A Scrapbook By Any Other Name…A Rant.

by Lain Ehmann on February 10, 2011

I received the following email message from Shutterfly today, in promotion of a photo book idea:

If you can’t read it, it says:

“Julie used to be a scrapbooker, but then she discovered photo books are less expensive, less time consuming and you get a beautiful book instead of a big, bulky album. Now Julie is totally in love with making photo books — she’s created 37 in the last two years.”

I have one thing to say:

Poor Julie.

No longer will she have the tactile pleasure of trimming her photos, nor the intellectual stimulation of moving embellishments around the physical or digital page. No longer will she get to drool over galleries at Designer Digitals and Scrapbook.com. No longer can she hang out with us “cool kid” scrapbookers… because she thinks she’s not one of us anymore.

Note what I said there: “She thinks...” ‘Cause in my humble opinion, she’s still very much a scrapbooker.

Now, I have no problem at all with photo books. I love them! I see them as a new dimension in storytelling. They don’t replace my traditional scrapbooking; they add to it. I often create photo books for people who live far away, for sporting events where I don’t have an emotional connection to each and every photo, or when the photos are the focus and don’t need a lot of text or journaling. And when I get better at digital scrapbooking, you’d better believe I’ll be looking to print out my pages in a nice, neat book.

But to say that photo books are not scrapbooking? There’s something wrong with that. In fact, I think it’s time to revisit a simple math equation:

photo + memory = scrapbooking

I’d even go so far as to say that you don’t even need a photo to make a scrapbook. But that’s a rant for another day.

Right now, let’s focus on the fact that Shutterfly is way missing the mark on its target audience. To say that photo book creators are not scrapbookers is like saying that bloggers aren’t writers because their work is online. Or that someone who takes photos with a digital camera and displays them only online isn’t a photographer. Or that Herbie Hancock isn’t a musician because his music is electronic.

The focus on the tool rather than on the intent is where things fall off track. And where things really go wrong is in the imposition of a false dichotomy (either/or) on the participants: You’re EITHER a scrapbooker OR a photo book maker, but not both. It’s this kind of thinking that sinks us in the muck of division rather than unity (“She’s not like me… she uses RHINESTONES on her pages!”)

I object!

If your intent is to capture part of your life through photos and words, you’re a scrapbooker. Whether you use a quilt or a photo book or a tattoo or the side of a building or a 12×12″ album or your blog doesn’t matter, just as it doesn’t matter if an artist creates in clay, acrylic paints, marble or sand.

So, Shutterfly, I know you weren’t trying to insult anyone with your email. But I also know that you wouldn’t want to go on with such a deep misunderstanding of one of your key target demographics (namely, scrapbookers). So just understand this: We scrapbookers love our scrapbooking. We enjoy the process, the time involved, and yes, even the “bulky” albums that can result. Most of us would never completely replace what you call “scrapbooking” with photo books, but we would gladly open our hearts an inch or two so you could show us how to use photo books to enhance the process of scrapbooking, either for some of the photos we don’t have time to scrapbook traditionally, or for gifts, or for the printing of our digital pages, or for hybrid projects.

And as for Julie… can I have your old scrapbooking supplies, seeing as you no longer need them?

P.S. What do you think? What makes a scrapbook?

  • PattiP

    Yay Lain. I am a scrapbooker and I also make photobooks. In fact normally when I make a photo book it connsists of digital scrapbook pages I have made. Hopefully they will change the way they word this to be inclusive rather than exclusive.

  • Gail/Pookiesmom

    You tell em Lain!

  • Gail/Pookiesmom

    You tell em Lain!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=636803594 Francine Clouden

    Hear, hear!!! I think they are doing themselves a HUGE disservice with that promotion. I know so many scrapbookers who make photobooks!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=636803594 Francine Clouden

    Hear, hear!!! I think they are doing themselves a HUGE disservice with that promotion. I know so many scrapbookers who make photobooks!!

  • Anonymous

    Inclusion- yes!!!!
    I didn’t like the sense that there was something wrong with scrapbooking.

  • Anonymous

    They missed one important fact: scrapbooking is FUN!

  • Anonymous

    Haha! You know I will!! ;)

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  • http://twitter.com/ChristieIngram Christie Ingram

    Not only do many, many, many scrapbookers make photobooks, but many, many, many of us digi scrappers print all of our layouts in photobooks!!! I get they were trying to appeal to the people who gave up scrapbooking, or think it is too hard, but why alienate a big chunk of your audience???

  • Anonymous

    Exactly! The audience would be bigger if they appealed to people who scrapbook… And want to keep on scrapbooking!

  • Andrea F

    I just saw that email too! I certainly did not believe photo books are cheaper and I would never ever quit the fun of using my scissors and adhesives!! That said I agree with every one of your points too Lain. And yes I have made photo books – for vacations where we had 100s of photos and I do one for the whole month of Dec each year. Photo books can be a great supplement for scrappers, bummer they are implying we should toss all our supplies out the window and just be like Julie.

