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Old 05-11-2021, 10:35 PM
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Default documenting memories you've forgotten

Someone I follow on Instagram (it might have been Becky Higgins?) recently posted a question from someone who emailed her.

I took a screen shot of this because this is so my situation. I thought I'd share it because I'm sure some of you are feeling the same. I also thought maybe we could share ideas on how to handle this.

The gist of the question was how to document and journal photos or memorabilia that at the time was important, but she didn't keep notes, and now she doesn't remember the details.

I am SO in this boat. I always thought I'd remember, but now when I look at the photos, I have good feelings, but that's about it. Why were we laughing in the kitchen at Grandma's house? Why was the child mad and why did I take a picture of it? Ugh!

The two answers that were shared were:

1-Be vague. Just use the photos.

2-Focus on journaling whatever comes to mind now.

Do you have any other ideas?
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Old 05-11-2021, 11:11 PM
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Asking the other people in the picture works sometimes. My daughter barely remembers last week but my son has an incredible memory and if he was in the picture or around when it was taken, there's a good chance he'd remember something about it.

You can also thread photos together --- like use the no-story photo combined with a photo from the past with the same person or in the same setting or different people doing similar activities. I have done that before with pictures of my childhood that I don't/can't remember and my children doing similar things around the same ages and journaling about this similarity or whatever is going on in the current picture.
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Old 05-12-2021, 12:35 AM
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I think my answer is a variation on #2. I'd give as much of original story as I could. Sometimes that would be enough, and sometimes I'd add context. For example, for your laughing at Grandma's scenario I might write something like, "My sister, Grandma, and I were laughing so hard in this photo. I wish I could remember what set us off. I have so many wonderful memories just like this, sitting in the kitchen at Grandma's house. Your Grandma was quiet around most people, but at home surrounded by family she was so funny!"

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Old 05-12-2021, 02:20 AM
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Lately, I've been letting it go. I used to document every.single.memory, mostly when my kids were little and I was on 12 creative teams. Now that they're big, I realize that i told a lot of stories that didn't matter or mean anything, and now I really just focus on things that I care about. I'm trying to find balance. As I look through my monthly pictures, I stick with the ones that are important and leave out the rest. I'm quite certain no one will notice.
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Old 05-12-2021, 07:57 AM
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I try to have a round about date, digital photos have the date, and older scanned ones I guess or try to read that itty bitty date stamp.

Maybe just a list or sentence of who is in the photo....
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Old 05-12-2021, 08:24 AM
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I encountered this with scrapping my oldest who is almost 17. I am way behind on his photos. He was born in 2004 and I am almost done with 2005 but when I got to his 11 month photos that I took. I don't remember what his milestones were at that time. I took notes up to about 7 months and stopped. I went back to a few older photos to get a sense of what he was doing at that age but kept it pretty vague.

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Old 05-12-2021, 09:05 AM
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I've spent the last year scrapping old photos that were scanned. For a lot of those I do at least remember the event and month. I'm talking photos from the 70's and 80's! So just listing the people in the photos, why we were all together (i.e. Grandpa's birthday party) and month/year were noted. Luckily my mother had at least written the year on the back of many of these photos.

With my digital photos, I take a lot that will probably never be scrapped... I love landscape, sky, clouds, sunsets etc. I don't need to scrap all of them but I may hit upon that ultimate photo some day! For non-event photos that I want to scrap, I would probably just group them on a single layout even if they were taken at different times.

