My friend mentioned a storybook she wants to make about family members, but she expressed doubt about her writing style. If she's feeling that way, then she's not alone. I'm going to try to relieve your anxiety about picturetelling your own memory book.
THE STORY-- NATURALLY
1. In a family storybook, people will be comfortable with your conversational tone as the text. Imagine you are telling Aunt Gladys about this picture--help her experience the event:
"We had the most wonderful carrot cake for Ryan's first birthday, with loads of creamy frosting, but do you see any of it in his mouth? He just had a blast smooshing it between his fingers! He's about to cry because he's gonna lose his birthday hat--he's trying to keep it on his head." You might change "gonna" to "going to"...or you might not.
2. Are you a jokester? :
"COME OUT WITH YOUR HANDS UP AND SURRENDER THE BIRTHDAY CAKE!"
3. It's OK if you take a less animated tone:
"June 8, 1985 was a miserably hot and humid day in Columbus, but I think Ryan was just glad we didn't make him wear his special birthday outfit. Grandma and Grandpa and his favorite uncle were here to celebrate his first birthday (and help him finish that cake)!
4. Sometimes a quote evokes the moment quite nicely:
"Your birthday is a special time to celebrate the gift of 'you' to the world." ~Unknown
5. You can use remarks by the subject instead of your own narration (which in this case would probably just be "Mommie?")
"Honey, you were SOOO cute at your first birthday! Just as "SWEET" as ever!"
My point is, when you're preserving a special (or even an ordinary) event in a custom storybook that will be enjoyed by family and loved by the subject, the story needs to sound like you. Push all pretense out the door and don't stress! Just talk your text, tell your picture, write with YOUR voice.
WHY BOTHER TO WRITE THE STORY?
Well, when you take the picture, you must want to preserve the memory for someone--yourself, the subject, absent friends and family, to use in an embarrassing video montage someday.... Do you want your FB friends to supply their own details? Do you really trust yourself to remember the small stuff years from now?
Pictures alone invite speculation; imagine finding a box of your grandmother's pictures. Your heritage is a precious gift that you have the power to convey to your descendents. Maybe the rich details of your ancestors' pictures will remain mysteries, but you can make sure that your children and their children know all about their roots in YOU, and you can make their experiences more memorable by using pictures and stories. P and S.
I'm offering up this picture to all of you to write your own pictale.
You weren't there, so of course, you'll have to make something up! No rules--except write with your own voice. I think the statute of limitations has run out on this picture--he's 25 now and shouldn't mind!
Write your pictale or caption as a comment and I'll give you a free Heritage Makers invitation(2-sided postcard) to create! Have fun! Tell your friends to contribute a tale!
P + S is best! ~Donna