  • Samantha S.

    Totally agree. I was a little annoyed when I read that email this morning too… scrapbooking is simply storytelling with paper props.

  • TracyBzz

    It’s ALL scrapbooking! Photo albums, scrapbooks (paper and digi), photo books, blogs, slideshows, digital photo frames, journals are all forms of memory keeping and I like them all for different reasons.
    Can’t we just all get along and include everyone/everything?

  • Annette Kuusinen

    Amen, Scrappy Sister! Memory + photo = Scrapbooking

  • Snapsandsnippets

    Let’s all just be memory-keepers and play nice!

  • Anonymous

    Andrea, glad you felt the same way!

  • Anonymous

    I am so glad I wasn’t the only one to get my hackles up with that email. Sometimes I wonder if I overreact… but then I think “Me?? Never.” :)

  • Anonymous

    Yes yes YES!!!!

  • http://remarkablewrinklies.com/2011/marketing-to-many-baby-boomer-demographics/ Patti Winker

    I’m here to throw my weight behind the tactile pleasure of physical scrapbooking. I haven’t done a lot – only dabbled in it, really, but I know the pleasure of cropping, positioning, journaling, and embellishing. It’s the 3D things that appeal to me the most. I like capturing a single image out of a group shot, then using what’s left from the group shot and repurposing that, too. Digital scrapbooking just doesn’t allow that kind of shuffling things around. And, you’re right, Lain… Shutterfly missed the mark entirely in their sales page. It’s not either or, it’s both. Thanks for sharing this story with us! Love your insight.

  • Anonymous

    Patti, you are a fantastic writer! Just reading your comment made me want to go scrapbook!
    Thanks for reading. :)

  • Rachel B

    Hi Lain, it’s Rachel from Shutterfly. I manage the Shutterfly community and wanted to leave a quick comment about your post. First of all, thanks for your feedback – we love hearing from customers (the good and bad), please keep it coming!

    As you may know, our mission is to help people share life’s joy – whatever the format. Paper or digital, we love it all!

    I just wanted to give you a few resources in response to your thought about enhancing the process of scrapbooking with photo books. If you have a minute, check out our digital scrapbooking solution page http://www.shutterfly.com/digital-scrapbooking and blog http://shutterfly.typepad.com. I’d love to know your thoughts!

    If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to send me a note here http://blog.shutterfly.com/feedback/.


    Rachel B.
    Shutterfly Community Manager

  • Rachel B

    Hi Lain, it’s Rachel from Shutterfly. I manage the Shutterfly community and wanted to leave a quick comment about your post. First of all, thanks for your feedback – we love hearing from customers (the good and bad), please keep it coming!

    As you may know, our mission is to help people share life’s joy – whatever the format. Paper or digital, we love it all!

    I just wanted to give you a few resources in response to your thought about enhancing the process of scrapbooking with photo books. If you have a minute, check out our digital scrapbooking solution page http://www.shutterfly.com/digital-scrapbooking and blog http://shutterfly.typepad.com. I’d love to know your thoughts!

    If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to send me a note here http://blog.shutterfly.com/feedback/.


    Rachel B.
    Shutterfly Community Manager

  • Anonymous

    Hi Rachel-
    Thanks for chiming in. Your ad today didn’t seem very inclusive of traditional paper/hybrid scrapbooking — that’s what we are all responding to.
    I will check out those resources.

  • http://lifeonlilypadlane.blogspot.com/ Gayle

    You tell em, Lain! I would have been annoyed too (but I didn’t get the memo) and I am primarily a digi-scrapper! Paper or digital, we are scrappers with stories to tell and we will use any means at our disposal to tell them!

  • Lori S.

    I’m a paper scrapper for many of the reasons already listed; I find peace in moving things around, touching the pieces and mixing the textures. I guess my question would be why did they have to “dis” scrapbooking? I know there are misconceptions about scrapbookers, but you don’t have to put down one to attract another – why not approach it from the, “Hey, looking for a quick and easy way to store or share your memories? Try photo books – make your own digital pages, use our tools or simply add your photos and have it printed and bound.” There are so many ways they could have gone to promote the industry, it’s a shame they went with this instead.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EHCOAYM74XJPJBYLED2XP45PL4 Michele

    A scrapbook is pasting down *something* (photo, postcard, ticket stub) and then journaling either the facts are your feelings – and yes, the occasional story w/o a photo, but that is also what a diary or journal would do if you never have more than the story. It can be digital or traditional. It can be extremely fancy or simply adhesive and a pen. My first scrapbook used scotch tape and colored Crayola markers, but I love it! It is recording the story. I have many old family photos that don’t even have names or dates. I scrapbook so that me, my children, my grandchildren… will know about us. Not just what we looked like, but what we did and what we thought because I wish I knew more about my ancestors.

