Scrapbooking Australia home of great priced scrapbook, card making and project life products.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Scrapbooking Basics part 2: What photos to use for a scrapbooking layout

Hi, welcome back to the second part of this series on Scrapbooking Basics. You can see part one here, How to layout a scrapbook page.

This week we are looking at What photos to use for a scrapbooking layout. This is quite daunting when you are first starting out. There are all these photos in boxes or drawers that you want to make look amazing and get them into your albums. So how do you choose what photos to use?

What are the best photos for scrapbooking?

This is a dilema that can get people tied up in knots. But the answer to me is really simple. The best photo is the one that tells the story.

Let me explain a bit. A few years ago in a quest to make amazing scrapbooking layouts I did a TAFE course that had a huge long name but basically was a photography course. I loved this course, mainly because I did the course with my eldest son, but also because we took photos of things that I would never have thought to take photos of. And this is what I learnt. I will never be a photographer. Yep thats it in a nutshell. I will never make it as a photographer. I just do not have what it takes. Don't get me wrong I have a really good eye when it comes to composing the photo, to seeing possibilities. But there is just no way my brain will remember what 'f' stops to use or which shutter speed I need, it just does not happen.

This might sound a bit sad, but it is not. Actually it is quite liberating. I know that when I am with my eldest son Rob, who by the way has an amazing website 'photography hotspots', then I will take amazing photos. Or if I am with my friend Karina who is a photographer then I will take amazing photographs. Why? because I will constantly be bugging them to find out what setting they are using and then copying them!  I do recommend taking a photography class or two if you can, you will find out if your brain can cope LOL. And you will make some terrific friends who share your interest.

But for the most part my photographs are not going to be amazing, every now and then I get a really good one, usually I get a swath of ok photos with a few blurry ones thrown in for good measure. And to me that is totally ok. I will use all of these photos on a layout. Why? because they tell the story of what I want in my albums.

Can you make your photos look better in a Scrapbook Layout?

There are tricks to be had of course, to make the photos look better. But at the end of the day if you want to tell the story and the only photo you have is blurred, out of focus etc, then go ahead and use it. Remember it is going in your album not on the cover of a magazine, it needs to reflect your memories, not your photographic skills.

Before you print off your photos try these tricks, can you change it to black and white? how about sepia? these are two of the most basic alterations you can make. Learn what photo editing options you have, if you are using photoshop there are heaps of filters and changes you can make. If you don't have photo editing software try this website, it is free and lots of fun http://pixlr.com/

But at the end of the day, if you are still left with a photo, out of focus, too dark, too light, wrong colour or even if the subjects are the size of ants, use that photo. Make the poor quality of the photo part of your story.

What are the best size of photographs to use on a scrapbook layout?

This is another good question. I love to mix up the sizes of my photos and I often do that when I am designing a page, then going to have my photos developed. I will design the page with different sizes. But again for the most part that is not what the pages of my scrapbook albums are made up of. I tend to print a whole heap of photos at one time, usually when I am getting ready to catch up on my Project Life album, so I will also print the majority of my photos in the standard 6x4 and 3x4. This is a cost effective way for me to do it. It also means that I will at any given time have a pile of 6x4 photos to be scrapped.

I like the look of  4x6 photos on a 12x12 page. (remember we are talking in inches). Generally I make scrapbook layouts that have more than one photo on the page. I know that goes against the big trend in scrapbooking. But for me and my albums I like to have photos as in plural on one page. In the layout above I have used 4x6 photos and given them a bigger presence by a larger matting.

I also scrapbook in both single page layout and double page layouts. (yes I put them all in the same album).  If you are making a double page scrapbook layout it will definitely give you room for different sized photos in the layout.

The layout/s above were actually done as two single layouts, as in the layout titled Taylor I had made first and then decided to a complementary one of Zac to go in Taylor's album. One photo to a layout is definitely not my normal scrapping style but sometimes the one photo is the story. The photo sizes on these layouts are 5x7.

Scrapbooking layouts for poor photos

This layout is a good example of how to use photos that are not great. The story I wanted to tell was of my two youngest sons feeding the ducks. Even when I was taking these photos I knew that it would probably be the last time one of my sons came. He was getting older and really did not like hanging out that much with his younger brother and mother anymore. So when I first got these photos onto the computer I was really disappointed in them.

Now this was before I started editing my photos, so these photos were printed out just as they were. Out of all the photos I took that day I got one good one (the duck) and the rest were just ok. So I enlarged the duck photo to 5x7 and let it be a feature. The rest of the photos are cut down from 4x6 photos.

The layout itself has a strong layout to make up for the photos, but if you notice there is no embellishment on this layout. Each strip of the pattern paper is matted with cardstock. Had I also put embellishments on this page, to my eye, it would have been overwhelming.
Would you like to try the layout above? This sketch and details is free for personal use.
Join me again next week when we will look at Scrapbooking Basics part 3: How to embellish a scrapbook layout.

Thanks for reading,
LeAnne Payne

No comments:

Post a Comment