A scrapbook without journaling is really only a bunch of photos with some pretty paper. Without the story of your photos, your pages are more like beautifully presented photos.
There is often a story behind the photo, and writing that story brings the photo to life. Without it, the memory is often lost as time passes. Some people enjoy the act of writing more than putting together the book, while others are quite the opposite. This is because these two separate functions actually engage two separate areas of our brains.
When thinking about laying out your story for your page don't think just linear, add a bit of creativity. You can write around the top or bottom of the photo, write in circle shapes or follow the curve of the photo or paper.
You can use stencils, hand write or punch out letters. Sticker letters work well for titles or names and you can choose a marker color that matches the paper color.
Remember too that these writings are meant to be somewhat creative but also to evoke memories and emotions in people as they read them for years to come. This means that your writing should answer the standard questions: who, what, when, where and why.
Using that information, you could write a letter as if you were talking to someone and include information from your five senses. Bring to life the memory with touch, taste, smell, sight and sound. Think about the memory of that photo and write it as if you were telling a story.
All of this information is available in your short-term memory quite easily after the events that happened. However, if you wait too long before writing down the information you'll find that it too is lost forever.
You could tell the story about an event in the first person - from your own point of view. Or you could write the story in the third person - like an eyewitness account using facts and details.
Photos and journaling are a great way to document your family's traditions and events. But they don't have to be traditional themselves.
In other words, you might include grandma's favorite recipe for Turkey next to the photo of the family at Thanksgiving dinner.
And as you contemplate your writing remember that color also plays a part in feelings and how information is perceived. So the colors of the paper you choose for the background on the pictures and the story will have a meaning to those readers who pick up your book years to come.
Some crafters find that planning ahead for journaling in their scrapbooks makes their time more successful. After you have planned and allotted space in the scrapbook, plan time to sit and write your memories of that vacation, special event, birth or wedding.