    And yes, I have done photobooks. This past Christmas, I digitized the traditional gift for parents and close family. I used to do a handmade book with a photo and a little journal spot on each page – we had gotten to 50-60 photos per book. Each book was personalized for that family member to include photos with them. My children would write their thoughts for the vast majority of the photos and my husband and I did a few. It was very time-consuming to make six books that spanned the entire year, but our extended family LOVED the books *because of what the kids wrote*. Due to time constraints, I did digital photobooks this year. But I found a lab that would let me put as many photos in any sizes and any configuration I wanted with as many text boxes as I wanted. so I still spent a lot of time designing my pages, but then the journaling was just done once. And yes, I still personalized them for each person.

    I am not a cookie-cutter person. I will always have round peg to go in that square hole. So a photobook that has a set number of photos per page with a tiny caption space doesn’t appeal to me. But it is still better than photos in a box w/ no documentation, but is not really a scrapbook – it’s more like a note jotted down on the back of a photo. Evidently the ad agency doesn’t employ any real scrapbookers :)….

  • Anonymous

    Exactly! I felt like it wasn’t very sensitive to their market.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, Gayle!! Don’t mess with the scrappers. ;)

  • amyptucson

    Yes, yes, yes! When a new technology or product comes along, it’s not either/or. It’s and/also! I am a tactile paper scrapper. And I’ve made 4 photo books in the last 12 months or so, for various reasons. Mostly for situations where I’ve taken a considerable number of photos of the same subject — too many to scrap. I scrap the topic in my normal way, and then make the photo book because — hey — my photos are irresistable (to me) and it’s a quick way to showcase them. I would have felt nothing but bogged down by the 150+ photos I took of our Christmas trip, but voila! One afternoon and it’s a book. AND I scrapped the best 8 of them in the traditional way for my joyously *bulky* scrapbook. And/also. If that weren’t the scrapbooker’s way, my stash wouldn’t be so enormous! ;-)

  • scrapbookgirl71

    OMG!!! I could have written this (albeit not as wittily!) The same exact thouggts crossed my might when I read that email! Who do they think uses their site? I make photo books all the time so I can easily make copies for friends & family but I love the craftiness of playing with paper & pictures. Mist importantly who do they think is actually PRINTING PICTURES in the digital age? Hellooooooo……scrapbookers are printing pictures while everyone leaves them stuck on a memory card. Know your target market, Shutterfly!

  • http://www.shoebox2keepsake.com Donna De Vries

    Grrr… wow!!! I see I am not the only one who thought, ” What are they talking about??!!!” Bulky albums?? Too expensive??? Too time consuming??? Grrr!!! This just further distances some people from thinking they could ever scrapbook. Our pictures and stories are too precious to have those memories lost. Scrapbooking can be done very simply (and beautifully!!) without lots of props & time. But lots of us (from all the comments below) love getting lost in the extended creative process of safeguarding our memories. And way to go, Lain, sounds like Shutterfly heard you. Ee haa. Oh, the power of the people/consumer!!! :)

  • Anonymous

    So true- it does a disservice to the hobby of scrapbooking. Very, very unfortunate…

  • Anonymous

    Such a good point- WE are the ones actually getting photos printed!

  • Anonymous

    “joyously bulky…” that describes it perfectly! Thank you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=616166450 Kim Burton Garner

    Lain – I couldn’t have put it better. You are a brilliant writer. Shutterfly has completely missed the mark…..the us vs. them was sooooo last year. Whether you are creating a traditional scrapbook, digital page, or photo book, we are all in this together. photo + memory = scrapbook

  • http://iamahoneybee.com/ nicole

    Oh I love this post! Thankfully I don’t use shutterfly so I didn’t see this myself but I’m glad to see your post because you are 100% right. She looses out when she gives up scrapbooking!

  • Anonymous

    Don’t you feel sorry for her?? ;)

  • TracyBzz

    That’s like saying that fabric is too expensive and sewing takes so long. Just buy a quilt at the store. (not that I can sew, just that I can appreciate other hobbies). You do it because you enjoy it and it is enjoyed by family and can be passed along.

  • Anonymous

    I love the comparison with sewing… So true!

  • Sherrie M.

    And I hate how they suggest that a big, bulky album ISN’T beautiful! UGH!!! I don’t use Shutterfly normally and probably won’t again.

  • Anonymous

    The bulkiness is the best part…!!!

  • http://quakingaspen.wordpress.com/ falwyn

    Here’s the thing – I am totally a scrapper, I started with paper, right now I do mostly digi, but I have all my paper still, just wait till I get my scrap area set up… BUT – even though I have kept journals and loved photos my whole life, I was hesitant to start scrapbooking – partly because I perceived it as overwhelming (in terms of time, archival safety, money), though in my case it was mostly that I knew, underneath, that I would love it, and I wasn’t sure I was ready to really Go There. Almost as if I secretly knew it would change my life… LOL.

