A Book of Things

Inspired by Debbie West’s article, My Lucky Journey, in the current issue of Somerset Digital Studio, I’m beginning a scrapbook of my own to tell the story of our family heirlooms along with the treasures my husband and I have collected throughout our marriage. One of the things I found fascinating in Debbie’s examples was the way she staged the items she photographed. For example, the photograph of her pearl necklace has the pearls draped over the side of an elegant box. The clasp and the pearls next to it are on the top of the box and get the focus while the puddled pearls below are artfully blurred. D’uh! I don’t need a mugshot of my pearls to recognize them either. The photograph of her mother’s depression glass bowl was staged with fruit in it – much like it would have been when her mother pulled it out for special occasions.

Debbie’s photography is divine, but that’s just the beginning. There’s plenty of text to tell the story of each item. And she puts her scrapbooking skills to good use too. She used a collection of simple design elements that highlighted each photograph and its story without overpowering them. Each treasure has its own page and while the design is basically the same for each page, the size and shape of the photograph along with the amount of text in each story determines the actual design. Graphic elements are repeated throughout her book, but are used differently on each page.

While I’m taking inspiration from Debbie, my book of things will be quite different. Instead of the standard 12″x12″ scrapbook page, my book will be designed to display digitally on an iPad. I’ll use Pixelmator for photo editing and Keynote for layout. My style will be more minimalistic.

I’m still in the planning stage. I’ve identified six items I want to use to kick off my project. Once photographed, I’ll use them to develop a couple of page templates. Right now I’m looking at my scrapbook graphics collection – and checking in with my favorite designers – to build a collection just for this project.

I don’t see this as a project with a definite end result – which is one reason I’ve chosen to build it digitally. Like a scrapbook, I expect to continue adding to it regularly. Oh, yeah . . . I’ll be writing about what worked and what didn’t and showing off pages as I build them.

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