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Helpful Suggestions

Gather meaningful information before you create your page by asking yourself: What do I want this layout to communicate? Are my photos memorable and effective? Have I included the stories behind the pictures? Do my page accents compliment my pictures, or compete with them?

Bone up on your photography skills. Get a good camera, read your manual, and practice taking close-ups and "slice of life" shots. Use a digital camera so that you can crop your pictures on your computer. Do your best to capture emotion and personality in your pictures.

Share the stories. Too often we forget to include the most meaningful tidbits about people's lives. Make sure to always journal the who, what, where and when. Record any funny stories that go along with your pictures.

Use size to help people know what's important. Direct people's eyes to your photos by keeping the pictures large, with prominent subjects. You may incorporate several items but keep the scale and complexity in check.

Think through your page accents. Choose those that enhance your photo rather than compete with them. Pay close attention to your page accents' size and prominence. Consider their complexity. Large, single-subject photos can generally handle accents with a variety of colors and patterns, while photos with numerous smaller subjects are generally more suited to solid-colored or subtler accents.
Be aware of visual "lines." Any time you tilt a photograph on a layout or introduce curved text or accents, you create visual lines that people's eyes will follow. Direct people toward rather than away from your important focal points.

Consider color and contrast. Want to draw attention to your photos and journaling? Surround them with bright or complementary colors. You can also use contrast to an advantage. For example, if you have a photo with a lot of light colors, use dark colors for your background and title. They are readable and effective, yet your eyes go first to the lighter colors in the photo.
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