    Anyhow, I do think that nowadays people who might be interested in scrapping get intimidated by it all – the time, the money, so many supplies and tools, etc, etc – and so they don’t even want to start. In a way, I think the Shutterfly ad was trying to appeal to that demographic – the ones who want to do it but are afraid to start. Which I would approve of – I think it’s good to have options for those who want to preserve memories. I wouldn’t want them to think they HAVE to do it one way and therefore they can’t do it at all. There is room for so many ways! As I know you agree.

    I have made photobooks before. Ironically, I would argue with the time-saving part – in THEORY it would save time, but I think the choosing the photos and words (the IMPORTANT PART) takes basically the same amount of time, regardless. I suppose I make “simple” pages a lot, but really, it took me about the same amount of time to put together a photo book as to make any other themed album.

    The last thing I’ll mention is – if this is supposed to appeal to “beginners” – people thinking about taking up scrapping but not ready yet – it’s just silly in some of the things it mentions. I don’t know a single beginner who would even know what you’re talking about with “bulky albums.” That’s only something someone who already scraps would be familiar with. In the interest of not turning off their target audience, they could’ve just talked about the sleek, compact appeal of a book, and the ease of making copies. Silliness.

  • http://quakingaspen.wordpress.com/ falwyn

    Sorry, had to add – anyone who shops smart with coupons can make very inexpensive traditional paper scrapbooks, cheaper than photobooks. Believe you me, I’ve done the math!

  • http://www.PatZahn.com Pat Zahn

    Shutterfly DID miss the mark on their advertising. I do both traditional and digital scrapbooking (either making individual pages to use alone or together with traditional) or printing photo books. One of the things I am all about is choice – you don’t have to choose one or the other. They could have used the opportunity to mention the advantages of photo books w/o alienating the traditional scrapper.

  • Anonymous

    Pat, you are 100 percent right!

  • Kirsten in Canada

    I agree Lain, Shutterfly is way off the mark. It’s funny, I print all my digital scrapbook pages in a bound, wait for it, photobook, at the end of the year. (Basically I upload each digital page as a full page picture and order them chronologically for the year.) I print multiple copies so that the grandmas have a copy of our yearly photobook, ahem, I mean scrapbook. I don’t use shutterfly, so thankfully I don’t have to be all indignant and switch vendors now. ;)

  • Anonymous

    You are so funny! :)

  • Kristie S

    I would like to know if “Julie” knows she’s not a scrapbooker anymore! If so, what is it that she is doing? Oh, I know, she must be a “publisher” now. Geez! That ad goes in my book of being about as appropriate as the rat in the old Quiznos sandwich shop commercials. See where it got them. Shutterfly take note!

  • Anonymous

    Publisher… that’s a good one! Hey, I didn’t see the old Quiznos commercial… will have to look it up. But I HATE rodents. So maybe not…

  • http://photopaperscissors2.blogspot.com Denise

    There is one gal in our regular Friday night crop group who recently switched to doing online photo albums ONLY. We never see her anymore :( I do both traditional and digi scrapping, and I bring my computer to crops when I don’t want to drag ALL my crop stuff somewhere, or I don’t have photos printed, or just don’t have the mojo to paper scrap, need to edit photos before printing, etc. No matter what, I try to make it to a regular crop, not just to get pages done, but to meet with friends. That’s as much a part of scrapbooking for me as sitting home & working by myself!

  • http://twitter.com/pmakurat Peggy Makurat

    go Lain! I totally agree on your math. I do both digital and paper scrapping. My “favorite” is hybrid more than anything else. Because sometimes, you need certain things from both.

    And newsflash, it isn’t as “fast” to do it digitally as it is to do paper. Both require thought and creativity, even when you use a Shutterfly template. Plus the “bulky” books? They hold memorabilia. The REAL stuff of memories.

  • MarieN

    I had the same reaction when I saw that email in my inbox. “Used to be”? She still IS!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Donna-Clark/1368207723 Donna Clark

    shutterfly needs to see this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Donna-Clark/1368207723 Donna Clark

    amen sista! can u direct shutterfly to this post?

  • Anonymous

    I think they saw it- see above comments.

  • Anonymous

    Glad I wasn’t the only one!!!

  • Anonymous

    Yes, bulky = fun!!!

  • http://AnAlteredLife.com Sharyn

    Well said Lain!

  • Keely

    Amen sister!!!! What were they thinking???

  • Anonymous

    I have no idea…. !!!!

  • Ronniecrowley

    So agree, even as someone who has gone basically digital they are so off with what they say. There is no need to knock scrapbookers. I have also made photobooks as gifts and they are scrapbooks in my mind. Less creativity for me but the recents ones have been a book of digital layouts. Also what about the templates sold specifically for using their books. This was an email written by someone who had no understanding of Scrapbooking and they need to be fired!!

  • Anonymous

    You summed it up when you said it was written by someone with no understanding of scrapbooking. So sad!

