Wednesday, June 15, 2011

little thought on symbolic photography

Do you ever have more story than photo? Or WORSE yet, NO PHOTO and a story that is determined to be told!… well this week we are going to look at a fun way to use your layouts when you may be less than happy with your photo… or if your photo doesn’t really tell the story.

This layout (LOST) is a photo of my son, he is about 11 years old in this photo. I remember the night I scrapbooked this photos, like it was just yesterday. I was at a crop at my church, and I was skimming through a pack of pictures and this one stopped me.. not because the day at the park playing was a huge monumental event… we had fun sure and I got great pictures of my kids.. that is not what called me….

I sat there and I had a fleeting thought… “how blessed are we that he is here!” see when my son was but two years old we lost him at a school fun festival… I was working the Bake Sale, my hubby was taking the kids around to the rides and activities… As I sat there (at this public crop) tears welled up in my eyes and I just gazed at what a handsome young man he had become…. And I could not stop myself from documenting the terror of those excruciating minutes of my life when I thought I would never see him grow into a man….

A photo of Brad as a two year old would have been great, BUT it was seeing him as an eleven year old that prompted the feelings. The story was several years old, and I used my photo to help show how blessed I am to know that little boy was indeed safe with his family. Of course I don’t have any photos of that night, and I am glad…if I had photos I may have missed out on this layout… This is an example of symbolic photography… I used one image to tell a story of another event.

Here is our tip : Symbolic Photography often is more powerful than a photo of an event. Using symbolic photography strengthens emotions that are brought to the story. Try a new angle by using symbolic photography. Remember, symbolic photography does NOT have to be of a person, it can be a flower, an ocean shot, it can be a can of soda… but use it not to talk about the ocean or soda, but the memory … that can of soda may remind you of a day you took your child out for a date, she drank 3 cherry sodas and was acting so silly and got the giggles and cherry coke shot out of her nose… (see this triggered a memory too) and now, every time you see Cherry Coke you are reminded of how blessed you were to have that date with your child.

Thanks for hangin' out. Be blessed today... as alway feel free to leave any questions or comments!  I will do my best to answer them toot-sweet!


  1. Funny, I was just thinking of such a story last night. I don't have a photo of the funny event (involves watermelon, newly licensed driver and running an errand) but I love the memory. I was thinking of a way to tell that story.

  2. Erika,
    Thanks for sharing your story. One of the biggest reasons that I scrap is to able to save my family memories, good and bad, the happy times and the sad. They are what makes us who we are as a family and a person. Bless you.

  3. Great blog post! I have done that a few times these past few months and I love it! I need to do that again - it really is a powerful way to get messages across or just to convey a memory that you want to record.

  4. I believe I saw those tears?.!!!