Mental Checklists and Scrapworthy Things

This entry is part 17 of 86 in the series Scrapworthy Lives Results

Each Wednesday, I write a post based on my study on scrapbookers.

As a person becomes a scrapbooker, they have a tendency to begin keeping their camera with them (this is even easier now because most of us have cameras as part of our cell phones). Not only do scrapbookers begin keeping their camera with them, but they begin staging photographs for the scrapbook. Even non-staged candid shots might be taken as a scrapbooker works through a mental checklist of photographs that should be taken to make a particular layout. To understand this process, I asked my respondents what they would include on a layout about a child’s first birthday party. Most mentioned they would try to take the following pictures:
Child eating cake (in particular, child with cake all over her or his face). This picture is such a common photograph that one respondent talked about how she had to stage a photo like this for her daughter’s first birthday because her daughter wanted nothing to do with the cake.

Child opening the gifts

Everyone who was there

I do have photos of everyone who was there, but you will have settle for this one. 🙂


The gifts alone
I don’t usually take photos of the gifts alone. Even though they are beautiful, I know this is the type of photo that would end up getting cut from the scrapbook due to space so I don’t even bother with it.

Scrapbookers realize they are working through a mental checklist as they take photographs and mention that “it is a little over the top.” Respondents mention how they would wait to take a picture until other people got out of the way and carefully compose photographs so that they do not have to later be cropped down (e.g., cut down) for the scrapbook.

Scrapbookers are also often on the lookout for scrapworthy objects. One scrapbooker included found items off the street, while most scrapbookers would consider these items to be garbage; they too, use many found objects in their scrapbooks (i.e., memorabilia). Even family members of scrapbookers begin seeing the world as a member of the scrapbooking thought community. One scrapbooker talks about how her son told the orthodontist that he wanted to take his braces with him after they were removed because his mom would want them for the scrapbook. She had not asked her son to do this but he was right, she ended up putting them in the scrapbook. Another respondent talked about how his partner was learning to take better photographs for this respondent’s scrapbook. Not all scrapbookers begin viewing the world as scrapbookers where everything either is or is not scrapworthy, but most seem to at least to some extent.

What about you? Do you work through mental checklists when taking photographs? Are other family members on the lookout for scrapworthy items form your scrapbooks? Comment below or join the conversation on facebook or twitter.

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Stephanie

Series NavigationA Collection of Posts on Scrapbooking NormsThe Myth of the Guilty Scrapbooker
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