by Christina VanGinkel
Using photographs in scrapbooks is the basis behind nearly every scrapbook page or album. Making those photographs spectacular beyond their immediate appearance is one of the best parts of working with scrap booking supplies. The easiest way to improve a photographs appearance is to mat it on a colored cardstock or paper that will highlight the main color in the photograph. This is easily accomplished by cutting a piece of paper or cardstock that is approximately ¼" larger than the photograph itself. For even more of a wow factor, double mat the main picture on the page with two coordinating colors.
Changing the size of the picture by either enlarging the overall photograph or cropping the excess area around the main subject in the photo is another way to make your pictures work to your advantage. If your scrapbook pages all seem to look the same, and you want to break up your layouts, pick a favorite picture or two and enlarge them to a 5" x7" to make them pop off the page. If you have three or four photographs that need to be displayed together to better help explain the story behind them, such as a set of photographs depicting the materialization of a snowman, crop them with a circle punch out. This will focus the viewer's attention on the details in each photo, and give the layout a more interesting design with each photo in a shape that compliments the theme. Basic shapes, such as oval, squares, rectangles, and circles are available in jumbo-sized punches. They work on similar lines as small paper punches, but on a grand scale. Stencil templates are also convenient for cropping photos. Available in the basic shapes, they also come in a variety of shapes such as flags, tags, hearts, and triangles. Simply trace around your photo using a pencil whose lines can later be rubbed off any areas that still show.
Journaling with your photographs is an additional way to make your layouts stand out from the crowd. Future generations will love the fact that you took the time to write information to go along with the photographs. From a simple line or two, placing the pertinent names and places with a photograph, to a more detailed record of the memories behind the photos, each will be much appreciated. Even you, looking through your albums just a year down the road, will be surprised at how quickly you forget the tiny details. If you write them down though, you can relive the feeling behind the photographs just by opening the pages of your scrapbook. If you believe your handwriting is not legible enough to be included with your treasured photographs, then journal on the computer, print it on acid free paper, crop in one of the same manners that you use to crop your photos, and include these in your scrapbook. Whatever methods you choose to use your photographs in your scrapbooks, they will all be much appreciated by future generations. Happy Scrap booking!