Monday, October 31, 2005

Titles and Journaling to Match your Photographs

By Christina VanGinkel

I worked on several layouts for my most recent scrapbook under construction over the weekend. As usual, I struggled with the words to accompany each page. Coming up with appropriate titles and sayings to accompany the pictures is not always as easy as it seems. What is ironic is that though I make my living as a writer, and I take 99.9% of the photographs I use in my layouts (my daughter contributes a few and I have a selection of ancestral photographs I am converting into layouts), I am often left without any words to convey what I want the pictures to say. I can sit and stare at a layout for literally hours as I adjust this, and choose the perfect paper, and find the ideal embellishments, even knowing where I want to place the title or journaling, just not what it is going to say!

When this does happen, I turn to scrapbook magazines and books of sayings and quotes. I have also discovered a few online sites that have suggestions of actual titles, and ideas for getting your own ideas flowing to come up with titles that will not work for any other layout than the one at hand.

Some other ideas I have come up with for creating titles that fit perfectly is borrowing titles of songs that convey the emotions in the photographs. As an avid music listener, if I hear a song that makes me think of someone or of some special date, I have taken to jotting it down with the thoughts of the moment to make my next scrapbooking journey a little easier.

Poets and thought provoking authors are two other outlets that I love to borrow from, especially famous poets such as Longfellow, or from writers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson. When I do this, or borrow the title of a song, I always give credit in small print at the end of the title or journaling as to where the quote or title derived from, so future generations looking through my scrapbooks do not unintentionally give me credit for a title or saying.

As a writer, I do strive to write personal quotes, titles, etc. When nothing at all seems to fit, yet I want to use a picture, and nothing else will do, I will create a simple Haiku to use in place of any title or journaling. To create your own Haiku, a form of Japanese verse, remember to write simply what words come to your mind that invoke the photograph at hand. A Haiku is always done in three lines, the first line bearing five syllables, the second line bearing seven, and the final line again being done in five syllables. As for the layout itself, the Haiku also lends itself well visually to most, with its structured design fitting perfectly under most circumstances. Depending on how you create your lettering, try to match the font as well, to take this simple idea all the way to becoming the perfect finishing touch to your work.

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