Only the Best Will Do

What’s the sense of scrapbooking if your embellishments are nicer than your photos? Whereas memorabilia, stickers, stamps, die cuts and journaling are important additions to memory books, without decent-looking pictures all you’re left with it is an album filled with extraneous doodads.

To really make your layouts stand-out it’s best to design them so that your best shots take center stage. You can achieve this by constantly improving on your picture-taking techniques.

For starters, if you’ve yet to do so, now is a good time to read your camera’s instruction manual. Many hobby photographers, who own point-and-shoot cameras, don’t bother to crack open the instruction manual because they feel there isn’t much more to taking pictures than hitting the shutter button. However, today’s digital cameras come with a litany of settings that can help improve your shots provided you know how to employ them.

When shooting pictures that you plan to feature in a scrapbook, it’s a good idea to use the highest resolution possible. While this may require buying a larger memory card, you’ll have more flexibility when it comes to editing and enlarging images.

Another tip is to exercise some creativity when you are behind the camera lens. Don’t get stuck in a rut of holding the camera horizontally and snapping photos at your subject’s eye level. Rather, experiment with different angles and perspectives to illustrate different moods.

You can also vary shots by looking for natural frames. For example, you can easily enhance a portrait of your daughter by having her pose between tree branches. To add even more dimension to static shots, consider shooting in black and white. Extracting color from a photo can give them a timeless look. In addition, if you are creating a wedding or anniversary scrapbook, adding black and white pictures to your layouts can provide a romantic touch to the page designs.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.

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