** Please note this is not going to tell you how to organize/store your photos – I need help there too! I recommend Stacy Julian’s Photo Freedom if you are interested in organizing photos **
Regardless of the reason you are scrapbooking you are going to want to gather some photos to use. The project you are working on will probably dictate how you collect your photos:
One time project: If you are creating this scrapbook as a gift for a birthday/wedding/special event and have no intention of making this a hobby – you want to gather enough photos to span the period of time you are scrapping (a person’s life/ a family history/a couple’s history) I recommend starting with enough photos to do 20-40 pages (if your scrapbook came with 20 pages – 40 would be doublesided) To do double sided layouts I would recommend photos from 10-20 “events” you want to scrap. Events can be anything – birthdays, holidays, important days in your life, or they can be important everyday rituals or traditions (example – if every Saturday you and your family have a picnic in the local park you may want to do a layout about this special tradition).
Beginner Scrapbook: If you are scrapbooking for the first time and want to start this as a hobby but are not making this book for anything specific – you may want to collect a few groups of photos to start with. I recommend not getting caught up in scrapping chronologically. Start with whatever event or photos you are most excited about starting with. You can always rearrange your layouts later. Again think about the types of pages you are going to want in your scrapbooks – will you only be scrapbooking big events and holidays? Birthdays? Or will you be scrapping everyday life as well? Gather photos to get you started on a few pages.
Here's an idea: I take some time to sit down and sort photos into groups I want to make layouts with and store them in envelopes. Then I do a short write up of what I might want the journaling to say. If you aren’t the best at journaling it will probably really help you to have a rough draft. I also include a sketch in my envelope with photos and journaling (we will talk about sketches later). I might not immediately scrap these memories but next time I’m feeling inspired to create I will have the basics of my layouts ready and I won’t waste time looking for photos!