Best tip for starting a layout

Out of all the things you need to do to scrapbook (color scheme, pick your paper, come up with a layout) the most important thing you can do in my opinion, is crop your pictures.  Cut them down to size.  That way you know what you want to focus on and how much room you’ll have to work with.  If you set out to do a birthday layout and you have 20 pictures to decide from then you need to look at what you want to keep and discard.  Crop out whatever is not important in the picture.  You might have a picture with the birthday person opening a gift but someone decided to reach in front just as you snapped the pic, no worries, crop them right out and you might only have a tiny wallet size photo left but that’s perfect for filling in little spaces.   If you have a full size picture that you just can’t crop that’s great, it can be a focal point.  You can choose something bold to make it really stand out like a fancy border or a bright matte (the paper the photo sits on to make a small border).  The center of one page is complete and now you can display the rest of the smaller cropped photos around to help tell the story of that event.

I think if you have too many photos and you feel too overwhelmed to even start a layout then that’s exactly what you need to do.  Crop the photos to see what has the right feel for the story you want to tell.  Sometimes you may not need to crop any pictures but ideally then you should have no more than 3 on a 12″x12″ page.  Other times you may need to crop them all down to 2″x2″ and that’s okay too because with the right layout you can get 10 or more and not have it look disorderly or crowded.

Hope this helps