Spilling The Secrets Every Scrapbooker Knows About Memory-Keeping | Guest Post By Lain Ehmann

We all know “that” scrapbooker. She has at least one room dedicated to storing her crafting products, which (of course) are color-coordinated and sorted by theme, season, and purpose. She uses deco-edge scissors on her photos (gasp!). She dresses her kids alike in order to get better shots. And speaking of shots, she’s not above re-creating milestone events (losing a first tooth, opening presents, even Thanksgiving dinner!) in order to get the perfect photo.

I know, you – you innocent photo-taker and lover of all things DSLR – don’t want to be that gal. Sure, you’d like to learn a little more about documenting your stories and showing off your photos in an accessible manner. But you don’t want to be forced to cut your photos into heart shapes, or attend a “crop” accompanied by suitcases full of paper and ribbon. Here’s the good news. You don’t have to!

I’m here to share a few nuggets of memory-keeping gold with you, ones I’ve carefully gleaned from my decade-plus as a scrapbooker (yes, I have a room dedicated to my craft. No, I don’t use a heart-shaped paper punch to cut my photos into cutesy shapes).

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s boil things down to their bare essence.

Scrapbooking to me is about documenting our memories. As a photographer, you already know the strength and power to be found behind the lens of your camera.

Your photos are tremendous testaments to your life. You’re already over halfway to memory-keeping because you already realize that. But did you know that by relying just on your photos, you’re leaving some good stuff on the table? It’s true: Photos may be worth a thousand words (cliché alert!), but there’s still more to the story.

A photo can do a lot. It can hint at stories… but it can’t tell you that you laugh every time you see your high school swimming pool because you remember how at the Grad Night party you dared your best friend to jump into the pool fully clothed and instead she pushed you in, and then there was a huge water fight and the police came.

A photo can suggest a relationship… but it can’t tell you how right before the photo was taken, your daughter looked up at you and said in her sweetest five-year-old voice, “I feel very loved, Mommy.”

You might think that these stories are seared on your heart and mind, so they don’t need to be put down on paper. But they do! What happens after you’re gone? Or if you forget? Or if it’s someone else’s story that you want to share?

You may think you’ll always remember.

But any mother knows that it’s impossible to remember it all – every little grin and cute saying and gummy peanut butter hug. If we don’t write it down and photograph it, it’ll go the way of so many of our days… lost in the busy-ness of the present.

You might think your story isn’t very important to begin with.

Okay, that’s just false. Your story matters – to you, to the people who love you, and to the people who come after you. The ability to share your story in photos and words is a gift and a responsibility. Your story matters (you know that already… that’s why you take pictures!). There is beauty and grace and strength in what you see through your lens. Just imagine how much more beautiful and graceful and strong your stories would be if you accompanied your photos with words.

That, to me, is what scrapbooking is all about. Not the pretty paper, or the brads or punches or heart-shaped images. It’s about our stories, and telling them as completely as possible.

That’s what I’ve dedicated my life to – telling my stories, and helping other people tell theirs. And that’s why I created the True Scrap events: To give women the ability to learn more about how to tell their stories more completely. Our next event is October 20-22, online. We’re teaching everything from photo composition to page design to creating digital photo templates to stamping (the paint and ribbon part is pretty fun, I must admit).

We’d love to see you there. Because, after all, you’re one of us. Even if you don’t own any heart-shaped paper punches.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lain Ehmann inspires women to document their stories through her books, blog, and online classes and events. Her next major event is Spawn of True Scrap, October 20-22, online, where 17 instructors will share their expertise in an interactive classroom environment. For more info, visit True Scrap.

I’m giving away one spot in True Scrap where I’ll be teaching Photo Composition.

TO ENTER: Here are the ways to enter this giveaway (up to three chances to win!):

  1. Leave a comment on this post telling me why you want to win.
  2. Head over to Facebook and “like” CaptureYour365. Come back and leave a comment letting me know you did.
  3. Mention this giveaway on Facebook or Twitter, then leave a comment letting me know you did.

I’ll randomly select a winner on Sunday evening. Good luck!


Contest is now closed but expect information about the 2012 event soon! Thanks for the awesome responses.


Go here to purchase my  Composition Video from the True Scrap Event.


  1. My scrapbooking mojo has been gone for a long time. That and I often struggle to get the “deeper” story and not just the 5 W’s of the photo. This sounds like the kickstart I need!

  2. I’ve “liked” Capture your 365 on FB.

  3. I’d love to get the chance to learn from so many different teachers 🙂 Living in Australia means I don’t get a chance to see many of these scrapbooking “celebrities” in real life, so online events are a great opportunity to learn from the best.

  4. Oh, and already “liked” you on FB 🙂

  5. I’d really like to learn more about composition!! That and lighting are the things I am trying to figure out right now.

  6. Terri Walkington

    I liked this on Facebook and would just love to take another class with you. Thanks for the chance to win!

  7. I know more about cameras, but my hubby trumps me in composition every time we shoot the same things. I would love to put an end to that!

