The Unphotographable

If a picture is worth a thousand words then what are a thousand words worth?

I have been scrapbooking since 1999. Although scrapbooking was my initiator into the art world it has also challenged my self-esteem when it comes to creating pretty or decorative pages of a life that is far from picture perfect. A great portion of my entire life has not been filled with times warranting photos yet I still have a story to tell - my story. Scrapbooking, for me, is a way to document what is happening in my life - whether pretty or not.

I have created over 400 hundred pages of my life with huge chunks of time missing from my story with years upon years of no photos at all. As a way for me to stay current or to document the path to creating my dreams I started creating scrapbook pages without photos.

When tough times hit or bad things happen I don’t usually want to take a photo of what is going on in my life but I do want to know how I am reacting to what is happening. This is when Michael David Murphy’s, Unphotographable concept can cross-over into the scrapbooking world quite nicely learned about Murphy’s idea somewhere along the way from a digital scrapbooker who used this idea of, a text account of pictures, missed. So genius the idea and perfect for times when a camera is not available but I still want to record a memory.

There are times, in my opinion when a camera can get in the way of me being in the moment and really being present. Taking photos is a great way to recall and remember but if I am the one behind the camera creating perfect compositions it can be challenging to be completely present taking in the occasion. If I am taking photos I am more focused on who is where and how can I get the person to do… instead of being present moment to moment.

I have used the Unphotographable approach to document conversations with my son over the phone. Alexander has lived apart from me almost his entire life and the phone for us is sort of like the polaroid camera; instantly we are together, but instead of a photo we capture our words and our voices through sound 'unphotographably'. Once off the phone I document what we talked about and how I felt. These memories documented are true keepsakes but without a photo.

It doesn’t have to take a 1,000 words to document what is 'Unphotographable', but when I document emotions and feelings with words rather than pictures it amazes me just how deeply I do feel and what I am capable of expressing without an accompanying visual.

My life will probably never be picture perfect and when it’s not I’m glad I have Murphy's 'Unphotographable' technique to use on my scrapbook pages. To document life with words when I don’t have that perfect picture keeps my story alive and always current.

Living on Cloud 9

Living on Cloud 9

The roof is cut from a piece of scrapbook paper with the design of a huge compass. For me, this signifies finding my way home. The chimney, stamped with the word "HOME" is a reminder of how grateful I am to have a home. But for me my home is not a house but rather my husband Mel who has been the symbol of everything a home life should include. There he is in the sun compass up in the right corner, always facing true north. Our forecast is clear, with a few dream clouds. If you look in the adorning bay windows you will see just what goes on in our house. Our life is golden together. There is a garden out front which reveals we are always in bloom. The entrance is simple but tiny, revealing only a trusting few pass through our door. We are private, homey souls, living out our lives in abundant joy and creativity. The fushia foundation emits an energetic symbol of the love and joy we share that gets us through whatever comes our way. Inside our home our life is full and complete and bliss.