Hello! Amy Sorensen here, welcoming you back to day two of one-topic scrapbooking!
Once you’ve picked your topic and gathered some stories, you’re on to step three: process your photos. There’s a reason for doing this after you’ve researched your stories. It’s easier to know what photos to print, and in what sizes, if you already have an idea of the stories you’ll be telling.
I do the photo processing all at once just so I can get it over with…Photoshop always gives me a headache so I sort of dread this step! I think about which photos match up with which stories. I also start taking some notes about which photos I want to make single-photo layouts with and which ones I’ll group in a multi-photo spread. I find that as I work on processing my pictures, I start getting ideas for the layouts themselves, which photos to put together, ideas for titles and embellishments, even a hazy suggestion about the layout design. Writing these down helps me immensely when I’m ready to actually scrapbook!
I also tend to think about focal-point photos and supporting images. The focal-point photos aren’t always the best ones, technically. Quite often they’re just the best ones to tell the story. It’s really more about emotion than image perfection. (But when a photo is technically good and emotionally resonant…that is some photograph magic!) Once I’m done, I end up with an assortment of 5x7s, 6x8, 4x6s, 3x5s, and 3x4s:
(I gave up on printing at home a long time ago. I have my photos printed at Persnickety Prints because they always get it right and I live in the same town!) Once I have them all, I cut apart the 3x4s (I have them printed two up on a 4x6) and divide the pictures into piles based on my kids.
Once I’ve recuperated from my Photoshop headache, it’s time for step four (which is a pretty fun step!): gathering supplies.
If you know me at all, you might guess what my first piece of advice is: shop your stash! I have quite a bit of holiday-related stuff. So, for this round of one-topic scrapbooking, I started in my two Christmas drawers. Then I moved on to my red, green, brown, white, and metallic drawers. (You’d be surprised at how many non-holiday-themed supplies you can use on holiday layouts.) Since I’ve already processed my pictures, I have a good idea of the tones and styles of supplies that will work well with my images. I pick out the things I know I’m most likely to use, which are patterned papers and alphabet stickers. I picked an alphabet stamp or two to use. And I also find some more challenging supplies, items I’ve purchased because I liked them but haven’t used yet because I don’t know if they’re exactly me. I might end up still not using them, but there’s a better chance.
Then I think about what gaps I have, product I know I’ll want but am short on, and then I do a little bit of shopping!
At first, all of the supplies are sort of a hot mess:
But a little organization goes a long way. I separate out all of the smaller pieces and put them into a box, and then pile the patterned papers and 12x12 embellishment sheets together.
This group of supplies will stay on my desk the entire month. There’ll be a few times I have to dig into my stash again, but for the most part, I’ll just be working with those supplies. This makes the process go much faster, especially as the month progresses and I sift through the supplies more and more. It also helps me use quite a bit. As the month passes and I make more layouts, I start keeping patterned paper scraps in the embellishment box, too.
I try to get all of the first four steps finished before the first day of the month. It’s true: all of this pre-planning takes up some time. But the cool thing is, once you’ve done it, your layouts come together so quickly. I’m not the world’s slowest scrapper, probably, but I am pretty close, but having supplies, stories, and photos entirely ready helps my creative flow run much more smoothly.
Check back in tomorrow, when I’ll share some new layouts and some other tips and tricks.