer. Designers often "crop" photos, that is to say, they cut out unwanted background or a random arm that made it into the photo. Providing digital photos to your designer allows her to be creative in other ways, as well. For instance, she can digitally turn a color photo into a black and white photo and then recolor only the yellow roses in the bridal bouquet for a striking artistic effect. She might also reverse the image in a photo for a better balance on the page. Get the picture?

I am blogging today about wedding scrapbooks because creating them is my focus in the studio. However, I do love scrapbooking in general, and it is that general scrapbooking that will be my focus in this blog. I am pleased you are here, and hope you will feel free to comment and to "follow" the blog.