If you are into scrapbooking at all then you know that cropping your pictures can make a huge difference on the layout of your page and what it will look like when you’re finished. Cropping refers to the different techniques you can use to trim the excess parts of your picture. Most of the pictures you use in your scrapbook will be taken by you, and unless you are a professional or have had training on how to take great pictures there will be parts of the photo you won’t need in the scrapbook. Cropping pictures can remove distracting backgrounds and help to re-focus a picture to where you want it to be. Here are some tips on how to crop photos so that your scrapbook page is being used to its fullest potential.
Tip #1: Choose the Right Shape
Choosing the right shape so that it compliments your page is one of the most important things to remember when it comes to cropping. In scrapbooking there four basic shapes; square, rectangle, circle, and oval. There are other shapes such as hearts, diamonds, stars, etc. that can be used but they are not as common as the four basic ones mentioned. As you plan your design layout you need to keep in mind which shapes will work the best with your layout. If you have a tall building you want to focus in on then try cutting it into a rectangle. Choosing the right shape will help move the focus from distracting backgrounds to the main subject in the picture.
Tip #2: Sometimes Opposite Attract
What exactly does that mean? Well, just because you are using a paper that has circular patterns on it doesn’t mean that you have to crop your photos in circles. Often times the best looks are opposites and can add a dramatic effect. If your background paper has circles on it then try cropping your pictures into squares so that they stand out from the page. And that goes for other background papers with shapes. Instead of making it the same as the paper, crop them using a different shape so they stand out from the paper itself.
Tip #3: Keep it Simple
When you experiment with cropping try and keep your urge to cut every shape and add it to the page to a minimum. Using too many shapes on a page will only take away from the focus and cause too many distractions. You can use one or two shapes or even use free form (cutting the photo directly around the outline) but don’t ever use more than two shapes as it takes away from the flow and will not have an appealing look when you are finished. This is probably the most basic scrapbooking rule; always keep things simple.
Tip #4: Follow the Rule of Thirds
Before you start cropping a picture it’s important to consider the rule of thirds. This is how you should consider choosing your focal point as well. The rule of thirds is a technique used by many professional photographers help create focus and appeal.
Tip #5: Use Good Tools
There is nothing more frustrating when you’re trying to crop photos than using tools that are dull and don’t perform the way they are supposed to. Finding sharp scissor and paper cutters or other cropping tools will make a big difference when you begin to crop your pictures.
Cropping photos can be a fun part of scrapbooking if you know some of the basic techniques and have the proper tools. Hopefully these tips on how to crop photos will give your scrapbook page the look you want.