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Can Scrapbook Photos Be Overused?
by Kim Washburn
Scrapbook photos are a big part of most journals or memory books. It's a given that you'll need a few snapshots to fill out a page and tell the story. Yet, it's also pretty easy to go overboard with your pictures.
We all have that show box full of old photos, and snapshots. For some of us it's lifelong goal to use everyone of them in a scrapbook but this isn't always a good idea.
I remember many years ago when I attended a college photography class the instructor made a point to tell us that not every picture we took would end up perfect. Most in fact would not be usable at all and only a few, if we were lucky, were worth keeping. I've since learned that this is true, and it's always a good idea to crop the chaff from the wheat.
With this in mind, don't feel too bad about throwing away some pictures that you simply know your never going to use. We all have them. If they're blurry or out of focus, or simply not a good angle of auntie Jane, throw them out and you'll be doing you both a favor. If they are special in some way you can always store them digitally on disks or in archive boxes. In this way they won't get mixed up with the really good shots that have potential in your pages.
In the old days, I shifted from prints to slides since I knew I would only get a few good shots (maybe) out of a roll. These days with the new digital cameras it's a snap to save or delete what you want, then download it on a computer and print it out on high quality photo paper or take it to a developer as a disk. Photo technology is an amazing thing!
Photo editing also lends a good deal of creativity to your scrapbooks. Using a tool like Adobe Photoshop or other picture editor, you can take one might look like a rather basic snapshot and play with the colors and tones to make a unique picture. I did this with some recent photos of my two daughters. They were simple posed head shots that we tinted and created a colorful addition to their memory books.
Also remember that using a degree of spacing actually gives the really great photos more attention and exposure. Don't just cram every photo you have onto a page and fill it up. Mix them up with some simple embellishments and details. This way you'll highlight them rather than diffuse them into a collage.
Try to remember that as important as pictures are to our scrapbooking efforts, they aren't everything. In fact, some of the very best pages we have ever seen had few pictures on them. You can tell a story in many ways. With words, with images, with accents and with color. Your photos are just one of many ways to create that perfect page.
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