And, even though you didn't mention it, for those memories that you have no photos, I do journaling layouts for as much of the memory that I can remember. I just did one a couple months ago documenting something that happened in 1980 that I have no photos for. I saw a documentary on TV relating to the event so I took pictures of the TV, got a copy of the book about it and wrote down my still vivid memory of that day.
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Old 05-12-2021, 11:30 AM
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I agree with Kellie! When my son was little and I had lots of creative teams, I scrapped like every single picture and little event. Now I am trying not to scrap so much unnecessary stuff, but then again I do not take as many pictures either.
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Old 05-12-2021, 12:13 PM
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I'm with Rachel. . .use the photo to scrap something that I do remember about the person/people in the photo.
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Old 05-12-2021, 07:02 PM
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Great suggestions! I'm in the process of scanning my older negatives. When I start scrapping them, an going bonkers, I will refer back! LOL!
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Old 05-12-2021, 10:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joelsgirl View Post
Lately, I've been letting it go. I used to document every.single.memory, mostly when my kids were little and I was on 12 creative teams. Now that they're big, I realize that i told a lot of stories that didn't matter or mean anything, and now I really just focus on things that I care about. I'm trying to find balance. As I look through my monthly pictures, I stick with the ones that are important and leave out the rest. I'm quite certain no one will notice.
I was the same when my kids were little, but I think it also has to do with their ages. When they were little, I felt perfectly comfortable capturing the memory through my eyes. I knew what was happening, their feelings were obvious or they told me what they thought, and it was fine for public consumption. That doesn't feel right now that they're teens--I won't speak for them the way I used to, and if I make conversations public without their explicit permission they'll stop having those conversations with me, even when they're not about anything sensitive. So yeah, fewer pictures and less journaling in our current albums.
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Old 05-16-2021, 12:16 AM
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I am in the same boat. I have been scanning tons of old photos and I was so frustrated for the same reason you are. I decided to back off on the details. I wanted the process to be fun not daunting and I realized that in the long run an exact date or specific journaling is not as important. Giving myself the liberty to just enjoy the photos and the feelings they create has been liberating! The old pictures are now some of my favorites to just scrap for the pure enjoyment of scrapping! Good luck my friend!
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Old 05-16-2021, 12:32 AM
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So here is my long story short. I have no recollection of Bianca's first 2 years of her life. I had a heart failure after giving birth and stayed in the ICU for weeks after that I was taking some heart meds that didn't allow my brain to create new memories while I was taking them hence I have no memories. I don't have many pics of Bianca when she was a baby because we lost our EHD and backup and the ones I do have I have no idea what they are about. Sometimes I ask hubby about it but I know it pains him to see me go through them and not remembering so sometimes I just write what tugs at my heart when I see them. Sometimes it's beautiful thoughts sometimes it's not, but I scrap it the same.
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Old 05-16-2021, 05:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amyjcaz View Post
I am in the same boat. I have been scanning tons of old photos and I was so frustrated for the same reason you are. I decided to back off on the details. I wanted the process to be fun not daunting and I realized that in the long run an exact date or specific journaling is not as important. Giving myself the liberty to just enjoy the photos and the feelings they create has been liberating! The old pictures are now some of my favorites to just scrap for the pure enjoyment of scrapping! Good luck my friend!
This is me, too! I LOVE scrapping my old childhood photos, and I rarely have any specifics about them. Sometimes I'm even unsure of the year, but I've learned to let that go, too. I have decided to scrap them as a middle-aged woman looking back, and this has freed me to say whatever I want about them. Usually, it's about how they make me feel right now. All I remember really, is feeling happy and loved, and that is what I want my pages to reflect.
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Old 05-16-2021, 07:01 PM
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I love these ideas!
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Old 05-16-2021, 07:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amyjcaz View Post
I am in the same boat. I have been scanning tons of old photos and I was so frustrated for the same reason you are. I decided to back off on the details. I wanted the process to be fun not daunting and I realized that in the long run an exact date or specific journaling is not as important. Giving myself the liberty to just enjoy the photos and the feelings they create has been liberating! The old pictures are now some of my favorites to just scrap for the pure enjoyment of scrapping! Good luck my friend!
Great advice, Amy!! Thank you, my friend!

