≡ Menu

how to simplify a layout with lots of photos

Documenting each of our trips with a single pocket page layout usually means including lots of photos, which can make keeping things simple a challenge. Here’s how I keep my pages (and my process) as streamlined and minimal as possible when I’m including lots of photos.

Here’s the layout I’m working with for this post, documenting a four-day trip we took to Malta:

Here’s a close-up of the left side:

And the right side:

one / Choose photos that have white space

One of the ways I keep things simple is to choose a mix of photos, some of which include white space. This means the subject of the photo is to one side or to the bottom of the picture, and a good amount of the actual photo is subject-free.

In this layout, I included several photos like this: the airport tarmac for our title shot, the black and white pic of Nick and the kids with lots of sky, the photo I split in half on the right side of the layout.

The white space gives the eyes a place to rest and keeps the layout from being too busy. Of course there are photos like selfies and close-ups that don’t have white space. No problem – they serve as a great contrast.

two / Include journaling on plain white cards

I almost always use at least one plain white 3×4 or 4×6 card to add journaling, but in this particular layout I used three white cards with simple black text.

Journaling allows me to include details and memories I can’t necessarily capture with a photo, and it means I can literally add white space to the layout.

For this layout, I also used really minimal word art, which adds some texture and dimension to the layout without making it more busy.

three / Use photo templates

Liz’s photo templates are so helpful for mixing text with photos, adding captions and titles, and including lots of photos in one 4×6 or 3×4 pocket.

Another thing I try to do is include more than one version of the same shot or photos with similar coloring in a template.

This keeps the individual pocket from looking too convoluted.

four / Balance light and dark photos

It can be tempting to brighten photos a little too much or include photos with all the same level of bright or dark.

But I find these layouts make it hard to know where to focus.

Having a mix of light and dark along with pops of color keeps the eyes bouncing around the layout. I love the bright blue of the door behind the boys, the orange in Ben’s jacket, the dark brown of the woodgrain card, and the dark grey of the tarmac.

I try to scatter those darker and brighter colors throughout the layout to keep my eyes moving between white space and more saturated color.


I hope you’ve found these tips useful for your photo-heavy layouts!

You can find me on Instagram (please say hello!) or see what’s inspiring me on Pinterest.

How do you keep your photo-heavy layouts simple?

xo, Catherine

Products used:  4×6 photo templates vol. 63×4 photo templates4×6 photo templates vol. 1woodgrain journaling cardspictures + words no. 18.

p.s. If you’re a Game of Thrones fan and/or you’re just curious about what happened to Malta’s Azure Window, it’s worth a couple of minutes to check this out.

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • ViVrem March 14, 2017, 2:02 pm

    Thanks for your ‘tips and tricks’. You tell it clear and very helpful.

  • Sindee March 14, 2017, 3:50 pm

    Just simply beautiful! Love your style. Care to share what font you use for journaling.

    • Catherine April 10, 2017, 1:48 am

      Thanks Sindee! Of course – I use Aleo, which is a free download through Font Squirrel 🙂

Leave a Comment

copyright © 2006-2015, paislee press. all rights reserved. disclaimer.