  • KatieK.

    this reminds me of some of the division that occurs now and occured in past regarding scrapbooking with Creative Memories supplies and not. I had folks mention to me at my workshops or just casually that they used to do creative memories (verb phrase) but now they don’t ‘cuz it was too difficult, time-consuming, etc, etc. Now they just scrapbook or put their photos in a book or online or slip-in or whatever. It is ALL scrapbooking, ALL memory-keeping. No matter what brand, they format, whether the book is in your lap, your tablet or on the cloud, in a frame, in a binder ring, etc. Can you see it? Can you find a memory highlighted? Then it’s scrapbook! Scrap = pieces of our lifes saved. Book = shared so one can see it again, feel it again.

  • Anonymous

    I love your definition! You are speaking my language. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Deb-Watts/634040526 Deb Watts

    Well Said Lain!  I couldn’t agree more.  I have done photo books, and digital pages but I still have a room full of wonderful shiny, glittery, velvety scrapbooking supplies that I will never stop using.  Each form of expression is worthy in itself, and the total makes our storytelling that more interesting!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Deb-Watts/634040526 Deb Watts

    Well said Lain, I couldn’t agree with you more.  I have a room full of wonderful supplies that I will continue to use, but I have also made photo books and done digital pages that I include in albums with my traditional pages.  Each has its own merits and can only enhance our story telling! 

  • Anonymous

    I love that you are so versatile. That’s such a great way to approach it — pluses and minuses to everything, and aren’t we lucky we have the choice! :)

  • Anonymous

    “Glittery, velvety scrapbooking supplies…” YUM! :)

  • Jennifer Couper

    Totally agree with your ‘rant’. Shutterfly’s marketing department have missed a trick with their potential target audience !!

  • Anonymous

    Pretty funny, eh? Based on the response to this post, I think we won’t be seeing a repeat from them. ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/michelle.beeby1 Michelle Beeby

    When I was going through my old magnetic albums to remove the photos before they got anymore ruined, I saw that I had note paper stuck under each photo with names/dates/where/what/etc, the first thing I said was “OMG I was a scrapbooker and didn’t even know it!” YES they were not pretty pages, but it had a photo and it had journaling (even if it was on crapping note paper) in my own handwriting I might add! Scrapbooking to me = photo + story – everything else is just candy!!

    Poor Julie, and shame on Shutterfly for advertising the way they have! I wonder if they realize that they are actually losing customers by advertising this way? I will not be using them, which is a shame, I have folders upon folder of digital scrapbooking pages that this kind of service would of made it super easy to make books for not only myself but family as well – I do paper scrapping too, I love to get my hands dirty, but recently in the last couple years I’ve been dabbling in digi and loving it, but I don’t think I could ever give up on the messy stuff! :)

  • Erin P

    You can scrapbook BOTH WAYS! Please notice I used the word scrapbook, cause no matter what you want to call it, you are still scrapbooking!  Shutterfly definitely turns off business by that ad

  • Anonymous

    Yes, yes you can! :)

  • Anonymous

    Hurray for you for having the foresight to write down the pertinent details! The scrapping gods were looking out for you! :)

  • Priscilla

    I think the Shutterfly email was possibly sent by a committee made up of good people who may or may not scrapbook, but who market, design and sell digital photography to the masses. That’s fine and dandy. We need all the techno-digital help that’s out there…but let’s call it what it is: SCRAPBOOKING. Someone may need to tell them it’s not a dirty word. I love the tactile-ness of traditional scrapping and the gorgeous papers and textures. But I also love the fact that I can put a scrapbook/”photo book” together in an afternoon with the help of Shutterfly.
    Thanks Lain for your oh-so-appropriate rant!

  • Anonymous

    I love it all — and I love that we can choose and don’t have to opt for just one! :)

  • Sheri

    I use photo books when I need to update the in-laws with a long distance gift.  They are more “minimal” and while they love new pics of us, they don’t “feel the love” of a handmade book like my parents (and now my kids) do.  My parents expect a “scrapbook” with all of my personal comments and snippets. They appreciate the message I send with the layouts and they “get it”…i know because of the tears when they get one. In the past I have given my mom a quick digital book for a trip or a single event just so she could enjoy the pics right then, but she “expects” what she calls a “real book of memories” for Christmas and Mother’s Day every single year!  My dad also expects his own books for Christmas and Father’s Day…He gets heritage pages to add to a book we have been working on for years as a birthday present…and now he ask “how many pages do I get this time?…he is 75 and I have left many things from his childhood intact and have preserved them in a way that he can “touch” them when he wants to…when parents are gone a simple “smudged” fingerprint of your mom’s can mean a lot…it just isn’t the same on a digital page!

