Here are a few of my tips for putting together a scrapbook:
Don't buy a themed book with some designer's idea of what your vacation should look like. It may seem the easier way. You might tell yourself you're not talented enough to do it on your own, but no matter how rough around the edges it might be, it'll be truly your own. Buy a beautiful blank book and your set. Buy one with a marbleized cover and everyone will think you're a pro.
Don't be afraid to take a picture of a beautiful meal. Food is one of the biggest memories of a trip to somewhere you've never been before. There are so many entrees in our adventures whose presentation has been worthy of a photograph. It makes it so much easier to explain the appeal to everyone at home when you can show them a photo of what you ate before you ate it. A pizza lunch may not have been the most elegant of meals but when your sister's bad Italian ended up with ordering a pizza for everyone at the table a photo of the gluttony was an absolute necessity
I've been known to soak off the label of a great bottle of wine whose name I wouldn't have had a chance of remembering without the aid of a slightly tattered label.
Never rely on the first photo you take when you're doing pictures of little Ricky and all your friends at the local gelateria. It's always that second or third shot when they drop their frozen smiles and relax into a more candid and animated pose.
Bring a set of colored pencils and little sketchpad along with you. I'm hearing everyone out there saying, "but I can't even draw a straight line." First, no one needs to draw a straight line, in fact the more crooked and varied the line the more interesting the line will be. Then don't draw what intimidates you. Draw a beautiful door, a bowl of figs, the best slice of pizza you've ever had. Don't judge what you've done. Appreciate that it's yours.
Elio Ciol, photographer