Sunday, June 01, 2014

Remembering Blu: my photo-only photo book

There are so many things that define us each as scrapbookers.... but no matter what size we do our pages in or how many photos we use, there is one thing we all share: we want to keep our memories. 

But, what do you do when those memories are a bit difficult or sad? How do you handle those photos? 

A few years ago I had just such a situation. Our wonderful blue boy, Blu, a Cornish Rex kitty cat, died of kidney failure. He was only 5 years old. And he was the BEST cat. Really, he was. Totally wonderful. For a long time the pictures I had of him were just to painful to look at. And suddenly anything I had ever had to say about him just didn't seem quite right.

Finally, after a good year or so, I was ready to do something with the photos of Blu. I still missed him greatly and thinking about him was a mix of great joy and great sadness. When going through my pictures I was overwhelmed still by what I wanted to say as his wonderful life still felt a bit shadowed by how much we all missed him.

So, I decided to make a photo book. I chose to use Shutterfly, as I already used their services to have all of my photos printed. Uploading the photos and putting together a book was very simple. I LOVE the variety of options and control you have.. and the premade pages option was super helpful in getting started. I let Shutterfly make the book for me and then I was able to go and tweak the layout and details. 

I spent a long time trying out different captions, bits and pieces of stories and memories I tried to transcribe into words....

but in the end, I left my book as just a simple photo book. I kept most of the photos large and embellished the pages with some simple strips of tape and coffee cup stain. 

Sometimes words just aren't necessary. 

I ordered a few copies of this book to give to some family members. I went with the 8x8 size and it's perfect -- big enough to be big and small enough to hold comfortably to look at. 

Maybe the next time you have a difficult subject to document, consider making a photo-only project. Leave some space. Give yourself some time. Maybe the words will come someday, or maybe they won't ever be needed at all.

1 comment:

Tanya Ham said...

This is such a wonderful idea, and so well put. You are absolutely right - sometimes words just aren't needed. I love that, and need to remember that!

We've gone through losing a few pets the last couple of years, and while it isn't easy, I felt writing helped me. I used hidden journaling on some pages, and wrote openly on others. It helped me to process my feelings, get the details down while they were still fresh, and now I can have it to read in the future, if I ever want to (and I may not ever).

Everyone grieves differently, and I think making such a beautiful photo book spoke volumes without saying a word.

((hugs)) to you, and I'm sorry for your loss. :(