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Originally Posted by Dalis View Post
So here is my long story short. I have no recollection of Bianca's first 2 years of her life. I had a heart failure after giving birth and stayed in the ICU for weeks after that I was taking some heart meds that didn't allow my brain to create new memories while I was taking them hence I have no memories. I don't have many pics of Bianca when she was a baby because we lost our EHD and backup and the ones I do have I have no idea what they are about. Sometimes I ask hubby about it but I know it pains him to see me go through them and not remembering so sometimes I just write what tugs at my heart when I see them. Sometimes it's beautiful thoughts sometimes it's not, but I scrap it the same.
Oh, Dalis! What a story. I love how you're tackling this period of time.

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Originally Posted by allyanne View Post
This is me, too! I LOVE scrapping my old childhood photos, and I rarely have any specifics about them. Sometimes I'm even unsure of the year, but I've learned to let that go, too. I have decided to scrap them as a middle-aged woman looking back, and this has freed me to say whatever I want about them. Usually, it's about how they make me feel right now. All I remember really, is feeling happy and loved, and that is what I want my pages to reflect.
I love seeing your childhood photos, Ally!
I'm thankful that my mom scrapped albums of our childhoods. She did it when we were older, but having the photos is so important to me. There is a lot she didn't remember, but I have memories of. At some point, I'm going to scrap what I remember, and add that to the albums.
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Old 05-16-2021, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by LeeAndra View Post
Asking the other people in the picture works sometimes. My daughter barely remembers last week but my son has an incredible memory and if he was in the picture or around when it was taken, there's a good chance he'd remember something about it.

You can also thread photos together --- like use the no-story photo combined with a photo from the past with the same person or in the same setting or different people doing similar activities. I have done that before with pictures of my childhood that I don't/can't remember and my children doing similar things around the same ages and journaling about this similarity or whatever is going on in the current picture.
Asking other people is a great idea, LeeAndra! As is the "then & now" idea!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rach3975 View Post
I think my answer is a variation on #2. I'd give as much of original story as I could. Sometimes that would be enough, and sometimes I'd add context. For example, for your laughing at Grandma's scenario I might write something like, "My sister, Grandma, and I were laughing so hard in this photo. I wish I could remember what set us off. I have so many wonderful memories just like this, sitting in the kitchen at Grandma's house. Your Grandma was quiet around most people, but at home surrounded by family she was so funny!"

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That's a great perspective, Rachel!

Quote:
Originally Posted by joelsgirl View Post
Lately, I've been letting it go. I used to document every.single.memory, mostly when my kids were little and I was on 12 creative teams. Now that they're big, I realize that i told a lot of stories that didn't matter or mean anything, and now I really just focus on things that I care about. I'm trying to find balance. As I look through my monthly pictures, I stick with the ones that are important and leave out the rest. I'm quite certain no one will notice.
Good point, Kellie!! At one point when my daughter was a teenager, she told me that I didn't need to document everything! I still take pictures of everything, but it's probably true, that some of these things really aren't important.
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Old 05-16-2021, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by StacyLynn View Post
I try to have a round about date, digital photos have the date, and older scanned ones I guess or try to read that itty bitty date stamp.

Maybe just a list or sentence of who is in the photo....
At some point, that's about the best we can do, Stacy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimberly27 View Post
I encountered this with scrapping my oldest who is almost 17. I am way behind on his photos. He was born in 2004 and I am almost done with 2005 but when I got to his 11 month photos that I took. I don't remember what his milestones were at that time. I took notes up to about 7 months and stopped. I went back to a few older photos to get a sense of what he was doing at that age but kept it pretty vague.

Awesome layout, Kimberly!! And, honestly, I don't think it's too vague!

Quote:
Originally Posted by HavaDrPepper View Post
I've spent the last year scrapping old photos that were scanned. For a lot of those I do at least remember the event and month. I'm talking photos from the 70's and 80's! So just listing the people in the photos, why we were all together (i.e. Grandpa's birthday party) and month/year were noted. Luckily my mother had at least written the year on the back of many of these photos.

