I have literally spent years trying to squeeze my pictures into generic
decorated albums. I was never quite satisfied with the result. Then, I was
introduced to the great world of scrapbooking. The great thing about
scrapbooking is that it is all about the photos and their personal character. No
more dull, boring store-bought generic themes such as flowers and other items
(okay-nowadays the store bought themes are not so generic anymore---but still,
they are not the feature of your scrapbook-your photos are!).
Before I knew it, I was on my way to shopping, shopping, shopping for new and cool scrapbooking layouts and items. In order to use those kits and pre made layouts, I found myself taking the photos to match the accessories and design rather then basing the design on the photos. That kind of nulls the entire point of scrapbooking, don’t you think? Anyway, this approach was definitely the wrong approach and it took me quite a while to figure out why.
I am not suggesting that you do not purchase really great layouts and accessories, I am just making the suggestion that rather then purchasing them first, that you buy them after you have taken the photos and you try to match them with the theme depicted in your photos rather then vice versa.
Now, when I have my pictures developed or printed, I try to sort them out according to theme. Next, I try and picture what layout and design (accessories, too!) might work best with their theme. Then, if I do not have the items hand, I go out and look for those items specifically.
Before you leave for the store, try this analysis on your photos:
-Choose a title for your page. Sometimes this should be quite obvious and others, well, you might have to take a step back and consider your options for a bit
-Consider the colors in the picture and those that you would like to emphasize or stand out by usage of a mat.
-Decide whether or not to use additional page accessories such as borders and titling and, if so, what themes go along best with the overall theme of your photo.
-Decide on any embellishments or smaller accessories to go along with your theme. Sometimes, the most elegant pages are quite simple in nature and too many small details might take away from your photos.
-Choose any other items you feel are necessary to complete your look and create your shopping list.
Creating a style is neither simple nor something that will come to you easily (at least in my case), but it is a necessary ingredient to a successful scrapbook. If you find yourself struggling, looking for style, rather then fashioning it around pre-made layout templates and store bought kits, try a simple brainstorming session when you actually sit down and examine your photos in depth, and then compile a list of potential ideas. You will find as you become a more experienced programmer that this process will gradually become an easier and easier process. Most of all, don’t stress out about it! If it doesn’t come naturally and you have to strain to find a particular style, it probably is not the correct one to fit the bill. Take your time, relax, and everything will fit easily into place.