Getting to Know Jennifer Flaherty
Today we are talking with Jennifer Flaherty, the Peer Director here at Scrapaneers. She’s been scrapbooking since 2001, when she stumbled upon it while searching the web for clip art. Today she shares with us some personal info as well as what helps keep her scrapping 15 years after she started.
Tell us a bit about yourself, your life (including how long you have been digiscrapping).
What is your personal scrapbooking mantra?
Hmmmm…I’ve never really thought about it. I guess it would be: Simplify. Don’t overcomplicate things. Just do it.
If you are like me, your time to scrap is probably limited, so when you make time to scrap — just scrap. Don’t organize your pictures. Don’t tag your supplies. Stay focused and just scrap. Do those other things when you allot time for those other things. But when you allot time for scrapping, just scrap. And when you do it, do what makes you happy. If clean and simple is your happy place, then make clean and simple layouts. If artsy is your thing, then go artsy or go home. You are only going to stick with it, if it makes you happy.
And one more thing: Remember your purpose. For some, scrapbooking is a creative outlet and at times, that is true for me. But more recently, as my children get older and their childhood slips away, I realize that more important to me (and to them) is to tell our stories. So when I scrap, I scrap with that in mind. I make sure to record the details and the feelings that make up the moments in our lives, because that is what I noticed my children and I treasure most.
What do you do to fit scrapbooking into your schedule?
Neglect my children and my household duties! What else? But seriously, in order to fit it in, it has to be a priority which means, at that time, other things are put on hold. Sometimes, you need to re-prioritize. After two failed attempts at Project Life. (I’m still going to finish those albums!) I have decided to adjust my plan. This year I am just going to do a month in review page and insert full page layouts of any events I wish to tell a deeper story about. It’s my album and I can do it however I want. This is my compromise because I am finding I have less time to document our family’s story, but it is still important to me.
How would you describe your style?
I’ve tried just about every style, with the exception of fantasy-type layouts. Through it all, I’ve come to realize that I am most drawn to linear layouts. Layouts with clean, organized lines. It’s the Virgo in me.
What programs do you use for scrapping and photo and supply organization?
I use Adobe CC, so I use Photoshop to create layouts and Lightroom for my photos. I have used ACDSee, iPhoto, Aperture and Lightroom to organize my supplies. My favorite was iPhoto, but one of the upgrades made it difficult to view PNGs with transparent backgrounds, so I stopped using it. I assessed my scrapping style and since I was a kit scrapper and rarely used my old supplies, I decided it wasn’t necessary to spend a lot of time and energy organizing so I switched to using Finder on my Mac to find my supplies. However, this year, I have resigned from most of my creative teams and will probably start using some of my old supplies, so I think I may be spending some time reorganizing them again. I’ll keep you posted!
What is something you’ve learned over the years as a digital scrapbooker that has helped you immensely?
Honestly, I am one of those, “build a better mouse trap,” kind of people. I am always looking for the latest and greatest thing that is going to be better than what is already working for me. (I guess I’d rather lead than follow.) But what I have learned is that help is readily available if you are using what the masses are using. I was using Aperture because I really liked it and I am an Apple devotee, but all the other digital scrapbookers were using Lightroom. So when I needed to know how to do something specific to scrapbooking, there was not a lot of help out there. Now, I use what everyone else is using and if I want to know how to do something, I just google it and there it is.
Thank you, Jen, for taking the time to share a little bit about yourself so we can all get to know you a little bit better.