I let my pictures tell the story and other nonsense

So I participate in several social media groups for scrapbookers and crafters. In one of those groups today, a member posted this phrase:

"I don't journal much. I let my pictures tell the story."

Imagine me wearing my incredulous face.

If I could reach through my screen and smack some sense into her, I would.

Pictures rarely actually tell a story. Hello. And what if you don't have a picture that goes with your story? What happens to that story?

Maybe a photo tells a small portion of the basic story. Ok. A birthday is pretty obvious. If you get a shot of the cake, maybe you get the "Happy Birthday G" that adorns the you probably know who and maybe that he's turning 6. If you have subsequent pictures, you can deduce that his party was Lego-themed and that there were a bunch of people there.

What are the photos not telling you? 

Do the photos tell you that his mom stayed up all night long the night before his birthday making his cake and cupcakes and all the snacks? Do the photos tell you that his incredible parents get along well enough to have a joint celebration even though they are divorced? Do the photos tell you that the people who attended this party, in the midst of December, have known him all his life and been faithfully attending his birthday parties since his very first one? Do the photos tell you that a very special lady in his life is not there this year because she went to be with Jesus a few weeks ago?

No. They don't.

So yes, I'm going to wear the incredulous face and say it: "that's nuts". There's so much more of the story to be shared and just what's visible in the photos. 

Please don't under estimate the value of your stories--sure some things are obvious but I dare say the most valuable stories are the ones that the photos don't "tell"...the stories you can't deduce by looking at a photo.

Chances are great that G is not going to forget the memories of his fantastic 6th birthday...but what details will he have missed, as an enthusiastic overwhelmed 6 year old boy, that he might come to treasure when he looks back in twenty or thirty years?

Don't deprive your viewers (those who will view your scrapbook) of the details and the stories. 

See that photo of a boy in a fire department shirt? Well there's a story behind that shirt...a special story that is a glimpse into what makes that boy tick. But if I'm depending on the photo to tell the story, I'm goin to miss out on the best part.

I won't regret investing yourself in recording your stories along with your photos.

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