Hello, my name is Keran, and I teach how to create Memory Albums using photographs and digital images. I put this site together, as a way of sharing something I love. Something meaningful and to be treasured.
Cameras and Photos
Since I was young I’ve loved photography. I bought my first Kodak Instamatic camera when I was about 11 years old from pocket money earned delivering newspapers at the weekends. From this basic little camera, I took black and white pictures and started my first album. I took pictures of family, friends and our guinea pigs.
The next year using colour film, I won a photo competition at school by taking a photograph of a horse, (to be honest, the picture wasn’t outstanding, but apparently was worthy of a prize), and I was delighted!
Growing up, my cupboards and drawers were always filled with memorabilia – you know, bus tickets, school drawings, newspaper cuttings, letters, birthday cards – all the sorts of things I couldn’t bear to throw away.
Growing older, nothing changed – I still took many photographs and kept loads of ‘stuff’… most of it in boxes that just moved with me each time I shifted house or country.
Then I had huge light bulb moment and turning point…
A group of us went on a cycling holiday in France that we’d planned and saved for, for about a year. It was a fabulous trip – we cycled through tree-lined pathways, visited stunning chateau’s, dined at the Eiffel Tower before going on a boat trip down the Seine, and then on to the Moulin Rouge for a spectacular show! We cycled through the Loire Valley, and Provence, and rented a house in the Dordogne…No way did I want to forget all these experiences and throw out all the leaflets, entry tickets and photographs.
So, on my return home I went on a search to art supply shops to see if I could put together an album that could house photographs and all the other stuff. And yes, that’s when I first discovered the huge movement called ‘Scrapbooking’!
Scrapbooking [Note: I only advocate a portion of this hobby]
I had no idea that scrapbooking was such a popular method of keeping everything in one place – and back then, I thought it looked so good too! All these pages of colourful papers and fancy decorative adornments. And I had no idea that there were so many people involved in this hobby.
Someone showed me how to create very artistic pages, and armed with an album, loads of pages, paper and cutting tools, I started to create my keep-sake from France.
After a whole weekend, I had 8 pages finished… they looked great, but I did wonder how long it would take me to finish my entire album for which I had taken 17 rolls of 24-prints!! Fortunately, now I’ve learnt to leave the highly decorative craft side alone, and focus on my photos and can get 30-40 pages finished in a weekend.
But what I did learn from that experience is a great lesson I’d like to pass on:
Focus on getting photographs into albums, and don’t get side tracked by the decorative ‘hobby’ side.
What I promote are SIMPLE PAGES and FINISHED PROJECTS.
I learnt later that the scrapbooking industry isn’t regulated, so I had no idea if the materials I’d bought were acid free. Any materials that aren’t acid free would just eat into the pictures I was trying to preserve.
BUT THEN…I found a source of materials that were designed specifically for the preservation of photographs and a method that also combined the preservation of the memories that went with the images. Finally, I learnt what to do with bus tickets, leaflets and maps, AND information ABOUT the pictures – THIS was more like it! I can still add shape and colour, but without all the time-consuming bling!
So now my albums contain everything. And I went on to teach workshops for about 6 years so others could learn how to preserve their pictures and stories. My method is to do it THE QUICK WAY and the RIGHT WAY, using only albums designed for photographs and not for craft.
For many of us who haven’t kept a diary, it can seem daunting to know what words to put with your pictures, but there are quick and easy ways to learn. Albums become like a living memory box that we can enjoy and share again and again. Just to know we’ll be able to look back on our life and relive the snapshots that have gone to making us who we are today, and in eras that will never return.
And all of us go through bad or difficult times, events that affect our lives, sadness and challenges – and it’s these parts of our life that we can learn to live with and even embrace. They shape and mould who we are and how we handle life. Have you ever had something that felt terrible at the time, turn out to be a blessing because you grew from the experience and it changed you for the better? These are the life lessons that often don’t get shared, and are so important for our families and children to know about. You don’t need to share with the world, but perhaps a select few. I’d love to show you how.
Many people say the first thing they would rescue from their home if there were a fire, are their photograph albums.
So not only does this show how much we place a huge irreplaceable emotional value on these treasurers, but it also shows how important it is to make time to create them in the first place.
We are now fortunate that many pictures are no longer just kept as single copy original photographs – they are available to us as digital images that can be duplicated and shared.
And I’d like to share with you some Simple systems – perfect solutions.
Storytelling is one of the oldest forms of entertainment in the world – and is also the way societies hand down their histories and values from one generation to the next. And if you don’t know how to start, or what to say, click on the link below. Photos without words can be rendered meaningless, and often get thrown out by families as they have no idea of their significance.
Did you know that the Alzheimer’s Association promotes the creation of Memory Albums to help give focus, provide a link with family and friends and to capture the essence of loved ones who are struggling with memory loss? So not only is this pastime enjoyable, it’s essential in many cases. What do you do with all life’s experiences? Keep the highlights in albums!
I hope to inspire you to become your family Story Teller, creating lasting memories.
PS: Oh, and the good-looking family on the Banner on the Home Page (reproduced below), belongs to my maternal great-grandfather, Walter Crews Saunders, and some of his young family. They had 6 more children after this! One of them was my wonderful grandmother, Phyllis.
“We must pay this tribute to our family. They were all good children, no trouble, and have grown up loving sons and daughters. We pray for our Creator to shield them all and guide them on their way.
Lastly, I would like to give a few words of advice to young people. Whatever your troubles may be, fight them hard. Be honest; never give up and you will come out on top.”
Walter Crews Saunders