With my digital photos, I take a lot that will probably never be scrapped... I love landscape, sky, clouds, sunsets etc. I don't need to scrap all of them but I may hit upon that ultimate photo some day! For non-event photos that I want to scrap, I would probably just group them on a single layout even if they were taken at different times.

And, even though you didn't mention it, for those memories that you have no photos, I do journaling layouts for as much of the memory that I can remember. I just did one a couple months ago documenting something that happened in 1980 that I have no photos for. I saw a documentary on TV relating to the event so I took pictures of the TV, got a copy of the book about it and wrote down my still vivid memory of that day.
Thankfully in the 70s & 80s, we took a lot less photos! LOL!
I have a lot of those landscape, etc photos. I scrap them once in a while because I love the photos so much.
I love your idea about journaling memories that have no photos. I think this is important, too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovely1m View Post
I agree with Kellie! When my son was little and I had lots of creative teams, I scrapped like every single picture and little event. Now I am trying not to scrap so much unnecessary stuff, but then again I do not take as many pictures either.
My kids pre-date digital (and I still need to scan those photos), so I use a lot of photos of my grandbabies, which is fun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnZant View Post
I'm with Rachel. . .use the photo to scrap something that I do remember about the person/people in the photo.
Definitely, Lynn!!
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Old 05-17-2021, 11:41 AM
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I basically just scrap what I can remember....however, I have an uncanny memory and can remember the littlest of things & details LOL! HOWEVER...I don't remember it all (by a long shot ;p) so what I try to do is ask Matt or one of the older kids or other people in the pictures if they remember My MIL and my mom both have great memories and since ALOT of my pictures involve family time with all of them, I tend to lean on them if it is something I really want to document.

I'm also glad that even though my digi skills were not the best when I started digi scrapping (2006ish) that I did document the majority of the stories so I can always go back and "redo" older LO's....one of last month's challenges was a "redo" of an older LO and I thought that was a great challenge and think I will continue to "remake" some older LO's
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Old 05-18-2021, 09:58 AM
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Lately, when my Facebook memories come up each day, if there is a story or quote I included in my post that I've forgotten and haven't scrapped those photos yet, I go find the photo(s) on my computer and add info in the 'subject' field.
I have lots of pictures that I don't remember necessarily why I took them or all the details, but I'll include the date and make do with a couple sentences that include what we were doing or where we were. In the below page, I don't remember why we were at my parents' or why I was in that particular spot in their yard taking pictures, but the pictures are so sweet to me and I went with that feeling.

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Old 05-19-2021, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by rach3975 View Post
I was the same when my kids were little, but I think it also has to do with their ages. When they were little, I felt perfectly comfortable capturing the memory through my eyes. I knew what was happening, their feelings were obvious or they told me what they thought, and it was fine for public consumption. That doesn't feel right now that they're teens--I won't speak for them the way I used to, and if I make conversations public without their explicit permission they'll stop having those conversations with me, even when they're not about anything sensitive. So yeah, fewer pictures and less journaling in our current albums.
Very true words. My kids are always looking over my shoulder while I'm working on my pages. They see and comment. Sometimes they add things and if there is any journaling that is added I check with them that it is correct. I did just share a long journaling topic in the long-winded challenge but it was my story of what is going on. She knows I post my work here, but I don't do FB so I think they feel pretty safe with staying fairly anonymous.
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Old 05-19-2021, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by bienejen View Post
Lately, when my Facebook memories come up each day, if there is a story or quote I included in my post that I've forgotten and haven't scrapped those photos yet, I go find the photo(s) on my computer and add info in the 'subject' field.
I have lots of pictures that I don't remember necessarily why I took them or all the details, but I'll include the date and make do with a couple sentences that include what we were doing or where we were. In the below page, I don't remember why we were at my parents' or why I was in that particular spot in their yard taking pictures, but the pictures are so sweet to me and I went with that feeling.