  • debra williams

    I do traditional scrapbooking.  I have done 2 photobooks of a family reunion and a wedding.  They were for my mother, who is 72.  If I need something immediate for her enjoyment, I do a photobook for her.  To me, photobooks do not begin to appeal.  You are limited in too many ways to mention.  Doing the books for her I have to choose pictures, in my books I can use them all if I want to. There is just too much out there to choose from to limit my scrapbooking to photobooks.  P.S a couple of my scrapbooks are 3 inches thick…yes it was a great trip.  I also have my son’s athletic album full of memorabilia that is a 2 volume set it is so full.  I would not have done it any other way.  He is 27 now and you should have seen his face when he saw the book and all that I have kept and so intricately scrapped.  Nothing but love!  And priceless!

  • Anonymous

    I am so with you! While photo books are wonderful and serve a very particular purpose, nothing can replace (for me) the tactile feel of leafing through pages I spent hours on. :)

  • Anonymous

    That is so wonderful that your parents appreciate scrapbooks! Unfortunately, mine don’t — so they get photo books. :)

  • Deana Samuel-Scott

    Personally, I have no desire to digital memory make, because l WANT to use scraps of paper, fabric, trims to build the page… Im all about hands on, the cutting, gluing because its time I get to spend with that memory again, and time I get to spend with my girls…for me, it’s about the time I am spending making a memory, recording my memorys…
    I am an avid genealogy researcher and each time I find another record, I feel like I have scored a touchdown in the Superbowl.
    I see myself as a Memory Perserver, not a scrapbooker. I perserve memories in many ways, but when it comes to my photos, I prefer to use a hands on, rather than just stick them in a picture mover.

  • Anonymous

    I like that — “memory preserver.” :)

  • Rosann Santos-Elliott

    that’s corporate america for you!

  • Iceteeeeee

    Shutterfly needs to be directed to this page! I think they would get their eyes opened a bit!

  • Anonymous

    If you check the comnens above, someone stopped by. ;)

  • Lisa M

    Lain, I would go further in simplifying your equation:  memory preservation equals scrapbooking. It’s not identical to it, but it serves the same purpose and is the functional equivalent.  For example, I taught a class last term to mostly-seniors called Gifts from the Heart, which had a number of facets, one of which was the idea that a red mixing bowl was just a bowl, but that a red mixing bowl given with a note about how the giver enjoyed making cookies with the recipient when the recipient was a toddler, or which recants a tale of the giver trying to figure out how her own grandmother made a secret recipe, is a memory gift to be treasured. 

    I always say that scrapbooking is a big umbrella, with room underneath for all of us, “CM scrappers” to “lumpy scrappers” “clean scrappers” to “eclectic” ones.  I know my style: I don’t bury my pictures but I don’t trim them into shapes (anymore) either.  I know someone who made a memory lampshade. Good for her! Will I be making one? Nope, but it may make me think of another way to stretch.

    I hope that I will soon get to making photo books of the best of the 1000+ family slides my brother scanned. If I waited until I could scrap these for all the people who want them it will happen exactly… never. (Yes, I will scrap some of the pictures just for me and my kids.) I have shared photocopies of scrapbook pages and that is OK (only because I do 8 1/2 x 11) but less than satisfying. I am drawn to digital not at all, being kind of a Luddite.

     I feel certain this was someone who spent 10 minutes on “research” (that would be a phone call to his married sister and 5 minutes online (you KNOW this had to be written by a guy…) and hope he will be roundly chastised. And then made to read all the comments!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments! Scrapbooking is a wide umbrella indeed. And I loved the mixing bowl example.
    Let’s hope people are listening!!

  • BeckyDJD

    I did not get message, as for other reasons I stopped using them (ok, they kept on cropping my pics and chopping off hards, im a scrapper, and need the heads in my photos). But, wow, right on Lain, way to kick a huge chunk of your market! I don’t think they really thought it out  xoxox

  • Susan

    anything that is kept as a keepsake that can be used to restir your emotions, bring alive your memories, and for a brief moment, take you years back to a different place, a different time, and to let you, at least in your mind, be with people who you can’t be with physically anymore.

  • glee

    and why on earth would shutterfly want to alienate ANY customer anyway??? Somebody there needs a head slap.

  • Alison Charlton

    I didnt see this before Lain’s email – I dont use shutterfly so they wont be missing my business – I wouldnt ‘knock’ the way anybody chooses to be creative, but its a bit like my Grandma’s apple pie! Nobody made pie like my Grandma – when she died I asked for her apple pie plate – it might be the same size but my pie isnt like hers – nowhere near as good! I could buy pie, but thats not even as good as mine!!!
    For me scrapbooking gives me pleasure over and over again, I enjoy doing it, my family, kids and my friends spend time enjoying remembering the times we have shared, looking for journalling in my bulky hidden pockets – I document my family’s life and our history – our values, what life is like here and now. I reflect I re remember as I scrap, and I enjoy and savour and give thanks for the many good things and wonderful people in my life, as I choose and arrange and stick and journal – I find it very cathartic!!!
    Im not saying there isnt room in the inn for all creative types – traditional, hybrid (like me) digital and yes even photobookers – and each has a place and a time – that makes the way of keeping the memory perfect for the creator, moment or occasion!
    There’s no right or wrong way – I admire and appreicate all styles and ways of memory keeping – but for me, the sound of a paper trimmer, or perfectly torn paper, the, satisfaction of completing a beautiful page to celebrate a special moment with handwritten journalling – made with love – is something not to be dismissed lightly – but to be enjoyed greatly! If your a tactile paper loving type like me!
    The friends I have made both in real life and online who share this wonderful hobby enrich my life and are a big part of it too! Id miss them too much, so like others, I could never be an either or girl – but I could be an occasional photobooker – if it fit the occasion!
    I have made and helped others make, albums and mini books for loved ones, that have without exception moved the recipient to tears – because it is handmade, with love just for them. So please add my name to the list for ex scrapbooker Julie’s unwanted stash!!!! Im sure I could squeeze it into my paper filled world!!!!

