Friday, March 5, 2010

"Magazine Style" Layout

I'm sharing this recent layout for a couple of reasons. For one thing, I am just crazy about it! I haven't actually scrapped most of the photos from our trip out West this past summer, so it was really fun to showcase some of them in this layout. By the way, like other layouts I've been posting lately, this one was done for my Design Your Life class through Big Picture Scrapbooking, taught by the fabulous Cathy Zielske. Cathy provided the sketch that we used for this assignment.

Cathy calls this type of layout a "magazine style" layout, and she's right on with that description. If you look at the magazines in your own house, you'll quickly see that it's pretty common for magazine articles to use a fantastic full page photo in this way, to sort of draw you in to the piece, with the text actually beginning on the facing page. Now, I've certainly enlarged pictures in my scrapbooking career. One of my favorite sizes to do is an 8x12 (most places can make an enlargement this size, you just have to ask), because it makes a fantastic 12x12 scrapbook page when I have a really wonderful photo to showcase. And I've certainly used my share of 5x7 photos, as well. But I'm going to confess that I've never before used a photo that took up the entire page. It was an eye-opening experience.

Cathy is definitely right about how the large picture draws you in, and encourages you, the reader, to look at the other photos and read the story. But it's also the juxtaposition of the super large photo next to the smaller photos that makes the large photo that much more emphatic. And that brings me to another reason that I'm posting this layout. Before taking the DYL class, I rarely fooled around with printing my own photos, or printing them smaller than 4x6. I prefer the ease of taking a CD down to the grocery store, ordering regular old 4x6 prints, and coming back in an hour or so and picking them up. Previously, if I wanted to use smaller photos on a layout (and I use small photos all the time), I'd just crop them down from 4x6 prints. That sometimes presented some problems, though. I tend to take a lot of fairly close-up photos, especially of people. It's a habit I've gotten into ever since I first read anything about photography. You're always told "Fill the frame!" and for good reason -- it generally makes a better picture. But a "filled frame" photo doesn't really lend itself very well to being cropped down, unless the photo contains a detail that I want to emphasize.

So, although I did use smaller photos, I'd say that generally I didn't use photos smaller than 3-1/2 x 3-1/2. After taking this class, however, I feel like a new world has been opened up to me. Because we had so many assignments using small photos (REALLY small, sometimes 2x2), I realized pretty quickly that cropping just wasn't going to cut it. I needed a whole new approach. So I started experimenting with printing two photos, each wallet size, on one 4x6 sheet. All of a sudden, those small photos worked on my layouts! I'm not going to lie -- for me, it took some trial and error and messing around with a couple of different photo manipulating programs. But it turned out to be a lot easier than I thought it would be. And, most importantly, I love the effect so much that I know I'm going to be printing photos in different sizes in the future.

Man, writing that, I feel incredibly old fashioned. I know that tons of people print ALL of their own photos at home, and many, many scrapbookers print photos in all kinds of crazy sizes -- whatever suits the layout. And, of course, there are legions of totally digital scrapbookers who can manipulate lots of photo attributes with a few clicks of the mouse. But, even though I've had a digital SLR for quite a few years, my goal has always been to keep the scrapbooking part of it pretty simple. But through this class, I've learned that some simple photo manipulation -- basic re-sizing, either bigger or smaller, in order to make an impact -- doesn't take that long, and the effects are TOTALLY worth it.

Every time I look at the Yellowstone waterfall layout at the top of this post, it takes my breath away, and the feelings and the sounds of actually being there come rushing back. I love it, and I can't stop looking at it. Isn't that exactly how a scrapbook layout, a layout showcasing your own memories, is supposed to make you feel?


  1. That full page layout definitely takes your breath away! And to realize that you actually are scrapping 8.5 x 11 . . . kind of takes my breath away too (LOL)!


  2. I am one of those people that get my pictures developed by the photo place. And most of my pictures are 4x6.
    So I guess I'm the only old fashion one left LOL

  3. I LOVE this magazine style layout - and how beautifully it showcases that waterfall! NICE work!

  4. That is a beautiful LO !! I love it. I am still in that group that mostly orders the 4x6 (make pic smaller by cropping, if needed) but rarely make them bigger. It sounds like the DYL class has really been helpful - I should have taken it! Thanks for the tip about the 8x12 photo - I'll try that.