That is such a sweet page! I love so many of y'all's ideas for older photos. I've been reading them all on this thread and will definitely start incorporating some of them into my organizing.
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Old 05-21-2021, 11:54 AM
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I'm like you Tammy, I don't remember sooo much about past events so tend to not journal much but I am trying to put some thoughts down, to put whatever comes to mind. I have a lot of old photos to scan from the family and have no idea what the story is for them all but I will just document my feelings about the people, what other memories it evokes in me (that may have nothing to do with the actual moment of the photo). I just try to feel good about scrapping the pics,with or without a story, and hope that the family will enjoy looking at the LOs.It's hard b/c my parents, grandmother, aunts/uncles are all gone now so I have no one to ask for information so I just have to do the best I can and not stress about it (like I did before).
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Old 05-23-2021, 06:35 AM
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Thank you for the question Tammy and all the great suggestions. My mother-in-law died a couple of years ago and last summer my husband and his sister went through all her old photos (kept in 5 or 6 shoes boxes). I want to scan them and make books for the siblings. Thank you for the wonderful ideas. Now I feel like this is project I can tackle for them.
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Old 05-24-2021, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nun69 View Post
I basically just scrap what I can remember....however, I have an uncanny memory and can remember the littlest of things & details LOL! HOWEVER...I don't remember it all (by a long shot ;p) so what I try to do is ask Matt or one of the older kids or other people in the pictures if they remember My MIL and my mom both have great memories and since ALOT of my pictures involve family time with all of them, I tend to lean on them if it is something I really want to document.

I'm also glad that even though my digi skills were not the best when I started digi scrapping (2006ish) that I did document the majority of the stories so I can always go back and "redo" older LO's....one of last month's challenges was a "redo" of an older LO and I thought that was a great challenge and think I will continue to "remake" some older LO's
I've always had a great memory, too, Angie But... lately some of the stories behind the photos have gone missing from my memory bank. LOL!
I think it would be fun to go back and redo older layouts. I have old paper scrapbooks that I would like to redo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bienejen View Post
Lately, when my Facebook memories come up each day, if there is a story or quote I included in my post that I've forgotten and haven't scrapped those photos yet, I go find the photo(s) on my computer and add info in the 'subject' field.
I have lots of pictures that I don't remember necessarily why I took them or all the details, but I'll include the date and make do with a couple sentences that include what we were doing or where we were. In the below page, I don't remember why we were at my parents' or why I was in that particular spot in their yard taking pictures, but the pictures are so sweet to me and I went with that feeling.

Jennifer, FB is a great place to find some of those older memories. I love this layout! It's so precious, even without remembering the whole story.

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Originally Posted by just_jo View Post
Very true words. My kids are always looking over my shoulder while I'm working on my pages. They see and comment. Sometimes they add things and if there is any journaling that is added I check with them that it is correct. I did just share a long journaling topic in the long-winded challenge but it was my story of what is going on. She knows I post my work here, but I don't do FB so I think they feel pretty safe with staying fairly anonymous.
How fun that your kids will help fill in the stories, Jo!

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Originally Posted by bcgal00 View Post
I'm like you Tammy, I don't remember sooo much about past events so tend to not journal much but I am trying to put some thoughts down, to put whatever comes to mind. I have a lot of old photos to scan from the family and have no idea what the story is for them all but I will just document my feelings about the people, what other memories it evokes in me (that may have nothing to do with the actual moment of the photo). I just try to feel good about scrapping the pics,with or without a story, and hope that the family will enjoy looking at the LOs.It's hard b/c my parents, grandmother, aunts/uncles are all gone now so I have no one to ask for information so I just have to do the best I can and not stress about it (like I did before).
Rae, those old (like really old) photos are such a blessing, and I love scrapping them. I'm glad you are scrapping them and not stressing about it!

