Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Scrapbooking Character, Setting and Plot


Photos today don't look like the photos from my childhood. Photos today are sharp: they zing with colour and they zoom in close. They show one beautiful smile, or a pair of sparkling blue eyes; a snowflake, or a golden autumn leaf; or a favourite pair of boots scuffing it up among the daisies. The photos from my childhood don't look like that.

Sian Fair for Get It Scrapped

The smile? You'll see it along with that bargain anorak we bought from the shop run out of Mrs Orr's living room (but that's another story); the leaf? you'll see a garden full of them, and a greenhouse, and probably our old Siamese cat somewhere in the middle. Those are the photos with rich details. Crop? In those days? Hardly. 

I love today's look. I do. I love zooming in on the little things and pulling one tiny detail into sharp focus and telling one story out of something which might have been lost. Those photos can make gorgeous scrapbook pages too, with their strong focal points and no distractions. 

But I do keep reaching back to the pictures with it all - the cluttered backgrounds, the tiny figures in the middle, the stuff. Because often I think if we cut it all out, we're in danger of losing part of our sense of who we are. A story about me making rose petal perfume in our garden? I like to see the whole garden, our long, low 70's bungalow, my sister, my brother, my cat (that cat again), the blue plastic bowl we used for manufacturing - all of it. Because that's who I was, on that day I crushed roses.

Thinking about those rose pictures, now, I'm sorry I didn't pull them out when Get It Scrapped asked me to scrapbook a photo which showed "character, setting and plot" all right there. I think they would have worked. Instead, I found a photo from our summer trip to Orlando

Sian Fair for Get It Scrapped

The character? There she is: The (Not So) Small One achieving her dream at Universal Studios. The setting? Well, she's right on the edge, about to step through the dividing brick wall into Diagon Alley. And the plot? What happened? We spotted the wall, then we noticed the gap, and the crowds beyond, and we realised we were on the edge of something big

Sian Fair for Get It Scrapped

It was - am I really going to say this? Yes, yes, I am....it was magic.


29 comments:

Jane said...

I agree with you about older photos, they bring back such memories but we are so lucky being able to record things today and our children are so lucky to have those memories documented.

Melissa said...

What a fabulous page & I've enjoyed reading your story today - about photos then & now! We're heading to Harry Potter World in November & your layout makes me even more excited about our trip!

Ali said...

Such a great post - love your layout x

Lesley G said...

Stunning!!! Love the colours, the twine, the letters, just ALL of it really!

debs14 said...

You've got those old photos spot on with your description. Always a person in the middle of the photo, always smiling, not really any natural poses from what I recall, more of a stand there and ... cheese! But yes, we do see the whole picture and not just one element. There's a place for both definitely. Let's remember to zoom out as well as zooming in.

Fiona@Staring at the Sea said...

Exactly! I'm so glad that the photo taker of my childhood had all those extraneous details in there. Although I wouldn't dream of taking pictures like that myself today! I remember being told, during my O Level, that there were three rules in photography: Get closer, get closer, get closer!

scrappyjacky said...

I do agree about old photos....and that is just how they were....sadly I have too few of them....though I have to admit....I do still take some of those type of photos today.
I do love how you've used the twine in this one.

Jennifer Shaw said...

Your page is lovely and I love the tangled twine. A beautiful photo and I love your thoughts on the photograph comparison. Very true. Todays photos may look better but they don't say as much. I love scanning old photos for all of the details in the background.

Ladkyis said...

I love it, actually if I said it out loud today it would sound something like "AY lubb bit" as I am totally in the grip of a bug so keeping my self wrapped up on the sofa with my bottle of water, my box of tissues and my kindle for those awake moments. Excuse me while I blow my nose ... again

KraftyKaren said...

Gorgeous layout - love all the little tiny details and how you mix up so many embellishments.

I'm kind of glad sometimes that we can crop photos - great for when you want to lose the mess that is in the background LOL!! My poor Mum would say the same she is always apologising for those years when she thought that brown and orange was a great colour scheme for a kitchen (it was the 70s!!!)