  • KathyG

    A rousing cheer to all said here…I would only add that given the “tweaks” made to our photos and the limited size options for same (a moment of silence for our dearly departed Scrapbookpictures.com), I’m not sure they get the Basic Equation in any context – photobook or otherwise.

  • Ruth G

    What KatieK said 2 years ago is so very true and well-put. I would like to talk about Shutterfly, though. I love that they actually print the very well-thought filename that I’ve given to my pictures on the back of them so that when I’m scrapping all I have to do is turn the picture over to find out the date and location and people in the pic! And yes, I’ve done photobooks and have enjoyed the fact that I can get something done relatively quickly (even with all the customizing that I do), but since I can’t feel the chipboard in my hand I’m not going to do a lot of photobooks because I need to get physical with supplies sometimes…

  • Vesta

    I create albums for my grandsons. They love them! They love to look at themselves and enjoy the memories. I did a beautiful 12 X 12 album with integrated books that everyone enjoys. I am now working on a Project Life album using lots of pictures from our three week trip to Florida. I bet they love looking at that one just as much. I made a mini album and before adding pictures my sister loved it so much I gave it to her. Albums are love. It doesn’t matter what form it takes, it is all good.

  • http://bonscrapatitdesigns.blogspot.com bobbysgirlforever

    “Julie used to be a scrapbooker, but then she discovered photo books are less expensive, less time consuming and you get a beautiful book instead of a big, bulky album …”

    Correction. Julie is still a scrapbooker. She has simply added versatility to preserving and sharing her memories. Photobooks are not always less expensive, less time consuming or beautiful (beauty is in the eye of the beholder) in comparison to a traditionally or digitally scrapped album. Not all albums are created equally and, certainly, not all albums are big or bulky! I love good marketing strategies, but there is nothing good about being dishonest in one’s advertising. This is not an honest statement and is very misleading to the reader who is none-the-wiser.

    (I realize this was posted two years ago, however, I felt compelled to join in although it has all been said before me!)

    Anything we do to encapsulate life’s indelible memories is a form of scrapbooking! Although my scrapbooking is, at the present time, accomplished predominantly in the digital realm, I refer to myself as a memory preservationist! The important thing is that I am collecting pieces of my family’s past and putting them together in the best way that I am able to, at any given time, so as to share moments and stories with my loved ones and know that they shall be carried forward for generations to come. Occasionally, this does include photo books printed by Shutterfly!

    Hopefully, Shutterfly has received your message, and all of the attached comments, loud and clear! I did take note of Shutterfly’s reply; however in my opinion, she was sidestepping the issue. I wish to gently remind them that there are many of us who came to know of Shutterfly and their services by way of blog posts written by fellow scrapbookers (both traditional and digital) and scrapbook designers who have expanded their memory preservation to include photo books!

    I love you Lain Ehmann! Your posts are always informative and thought provoking. :-)

  • Dale Rose Stream

    You ROCK, Lain!

  • Francine M Seal

    I agree that the end result is memory keeping whether it’s paper and glue or digi or a combination of both. I’ve done one Shutterfly book for myself. But first I decided which Anna Aspnes templates I was going to use and then created all the pages I needed for the book. Then I resized them (down to 11.5 x 11.5) and put them in the Shutterfly template of plain 12×12 pages. A few weeks later I had a hard-bound book of our 30th anniversary trip. (I also did one for a friend to document her trip to ride with Thomas-the-Tank-Engine in Durango, Colorado a few years ago.)

    Now I’m in the process of making sure all my LOAD513 layouts have shadowing and are lined up correctly and spell-checked (basically tweaked) then saved for printing. After an upcoming vacation, I will submit them to Persnickety to get my 12 x 12 prints which I will stick in an album since I have 2 or 3 (or 4 or 5) laying around getting hungry for something to fill their insides. So, I’m still a scrapbooker even though my preference seems to be digital rather than paper and glue. But then yesterday I came across some old photos of great-great-grandparents and cousins several times removed that need to be documented and collated with the genealogy study my grandfather did. So however it’s called, it’s still memory keeping.

