How to Decide Which Photos to Include on a Layout

A few weeks ago, I asked my facebook fans what sorts of topics they would like to read about and one fan wanted to learn more about how to select photos for a scrapbook page.

I start by taking a bazillion photos. Ok, not really a bazillion, but a lot of photos. I probably take 4-5 photographs of every minor thing. I do not print all of these photos. I start by selecting only a few to print. I focus on which photos tell the story and quality. So, if a photo is of so-so quality but is the only one that tells the story I need, it gets printed.

I still do not scrapbook every photo I print. I don’t really pay attention to how many photos I print, but only so many will fit on a scrapbook page. I think about how many pages do I want to devote to this story.

Let’s see my process after the photos are printed:

I have

  • 18 4×6 photos
  • 2 5×7 photos
  • 4 business cards
  • 1 pamphlet

to include in the scrapbook.

There is no way all of this will fit on one 12×12 single or double-sided layout. This leads to the next part of my process. I have two scrapbooks in progress: one for the family and one for my daughter. I begin by sorting the pile of photos and memorabilia. I try to make sure there are similar photos in each pile.
The family pile:

  • 7 4×6 photos
  • 2 5×7 photos
  • 2 business cards
  • 1 pamphlet
    My daughter’s pile:
  • 10 4×6 photos
  • 2 business cards

Wow! There is still a lot of stuff in both piles. I started with the family layouts. I first sifted through the remaining photos to see if any of the photos could be cropped. I cropped 5 4×6 photos into 4×4 photos. I decided against including the pamphlet.
The family layout:

My daughter’s layout:

I eliminated 2 4×6 photos and 1 business card from my daughter’s layout. I added the pamphlet to her layout.

Ultimately, I select photos based on quality and the story I want to tell. I try to do mainly single page layouts or limit double page layouts to the family album and use single page layout to my daughter’s album. Whatever method you use to select photos is correct. Just tell your story. It doesn’t matter if you have 100 photos or no photos, just tell it.

On a side note, I realize that there are better ways of displaying my layouts online. I do have scan and stitch software but due to the orientation of my scanner, I can not get the scans to line up properly. I hope to fix this before I post anymore layouts.


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