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Thank you for the question Tammy and all the great suggestions. My mother-in-law died a couple of years ago and last summer my husband and his sister went through all her old photos (kept in 5 or 6 shoes boxes). I want to scan them and make books for the siblings. Thank you for the wonderful ideas. Now I feel like this is project I can tackle for them.
Jema, I love that we can get different perspectives to move out of our "bubbles"! I'm so glad it helped!
What a wonderful idea to make books for the siblings!! That will be a precious gift!
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Old 05-24-2021, 10:58 PM
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This same topic was brought up today on a FB group, more specifically about scrapping photos from vacations that no details are available. Since I have done a lot of those layouts the last couple of years (from the 70's, 80's and 90's), I shared what I've done.

Make sure I have the where, when (at least year) and names of individuals in photos if known. I have also googled for information about the place to maybe add a little bit more. I did a google map search of Ft Myers FL to find out the street names around the trailer park my grandfather lived in during the winter. I knew the general area and zeroed in on the location to get those street names... for the church that I had a photo of that was nearby. Found the building (different church name now but still there) as is the trailer park only no longer a retirement park and google view shows it being not so nice anymore One of the more interesting searches I did was to find out what bridge I had a photo of. I knew it was FL and I found it... the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Tampa. Photo was from 1991 so for some reason that is no longer remembered we made a day trip from Ft Myers to Tampa.
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Old 05-26-2021, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by HavaDrPepper View Post
This same topic was brought up today on a FB group, more specifically about scrapping photos from vacations that no details are available. Since I have done a lot of those layouts the last couple of years (from the 70's, 80's and 90's), I shared what I've done.

Make sure I have the where, when (at least year) and names of individuals in photos if known. I have also googled for information about the place to maybe add a little bit more. I did a google map search of Ft Myers FL to find out the street names around the trailer park my grandfather lived in during the winter. I knew the general area and zeroed in on the location to get those street names... for the church that I had a photo of that was nearby. Found the building (different church name now but still there) as is the trailer park only no longer a retirement park and google view shows it being not so nice anymore One of the more interesting searches I did was to find out what bridge I had a photo of. I knew it was FL and I found it... the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Tampa. Photo was from 1991 so for some reason that is no longer remembered we made a day trip from Ft Myers to Tampa.
Fantastic information! Thank you for sharing it!
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Old 05-27-2021, 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by HavaDrPepper View Post
Make sure I have the where, when (at least year) and names of individuals in photos if known. I have also googled for information about the place to maybe add a little bit more. I did a google map search of Ft Myers FL to find out the street names around the trailer park my grandfather lived in during the winter. I knew the general area and zeroed in on the location to get those street names... for the church that I had a photo of that was nearby. Found the building (different church name now but still there) as is the trailer park only no longer a retirement park and google view shows it being not so nice anymore One of the more interesting searches I did was to find out what bridge I had a photo of. I knew it was FL and I found it... the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Tampa. Photo was from 1991 so for some reason that is no longer remembered we made a day trip from Ft Myers to Tampa.
Good advice! We have some photos from DH's childhood and of his relatives. They're on the "someday" list to be scrapped, and maybe that would work for some of them.
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Old 05-28-2021, 11:46 AM
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I was writing in a journal when my kids were smaller so I have lots of details but some months I didn't write as much, especially once my second child came along. One thing I found helpful to put together the pieces was looking back at my emails because I would often email my husband or friends about funny things happened to us during the day. I'm in trouble once I get to the year I got an iPhone and starting texting - I rarely email anymore!!
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Old 05-28-2021, 11:49 AM
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This isn't so much about not having notes but the point above about googling for extra details is such a good suggestion. I did that when I was doing a page about going to African Lion Safari and it helped so much with things like names on the little train or the little boat ride around to see the animals.

Also, something I have started doing for trips is saving photos from the internet or Facebook - like of the resort or cruise ship. There are gorgeous photos posted online that are much better than any I could take. It also allowed me to stress out about taking photos a little less knowing that I will be able to find gorgeous photos of the location to supplement my photos of our family. And it will help me do albums for our trips with gorgeous photos! Sort of like in my paper scrapping days of including postcards in our photo albums!!!
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