Last year, while experiencing a period of growth in my own scrapbooking, I realized that when the papers, embellishments, titles and EVERYTHING I put on my layout had meaning and was releavant to my photos, it was easier to create with them and the finished product looked better too! I began to think about what I was choosing and WHY it fit on the page. I began connecting the elements of my design and making connections in my craft!
During this three part series, I would like to share that discovery with you. Perhaps YOU will find that this idea works for you!
Step 1: Picture Perfect!
Everything begins and ends with your photos. They tell a story that you want to preserve for generations to come. They are the reason we do this and they should shine when we reveal our finished product.
I should first say, that I love to work with different sizes of photos for visual variety in my scrapbooks and sometimes I only have ONE photo of a special event and making it larger helps to fill more of the page and make it a larger focal point. Sometimes, I have 20 photos of an event that I need to get onto one double page layout! Different sizes can help you do that. So give some thought to printing your photos in different sizes to better tell your story, it provides a foundation of visual interest on which you can build your designs.
For example, with this design I used smaller photos from my iPhone to create a fun photo strip feel. It allows me to get lots of similar photos in one place.
On this design, I have used a 5x7 and some smaller photos to create flow and visual interest.
Close-ups and panoramic views will also, help you tell the whole story. After all, a picture speaks a thousand words. Be sure you are tell your whole story in a variety of ways.
To recap: photos of different size creates a foundation of visual interest on which to build your design.
Step 2: Discovering elements in your photos
When I begin a project I take a close look at the photos I am working with. I want to choose colours that make my photo stand out. I do this is several ways.
Usually, I choose a shade from my photo and use that to make my choices in a colour palette. For example, here's a layout I made using a pink shade to make my daughter's cheeks and lips seem rosy.
To recap: Use colours from your pictures or ones that compliment them. You can also use colour to tell a story.
THEMATIC ELEMENTS AND FOCUS
Our photos and their story are our focus in scrapbooking. Often these pictures have elements in the that we can use to determine a "theme". Using elements from our photos or the story we want to tell can provide cohesion and meaning to our designs. If we work WITH these elements rather than ignore them, the design will be easier to create and look better when we are finished.
For example, I created a design about our trip to Busch Gardens where we went on Safari to get up close and personal with the Giraffes. I chose an animal print line and made the focal pattern the Giraffe patterned paper. The colour palette and the patterns and the THEME made this design meaningful. What if I had chose a light, floral pattern and put rosettes and lace on this design? YIKES!
OK, so what if your photos don't have obvious thematic elements ( like safaris, or birthdays, Christmas, and Easter)?
In this design of my son, I chose to use a cool wintry palette, pulling white from the snow and the aqua complements his hat/coat and skin tone. Since my story is about him lying in the snow, I used SNOW as my thematic focus.
When thematic elements are even less evident in the photo, the STORY would direct me in my choices. In this design, my kids were celebrating with their Dad. It was summer and he seemed to lift their spirits. I chose brightly coloured paper, a kite and some summery clouds to reflect these feelings. This layout came together in an hour because these colours and thematic elements had MEANING.
To recap: Use your photos to determine thematic elements to help you make paper, embellishment, and title choices, and to develop MEANING in your layouts.
Here ends part one! In the next two parts of this series, I plan to talk more about choosing patterns, embellishments, fonts, titles and taking our designs to the next level. Please let me know what you think!
Until next time, keep doing what you love to do and do it with MEANING!