Whether you are creating a traditional album page or a digital page from scratch, this 4-step process will help you create pages that focus on the most important elements - your photos and stories.
Step 1. Choose your best photos.
Select 7 to 10 of your best photos for a two-page layout. Crop your photos only to eliminate any excess or distracting elements. Keep in mind that although a rounded shape can add interest to your pages, the most pleasing shape to the eye is the 4-sided square or rectangle. Multiple shapes can also make a page look too busy and crowded. Do crop a photo into a circle or an oval if you like, but limit yourself to one shape per two-page layout.
Step 2. Layout - Group, don't scatter.
Cluster your photos to one side, in the middle, or the top or bottom of your page. Clustering is simply a method for organizing photos on an album page so that they form a cohesive group of photos in a concentrated area of the page rather than randomly scattering them anywhere on the page. It keeps album pages from looking too busy and leaves more space for journaling, titles, and enhancements.
To cluster your photos:
- Create an eyeline or dominant margin or your page. To create an eyeline, line up your photos with either an offset vertical or horizontal margin somewhere on the page. This margin can be overlapped but avoid a perfect cross of margins.
- Group your photos with a consistent margin between them. A quarter of an inch is a good rule of thumb but not more than a half an inch. An exception would be a photo cropped into a circle or an oval.
Add color to your page with a background paper, photo mat, a title box or matted journaling box. When choosing paper colors, look for one or two dominant colors in your photos that will enhance your photos without overwhelming them.
Step 3. Journal and Create a Title
Besides your photos, journaling is the most important part of creating a meaningful album. Be sure to leave space on your layout to write your story then journal in paragraph form instead of using captions and incomplete sentences. Don't just include the facts (who, what, where, when and why) - expand the stories behind the photos with your feelings and reflections.
If you're uncomfortable writing directly on your background paper or page, try creating a journaling box using Ruled Paper. Your journaling box can be matted to add color to the page or used as is. If you need a lot of room to tell the whole story, use your computer to type the story and print it on cardstock.
Create a title using alphabet stickers, title stickers or Dual-Tip pens. Use your title as a headline above your journaling or as one of your design elements. Place the title at the top of the page, down the side, in the middle, along the bottom, or make it a part of your photo cluster. Make your title stand out with a title box cut from cardstock or add it to the border.
Step 4. Enhance - but use restraint!
Enhance your page by filling empty spaces with borders, doodles, stickers, or shapes created with shape makers and punches. Be careful not to overdo it - don't overwhelm your photos with too much fluff. Your goal is to enhance your photos. Not to cover your pages with a lot of unnecessary page enhancements that visually detracts from your photos and stories. You'll also save yourself a lot of time and money by limiting the amount of page enhancements you use on your pages.
Here is another simple page example.
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