Welcome to my new series looking back at my Disney trips and how I documented them. It's my hope that reading about my trips and not only how I documented but also how I came to decide how to document our trip will help you with those decisions about your own trip.
Who: My family. We went to celebrate my son's high school graduation. He turned 18 just before we left and our girls were 16 and 12.
Where did we stay? We were gone for 15 nights which is a heck of a long time. We decided we'd stay off site for the Disney portion of our trip and chose the Sheraton Vistana Resort. This was a great decision. We loved Vistana (I still dream of our shower) and it gave us access to a kitchen and washer and dryer. For the last four nights of the trip we stayed at Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando. Seriously an amazing way to end our trip.
As my son often reminds me, I used his high school graduation as an excuse to plan a huge trip to Florida. He didn't have much input into the planning process (this is brought up often as we plan his sister's graduation trip… as in, “Why should you get input for your trip when I didn't have any for mine?”) but he did have a lot of fun.
I started planning almost a year in advance, but we really didn't kick into high gear until January 2012. It was about the same time that everyone in the scrapbooking world started talking about Project Life. I had one of the original core kits and albums and had done a form of pocket scrapbooking through 2011, but I'd given up mid-year. However, as 2012 began and everyone started talking about photo-a-day projects and pocket scrapbooking, I thought that it might be fun to try to document our Disney trip using those supplies.
I purchased a digital Project Life core kit and started collecting supplies. There are tons of supplies available on the internet but at the time, there wasn't much out there for pocket scrapbooking and Disney. (Of course now there is the amazing and huge Project Mouse by Sahlin Studios and Brittish Designs… how I wish I would have had this.)
I used a variety of cameras on this trip. I had my large “bridge” P&S that looks like a dSLR but is actually a point and shoot camera. My middle child had a smaller point and shoot that she could tuck into her bag. Finally, we had two iPhones. The small point and shoot and iPhones became crucial midway through the trip when Tropical Storm Debbie swung through Florida. It rained for days and days and it was so much easier to keep a small camera/phone in a Ziploc than to try to worry about my bigger camera.
We also tried Photopass+ on this trip. It was fairly new when we went and I was one of the first to preorder it (with a discount). Loved Photopass+. Having all those ride photos helped me tell the story in ways I couldn't in the past. After our first two hours in the park, we had a rule that we stopped for every Photopass photographer we saw. I would tell them we had Photopass+ and to have fun. We have some really fun family shots from this, including one of the girls jumping in the air in front of Cinderella's Castle.
When I got home, I spent most of a month putting my albums together. I ended up sticking pretty close to the Cobalt Core Kit I had purchased. I detailed my pocket scrapbooking process in a post here at Capturing Magic Me: Documenting A Disney Vacation with Project Life if you'd like to read all about my process.
For now, here's a quick glimpse at my album. I actually needed two albums. One contains our 10 Disney Days. Another contains the five days we spent at Universal Resort.
The big photo on the right is my “chapter” marker. It means that the left page is the last page documenting one day, and that a new day begins with the big photo. I'm not sure if I made it so that the first page of a new day was always on the right (meaning a big photo on the right) but that's how it worked out.
This is the second page of a day. The left is a summary of what we did and notes from myself and my two daughters. We all kept a journal of our trip and I included our entries in our album.
I used a lot of photo collages to get all my photos into an album with this trip. I also used some templates that allowed me to add a bit of text onto photos, just to fully tell the story. I also included memorabilia envelopes about every five days. I saved receipts, brochures, menus, etc. as we went and tucked those into our album.
Using pocket scrapbooking to create my Disney album was the best of what I had been doing the previous two trips. It allowed me to express my creative side and include lots of words about the photos, but it also put photos in plastics which is my family's preference. In addition, it got me hooked on pocket scrapbooking. I finished 2012 using that style in a more organic manner, and since the start of 2013 I've been doing weekly pages… and I'm up to date. That's huge for me. I've never been a chronological scrapbooker. Having up to date pages that my family can browse is amazing for me.
So what's next for my family? We currently don't have a Disney trip planned, but I know when we do start planning, I'll start thinking about how I want to document our trip. Even when we don't go to Disney, I tend to make a vacation album each year. This year we went to the same place for three separate weeks and I did one album with a spread for each day. At the end of July, I had a completed album with daily spreads spanning three weeks and four months. I didn't plan how I would document before our first trip — it just fell together organically — but I was definitely aware of how I'd be documenting on the second and third trips and it did change what photos I took and what memories I captured in photos.
What I love about thinking about how to document before we go is that it guides my photo taking and memory keeping while we're on the trip. During this 2012 trip, I took many more vertically oriented photos because I knew I'd have spaces for them. I took photos of more everyday type things on the trip — the Vitamin Water we drank with our breakfast, my family reading on the balcony in the evenings — because to me, those everyday things are part of the philosophy of pocket scrapbooking. As I mentioned, I saved all our paper because I knew I'd have a place to save it. I really don't want to lose any of those elements as I think about future trips. I just need to find a way of documenting that includes all those elements and still challenges me creatively. When I find that, it will be magic.
Have a question? Please comment and ask away. I'll do a follow up post in about a week to answer any questions about document our trip — during planning, on the trip, or when we were home — at the end of the series.