I picked up Photo Freedom by Stacy Julian on Thursday with a 40% off coupon at my local craft store, BEVERLY’s.

I’ve been interested in reading both of Stacy’s photo organization books because, as I’ve talked about HERE, I’m in a constant struggle with how to best organize my photos. I wish I could’ve found her first book ~ The Big Picture: Scrapbook Your Life ~ and read it first.

But…que sera, I found Photo Freedom first and wasn’t going to pass it up. I’ve heard so much discussion about these books and her non-traditional approach to photo organization, that I grabbed the book when I saw it, LOL!

I went into reading it knowing I probably wouldn’t agree with much of what she advocates. Yes, I’m a chronological scrapper. Not in the sense that I use strap-hinge albums and MUST scrap in order since pages aren’t moveable, but in the sense that I use post albums with drop in pages but I keep my albums in chronological order. I’ve converted most of my albums to this cool SNAP LOAD system by Pioneer, so I can add and move pages as quickly as can those braggy 3-ring-album girls! {And my 2-page layouts aren’t split in the middle with 3-rings…to quote Stacy herself…”So there!”).

I’ve admitted before to being somewhat….er, um….extremely anal in most aspects of my life. {All those years I worked as a governmental budget and program analyst, I told people ‘I put the ANAL in ANALyst.’}. So, nope, even Miss STACEY JULIAN isn’t going to convince me to scrap out of order or to slap photos from different events onto one page. Maybe once in a while on a tribute page or something, but not as regular practice. But I’ve also always believed that you have to look at all sides of a story, to be willing to research other options, before you give a firm NO. Hence, me seeking out Stacey’s photo organization books.

I’m about halfway through Photo Freedom now and here’s where I stand so far. 1. Nope, I’m staying with chronological scrapping and, therefore, I don’t see myself putting all of her ideas into practice. 2. Her system is intense! But I mean that in a good way. She has really thought it all through, has found the best storage items (and suggested alternates to the reader) for each component of her system, and she obviously walks the walk, i.e. really USES her system. 3. I agree with her that ‘the kids aren’t walking out of here someday with all my albums,’ so she has a School of Life album for each child that they can abscond with someday. It’s a good compromise. 4. I love how, when she set up her system, she ‘pre-flighted’ tabs, boxes and such for upcoming months/years. You think ‘that time’ will never come, but then it’s actually here and you’re not prepared, have nowhere to sort your photos and memorabilia, and so it just stacks up. I’m with Stacy…pre-label your shizzle! 5. I love the way she does her school files for each child and will probably implement that idea (sorry, you have to read the book to see what I’m talking about).

So there’s my review so far. I’ll probably finish the book this weekend and will post more thoughts if I remember to (remember….ooh, look, sparklies….I’m easily distracted).

Do you have either of these books? What did you think? Have you implemented her system or any of her ideas? Are your photos organized and how? I want to know it all! Feel free to link to a blog post of yours if you’ve outlined your system on your blog already…

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  1. avatar

    I store mine by month.
    I take them all month, order them at end of month, organize them in a picture box to scrap out of, then save them on my external harddrive in that month.
    Thats how I do it….

  2. avatar

    Yep, I have the books and I didn’t buy them, or read them, in order. I don’t think it mattered much. I think Stacy’s system is brilliant…as I posted here.

    Have I implemented everything she’s teaches? No. But if I were a young mother with kids and a gazillion pictures of them, I certainly would. I organized my pics into albums to pull from for scrapping, I have a box of cold storage photo’s, and several 3-up albums that are permanent. I have a thousand different ideas now, just because I followed a few of Stacy’s steps.

  3. avatar
    Frankie says:

    I LOVE The Big Picture . . . that book totally revolutionized how I scrapbook and how I think about scrapbooking. I just can’t say enough good things about that book — find it, read it — you’ll love it! It’s just full of encouragement, ideas, exercises . . . it really made me grow as a scrapbooker.

  4. avatar

    Yep I’ve got both her books and go back to them all the time for inspiration and I don’t really scrap chronologically & as I have over 100 years worth of family photos that I inherited along with various stories that were verbally told me as a child, I have a lot to choose from (I am slowly scanning all of them in!)and I take a lot too, I liked the different named album approach.
    With the new book I like the ideas of sorting which I do on my digital system but I think it’s really expensive to be printing out photos all the time especially ones you might not use I instead invested in a photo printer my self and print small batches off my self as & when it’s less wasteful & expensive & if I want to scrap at 3am I can. That was my only beef with the book the printing out of photos you might not use, which is quite a BIG part of the book so to get round it I have a lot of my most recent photos randomly go to screen saver and they come up in strange orders which can have the same effects that she was talking about with her folders. I like the idea of doing small tasks towards a layout and I would & have recommend both books to other scrapers & I will be rereading mine again & again I’m sure!

    Ok Sorry long ramble Seeya hugya *G*

  5. avatar
    Lisa says:

    I have both books. I read The Big Picture a few years ago and still love it to this day. I recently read Photo Freedom and I love her system. I haven’t implemented all of it yet, but I do have the last few years of photos stored in 3-up binders, which I love. I am also doing the School of Life albums. I’m hoping to implement more of her system, but we’ll see. I do tend to get overwhelmed with sorting my rubber maid containers full of years of photos. I also have lost my mind, er…memory, so I can’t usually remember what year most pics were taken, as my kids are now 15 and 13 :( (Oh, CK had The Big Picture in their clearance section a few weeks ago, as well as Amazon.com )

  6. avatar
    candy says:

    I agree with the snapload and chronological commentary and with reading Stacy’s books to see what can be useful. I do have some “special” scrapbooks for special trips and big events and I make annual review scrapbooks (8×8) for the grandmas. I think the chronological for the kids (including pictures of their artwork) can be very useful when they become adults.

  7. avatar
    Brenda says:

    I want to purchase Fhoto Freedom but cannot seeme to find a reasonably priced copy. If anyone wants to see one I may be interested if the price is right.

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