I’ve gotten a few questions about my design process in the past week or so, so today I’m going to walk through the steps I take to get from Point A (a set of photos) to Point B (2 layouts that complement/coordinate with one another).
Picking photos. I don’t feel the need to scrapbook every photo I take. If I held myself to that, I’d either go insane or never get any pages done. I take way too many photos and not all of them deserve a spot in the album. So, when starting a layout/project, I start by selecting the photos I want to work with. I don’t have a set formula for how I go about choosing photos. I just scroll through them all, keeping in mind the story I want to tell. In this case I wanted to write about the special bond they have as sisters. I use a simple system for labeling/rating photos – 2 stars for photos I like and 5 stars for favorites. (The 5 star rating is one I use sparingly – these are the photos that I go through when I’m designing our holiday card at the end of the year).
note: I’m using lightroom to view, organize and manage my photos.
Editing photos. I process my photos in photoshop, using RadLab. I used to spend way more time than I care to admit on photo processing. Not anymore with RadLab, totally a game changer and a must-have tool in my book. (read more about it HERE.)
Now that the photos are edited, I’m ready to move on to layout design. Like I mentioned in my previous blog post, I have a go to formula: pair a large photo layout with a multi photo layout.
Choosing the right photo to go big. Is there such a thing as the “right” photo? I had to think about this for a bit. I’m sure there are formal design guidelines out there but I didn’t go to design school so I don’t know what they are. I’ve learned, over the years, by trial and error (and lots of browsing through magazine spreads like Real Simple and Martha Stewart Living). Usually, I just go with my favorite photo (the one on the left). It’s a close up shot, maybe a little too close up (meaning not enough white space and the background is still too busy for my taste) – totally a personal preference. The photo in the middle is shot at a better distance and there’s some white space along the top portion of the photo – a great place to play around with text to add interest to the page.
Building your large photo layout. I start by dragging the photo onto a 12×12 canvas (holding down the shift key while you do this ensures that the photo will be perfectly centered). Notice how Audrey’s face is slightly cut off on the right (and even more detail will be lost once it printed and bound in a photobook). To correct this, I shrank down the photo a bit and positioned it so both of them were more or less centered on the page. Then I added text.
Building the 2nd layout is easy with templates. Not familiar with using templates? See my layered templates tutorial (includes a free layered template download).
And this is what the layouts look like together:
In case you’re interested, this set of coordinating templates is now available in my shop.