Jennie Hart said...

You make a good point about background clutter. In my project life photos I do show some of it as I want to preserve the memory even if I don't love the photo clutter. On the whole I try and avoid it because I suppose I am ashamed of the corners that need decorating, the tidying up that should have been done and maybe, just maybe, an area that needs cleaning (heaven forbid). You are right though, I bet the kids will zero in on something in the background that will spark a memory.

I love that photo and the layout is just stunning, I hope you are proud of it. There is no other word than magic so you are right to use it. We went to the Harry Potter Studio Tour at the end of the summer and it was magic too :-)

alexa said...

What a glorious page! I do like your cluster pulling all the colours together. My DD, about twice the age of your DD, has just been to the studios in London and loved it - magic indeed. And as for the background details? I'm right with you on this. Context can be everything.

Sandra said...

Sian, this is truly fabulous post and so true.

Sandra said...

Forgot to say how much I love this layout. I pinned it today

Lizzy Hill said...

I often think the same thing - & I think with the lack of bg we get rid of the imagination - what's going on there? - too...I loved looking at old photos, with the expressions of peeps in the bg, what they were doing. oOu can make up such stories! BUT they do distract, often, & that's what to 'go' is today. Not to distract. LOOOVE your 2 separate clusters...that sign post is PERFECT & the twine all bundled up, GORG....& such a great photo. Magical. Of course!!

Karen said...

You're so right about the old photos, and the saddest thing is how few of them there were. As always, you captured a wonderful moment in your layout, and gave all of us food for thought!

helena said...

lovely photo of her about to step into magic - I've been trying to take more of the whole scene photos because I do love to see all those details of the setting in old photos

Carmen said...

I love this post. It's so true.

I love the picture you did use, it's a moment captured perfectly. You did it proud.

Michelle Tercha said...

You really tell a great story. In your layouts, but also your words. I visit all the time and I enjoy your blog. Is there a chance you'll scrap the rose petal story? If so, I'd really enjoy it. Your photo here is so rich in detail, and that's exactly the feeling I had from the photo before I read that part of your post. Wonderful. Thank you. Michelle t

Louise said...

oh wow Sian...it's my new favourite layout of yours. The cluster on the left balanced so well with the photo on the right. Fab x

Alison said...

Love the layout Sian....and I am now thinking about my own rose-perfume-making-days...and nodding my head in agreement about these old photos!
Alison xx

Barbara Eads said...

Another great layout! I love those tiny sequin stars---keeping it magical!

Sian said...

Michelle - thank you! I'll print out some rose petals pictures and see what comes to me.

Melissa said...

I scraplifted this layout - check it out here: http://melissagross.blogspot.com/2014/10/scraplifting-weekend-1.html. Thanks for the inspiration!

Becky said...

What a great post - really made me think about my photos,mr hen and now. Also made me remember making rose petal,perfume with my sister and also 'cooking' with mud, leaves, petals and water in the back garden. No photos unfortunately but the story could still be scrapped - hmm, now I might have to do that! This is a really lovely layout too.

Susanne said...

Love your clusters on this page - well done.

Jo said...

Another great layout and a post that had my childhood pictures flashing before my eyes!

Sandie said...

A beautiful layout Sian and wonderful writing. I quite agree, I love todays photos cropped and detailed, but I think I will regret not having the clutter and space surrounding it sometimes. Today my granddaughter took a photo and my immediate thought was to crop me and my daughter so that the pushchair and other unwanted background wasn't part of the picture. But then I thought that not every photo needs to be perfect, it is a captured moment and representative of my day. So that's how the photo will stay.
And I will be taking more like that, because like you say, the blue bowl or other detail can often evoke powerful and happy memories.

Gail said...

Oh what a great post Sian and such a neat looking layout! You are so right about old pictures. I remember when I first started scrapbooking (early 90's) and the CM rep wanted us to crop everything. I'm just happy that I still have negatives for those pictures. I'd hate to think if I'd cropped some real old ones.

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