  8. I’m a long time fan on Facebook.

  9. I’d love to win a spot in the class! Thanks for the chance.

  10. I shared this on FB and twitter!

  11. I like CY365 on FB!

  12. I’m not bery good at telling the stories. I’d like to be able to do a better job of preserving our memories!

  13. I “Like” Capture Your 365 on Facebook!

  14. I’d love help capturing stories and memories. Thanks for a chance to win.

  15. Could use a good course on composition.

  16. Hi Katrina,

    I liked you on Facebook.

  17. Your class sounds amazing and just what I need to help me improve my storytelling ability.

  18. I have tried regular scrapbooking a little but always need more help. Also I would like to try digital scrapbooking, as it is easier to store the supplies in the computer than in that little room.

  19. machelle anderson

    As my kids are getting older, I am getting more desperate to document their lives before they leave.

  20. Antoinette Naude

    Posted as requested 🙂

  21. Antoinette Naude

    Been a fan of the FB page a long time already 🙂

  22. Antoinette Naude

    Because who would want to miss this MEGA amazing event? NOT ME!!!
    Truly excited and ready for the fun!

  23. I just shared on Twitter as well. Thanks!!

  24. And I just “like”d you on facebook (totally thought I had done that already! 🙂

  25. I love what Lain had to say here. She is so right – so much of what we want to remember gets lost in the everyday business. I would love to take True Scrap for so many reasons – I feel like I would learn so much – there are so many fabulous teachers! Thank you so much for the chance!!

  26. Thanks for the great give away. I would love to win a spot; Lain have done such a great job in putting this together.

  27. Liked this blog on FB tonight.

  28. Hey Katrina,
    Thanks for the opp to win a spot.
    Created some new stories this eve, sitting around the table with my big kids.
    Would love to participate in the class.

  29. rebecca.k

    I also liked you on FB! 🙂

  30. rebecca.k

    I love every one of the True Scrap instructors! I think I could learn SO much from all of them.

  31. Kathleen D

    I haven’t heard of this scrap event but it sounds like a perfect solution to getting my scrapping mojo going! Thanks for the opportunity to win.

  32. I heard how awesome the first one was and can’t wait to get in on the fun 🙂

  33. KarenP (kphike)

    “Liked” you – so excited you have a fb page – recently discovered your blog and I love it! Thanks for the inspiration!

  34. carol in seattle :)

    I also mentioned this giveaway on Facebook!

  35. carol in seattle :)

    I “liked” you on Facebook!

  36. carol in seattle :)

    I signed up for LOAD in May 2011 on a whim. I was amazed at Lain’s ability to help me rekindle the love I felt for scrapbooking but had lost somewhere along the way. I would love to be at TrueScrap to keep building that love of telling my stories.

  37. Cheryl T.

    I so want to win this prize. I love all the instructors for True Scraps…really…I follow all of them. A true fan. I would take all the classes and actually create things from the classes. I’m also helping out with my son’s class this year to create scrapbooks for each of them…I’m sure any techniques that I learn or design principles will help with these creations. Thanks so much for the chance!!!

  38. I *so* want to participate this time! It’s just not in the budget right now, but it’s worth a shot entering, right? 🙂

  39. Great post! I want to win a pass to True Scrap because, although I’m taking my photo every day, I’m keeping most of the pertinent info up in my head. How’s that gonna work for my kids after I’m gone? Sometimes a great class (or bundle of them) is all I need to really get me going, and I think True Scrap would really help me with that. Anyway, thanks for sharing.

  40. Posted the giveaway on my FB page. You’ve been “liked” for a long time.

  41. I have over a year’s worth of photos to edit and pages to scrap. Maybe this will be the inspiration I need.

  42. And lastly, posted the link to this giveaway on my profile. Three times a charm, right?

  43. I “liked” you on facebook. I’m sure I will enjoy the inspiration.

  44. Oh no…I’ve matched my kids’ outfits. I’ve put my children through extruciating “photo sessions”. I’ve lamented over the placement of one single embellishment. I’ve had pages without a single word of journaling. I was “that” scrapbooker. Not anymore. Lain has taught me so much more about memory keeping that goes so much deeper than ribbons and paper. My photography has also taken a turn. Katrina, your action class at the first True Scrap was so informative to those of us novice and everyday photographers. My photography also become so much more insightful. I would love the chance to win a spot in Spawn of True Scrap. Thanks!

  45. I “liked” Capture your 365 on Facebook!

  46. I really need some inspiration and I think Lain is just the one to get it from!

  47. Would love to win a spot because there are some rocking teachers and it sounds like great inspiration.

  48. Nickolette

    I have been doing alot of art journaling but would love to have something to push me back to my scrapping stuff!! I love to look at the final products…it’s just the ‘getting it done’ part that is hard!
    ***p.s. I love your 365 daily emails! they are great inspiration!***

  49. I want to win so it can help me “kick off” getting all my years of photos finally scrapped. I’m in the porcess of getting a better scrap space!

  50. Already a fan of Capture your 360 on FB. Thanks again for the chance.

  51. Are you kidding all the cool kids will be there! 🙂 besides that it would such a wonderful learning experience where I would get to learn & have fun with people I admire. How amazing is that. Thanks so much for the chance.

  52. I feel like I have missed a lot of the “stories” I wanted to tell. I could use the inspiration to find them!

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