    And who knows, maybe in the future Julie will get the hankering to make some hand-made greeting cards like me and she’ll start using up some of that stock she has on hand. After all, the creative urge doesn’t just die, it lies in wait to sneak up on you at the strangest times and show you, you’ve still got it.

  • Roberta

    Lain, I totally agree with you. The photo + memory = scrapbook says it all!

  • lynne moore

    I think Shutterfly hit their mark exactly. They weren’t aiming at scrapbookers. (We are so much smarter than that anyway.) They were aiming at the people who turn their shoulder at scrapbooking. They were aiming at people just like my sister-in-law. People who fear being labeled a scrapbooker even if they like to work with pictures. People who are afraid to try/do much scrapbooking because they don’t want to be addicted. But when we had 3 major family events in one year and tons of photos, she made us all books. But don’t dare call her a scrapbooker. That’s what crazy Lynne does… not the cool, hipster person she is…. Sorry, K… I am publicly calling you out! You are a scrapbooker, even if it is only part-time.

  • Barb in AK

    You go, girl! I get email ads from Shutterfly all the time. I mostly trash them without looking. When I’m ready to make a photo book, I’ll go to their site and do it. I’m glad you caught the ad and pulled out your soapbox :-) I’m right in line with you!

  • Virginia W

    I agree with your “rant” more than 100%. I’m fairly new to scrapbooking and I love the end product of my effort but my true love and passion is in the whole process. The “jonesing” of certain products, purchasing said products and finding them a home in my scrap area, touching, feeling, moving them around, disappointment with not using it on the page I thought they would fit on, the exaltation when they do fit, and then the final page that has all these memories, feelings and love as the end result. It just doesn’t get any better than that…apparently that is why I cherish every moment that I can slip away and just feel the love when scrapbooking.

  • Virginia W

    Awesome response…I too just started making cards but still scrapbooking with paper and glue.

  • Susan Bunt

    Poor Julie. She probably feels really humiliated by this. She has obviously been use as an advertising gimmick. As all the comments below state any type of memory keeping is to be treasured. My favorite
    is still a 12×12 with lots of “stuff”. Go Lain.

  • Brenda Becknell

    The main reason we all scrapbook is to preserve memories and share our stories, so it shouldn’t matter how we choose to do it. (the fact that’s also a lot of fun is just an added bonus!) Digital scrapbooking, paper scrapbooking, or photo books – we all have the same goal. Any type of scrapbook is better than none at all, right? Shutterfly certainly could have worded this ad differently, though, to appeal to their target group without making those of us who love “traditional” scrapbooking (for lack of a better term) sound like a bunch of crazy ladies who do nothing but create huge old bulky albums!

  • LindaM.

    I ordered Christmas photo books in 2011 and 2012 for my daughter. This year I made a “bulky” album this year and she loved it just as much as she did with the previous books. They were all done with love and that is what matters.

  • R. Black

    Any time you combine thoughts, photos, mementos, or any memorabilia, you have a scrapbook. Just like you can call books “novels”, you can call “photo books” scrapbooks. The End

  • Jane Hollon

    Totally agree would never give up my paper and tools love the art of it to much. Do I order photo books yes, but my first love is and will always be playing with my paper and tools to make works of art.

  • Meg

    I SO AGREE WITH YOU!!! I hear something similar as an instructional designer – my day job – about PowerPoint. Seriously people, PowerPoint is a BLANK DIGITAL PAGE. It’s not the tool, it’s what you do with it. Rant away, Lain!!! :)

  • MandyM

    Being a scrapbooker is about documenting the story about the pictures you have. I have never made a photo book, so I don’t know if you get to tell your story in the way you want to. Can you add your own words and just basically submit pictures??
    At any rate, it seems neither “poor Julie” nor Shutterfly realizes that “poor Julie” is STILL a scrapbooker. She’s just chosen another one of the many choices we have (pocket scrapping, mini albums, photo books, file folders, and of course, those bulky books we LOVE!). Shame on the Shutterfly marketing folks for not knowing/recognizing this.

  • Shauna Viele

    When I was trying to decide whether to do a printed book or regular scrapbook for our oldest daughter for graduation, I asked her which she preferred. I was thinking she would want the printed one because they were “cooler”. She surprised by requesting a regular scrapbook because she felt it would look more personal–and as it turns out, she felt like it would “match” her other scrapbooks . I was elated, because I just struggle sith the digital world. Gotta have my hands on paper!
    Now, that is not to say that I think those who use print books or digital whatever are any less scrapbookers than I am. They just have different styles, and more power to them!

  • Kelsae Russell

    Well, having done both digital and paper scrap booking, I prefer paper. The more I get to choose, the more my layout sings. I work and live online. Scrap booking in paper is a way to get back to the tactile sensation of creating something one of a kind. Scrap bookers learn, grow, try new things, whereas photo book makers can design, place and repeat, on and on, and on… Sometimes that’s good, but I prefer to get in there with both hands, and stop using a mouse! Turn off the computer! Save a few gigajoules of electricity!

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