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I have been published in…

My layout published on pg 67 of the Sept 09 issue
Scrapbook Inspirations Magazine
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Why we should Scrapbook Ourselves

Scrapbooking Layouts – A Very Personal Journey

When I started scrapbooking, it was because I could enjoy myself doing paper crafting and it was a beautiful way of displaying all those pictures I had taken over time of family, friends, etc, rather than them all being stuck in their packets (or in folders on my pc).

However, since I started, I have realised that scrapbooking is so much more than a nice way to display your family photos.

Personal Page - It's My Life

Personal Identity
The start of my endeavours in scrapbooking happened to coincide with a lot of changes in my life and at a point where I also felt somewhat lost with regard to a personal identity.

Many new(ish) mother’s go through a similar thing I’m sure… my daughter was 2½ years old and more independent, and I realised that I didn’t actually recognise the person in the mirror anymore! Being a mum, in comfy shoes and clothes, hair a mess most of the time… the usual thing. After a few major changes, I had the means to change a few things and replaced the frumpy, comfy clothes and changed my hair.

Now, I had seen through magazines, books and, of course, here on the internet, many self-portrait scrapbook pages. I found them very interesting as they seemed much more personal than the usual “scrapbooking my kids antics” type pages, and I thought about doing some of my own and then realised that I didn’t actually have any up to date photographs of me – unless they were with my daughter!

Mirror Image
Feeling a bit self-conscious about asking someone else to take some, I decided to have a go at taking some pictures of myself in a mirror. So, placing a dressing table mirror on the windowsill of my office (which is actually the spare room!), I proceeded to take a few photos. I was actually quite pleased with how the photographs came out!

I have a number of photos which other people have taken of me (usually group shots, or just with my daughter) in which I look completely different to the way I “thought” I looked at the time!

Sound familiar?

Page - Compliant-Defiant

Many people say that they don’t like to have their pictures taken because they are “just not photogenic”. Well some people are more photogenic than others, that’s true, but even top models don’t just get in front of the camera without having had some “practise” as to how they present themselves. By that, I mean “how” they smile and hold themselves… they have practised in a mirror (and they get coaching too!). But of course, this does mean that they have to really look at themselves in the mirror!!

Do you avoid looking at yourself in the mirror?

I would wholeheartedly recommend that you try using your digital camera to take some photos of yourself in a mirror. 

I am currently in the process of writing an Ebook, to show you exactly how to do that, just how easy it is and MOST IMPORTANT that you can do this in the privacy of your own home, on your own!  The book has lots of tips as to how you can get the best pictures of yourself, so that you too can have comments such as “oh that’s a nice picture of you, who too that then?” !!!

I have created some self-portrait pages, and I plan to do more, as they are helping me to re-identify who I am. I have also taken more photographs of myself, and the ones that my family and/or friends have seen have actually had requests for copies!!!! So you see… other people do want to see you and know about you… get photographing and scrapping yourself… your nearest and dearest really do want you to!

You Too can Take Self Portrait Photos

Photo taken with cheap camera and untouched, only cropped!

Photo taken with cheap camera and untouched, only cropped!

I am currently writing another book! I am making various versions, for instance, I am making one version specifically for scrapbookers!

The book is about how you can take a self portrait photograph in the comfort and, most importantly, privacy of your own home, with little equipment.

I believe it is important for people to have and, if possible, be proud of (or at least pleased with) a photograph of themselves.

And why is that important for scrapbookers you may ask?… well a lot of scrappers have children which would enjoy seeing photographs of their mum, they won’t care what the photos looks like, but mum does, so she always shys away from cameras?  Sooooooooooo many people do, especially women.  But scrapbookers spend their life  scrapbooking what happens to other people (ie their children/relatives) but have trouble scrapbooking themselves and this is often because of their lack of decent photos of themselves that they would wish to share with others. 

Well with my up coming book, showing step by step instructions, you will be able to take photos of yourself in private, so there is no need for embarassment, and you can keep going until you have a picture that you like.

Take this photograph as an example. I took it today with my daughter’s camera. (We spent all of £29 on a little digital camera for her – a proper one, but for £29 it’s no Fuji or Canon I can tell you – but it was better than the toy ones for resulting pictures!)

Anyway… quite often this camera (as with most really cheap cameras) has real trouble with over exposing things as it can’t cope with strong contrasts and the end result can be useless. However, this self portrait is very over exposed, but it works! It can take quite a bit of fiddling in a photo editing programme to get the same effect – an effect often used in magazines!

I have not edited this photograph at all, I have merely cropped in tight to discard the background (which happened to be my very messy craft room as I was in the middle of a scrapbooking page this afternoon!)

Now in case you are thinking that the “bleached out” look isn’t to your taste, let me just tell you that I had no make-up on at the time, apart from some lipstick! And although I would love to say my complexion is glowing at all times, sadly it is not. The bleached out (overexposed) effect of the photograph is flattering in that it has belached out all imperfections of my skin! A real bonus if you are unhappy with your complexion for whatever temporary, or permanent reason.

So even with a Really cheap digital camera, half way decent photos can be achieved almost “by mistake”!

Watch this space for more news on the Self Portrait Photography book.

[I have posted a similar blog post to this one on the SimplyScrapbookingNow.com blog]