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Scrapbooking – Turn your photos into a family story instead of just a stack of pictures

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Scrapbooking 101 – Steps 5 & 6

Posted by PatriciaD on November 18, 2009

Step 5:  Telling a Story – Journaling

Great scrapbook pages tell a story. Why do you want to tell the story of the photo(s) you’re scrapping?  Is it to share with those who were there in the photo or family and friends far away or some other reason?  There are many reasons to scrapbook.  Sometimes I scrapbook a page just because I like a photo I’ve taken or I want to enter a challenge I’ve found on one of the scrapbook sites I mentioned earlier.  Or my favorite reason: to tell my family story? 

Or it could be because you want to create a genealogical story of your families past?  So, you will want to think about who is going to see the page(s).  Do the prospective viewers know all the people in the photos?  What about family two generations from now and what if the people in the photo are gone?  Who’s gonna tell who those people are?  What if it’s a few years from now and you can’t remember if that person was Bob or Joe, you know how much they looked alike as kids? 

So the point with all this is that you need to tell the story of the photo so that anyone could get the story.  Many times the photo tells a great deal of the story but it can’t tell it all.  Some things to include are the names of all the people in the photo(s) and maybe even those who were there but aren’t in the photo(s) like the photographer and baby Joey who was taking a nap.  Include the date.  It doesn’t have to be the exact date but it should probably at least include the month and year.   Something else to include would be the location.  It is possible to forget where a photo was taken but even more importantly remember the relative who’s looking at your scrapbooks in 20 years and wants to know about the photo.  I have photos in a scrapbook from Europe and another from Hawaii and I can’t remember where either one was actually taken.  Not only would I love to visit the one in Hawaii again but I don’t even know where I’ve actually been AND it’s just incomplete in my scrapbook.

Step 6:  Design

The story comes through more clearly when the page has a defined focal point, a place where the eye naturally rests as you look at the scrapbook page layout. The following tips may help you as you create pages so you have a focal point and a clear layout.

Start with the focal point – which photo or element of the page is to be your main focus?  As in decorating a room you have a focal point you need that on a page, too.  If you want a photo to be the focal point it might be the largest photo or placed by itself whereas other photos are stacked.

For example look at this sample page layout.

It’s obvious which is the main photo or the focal point.  Your eye naturally rests here.  Then check out the “supporting” photos.

The elements of your page that will help it to have a cohesive feel are the color, texture and value.  Also, balance, repetition, contrast are aspects of your layout to keep in mind.

Color – to find complementary colors using the color wheel I thought I’d list the color combinations that seem to work best.

            Complimentary – two colors that are on the opposite side of the color wheel such as red and green, or yellow and violet.  The strong contrast of these colors gives a bold feel to your layout

            Split complementary – this is when one color of the above is combined with the two colors on opposite sides of its complementary color

            Triad – is when three colors of equal distance to each other on the color wheel are used.  Red, yellow and blue are the most basic triad.

            Tetrad – is when you combine two pairs of complimentary colors

            Analogous – is when colors are next to each other on the color wheel

            Monochromatic – using the same color with different shades, tints and tones.  Texture can be especially effective with this type of color scheme to add interest and keep it from being boring.

Additionally, if you want to add warmth use red, yellow and orange or if want to add a cooler feel to your layout use blue, green and violet.


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