Cropping pictures is the technique used to trim the excess off a photo. Most of your pictures in your scrapbook will not be professionally taken and thus, will not be as visually appealing as they could be. Cropping photos can remove distracting backgrounds, refocus a picture, or frame a subject. Cropping pictures that fit into fantastic layout designs is not as difficult as it seems, but takes a bit of planning.
While experimenting with cropping pictures, I suggest using pictures that have duplicate prints or pictures your not going to ever scrap before cropping the pictures you really want to scrap. Also, avoid the temptation to overdo it. A page with 4 different shapes will not flow or and be very off balance. Always Remember the most basic scrapbooking rule: KISS ~ Keep It Simple Sweetie!
There are 4 common shapes used for cropping pictures: circle, oval, square, and rectangle. Other shapes can be used as well, but are less common. When you plan your scrapbook layout design, try to decide which shape or shapes you will use for your pictures.
Many photos will have subjects that are complimentary to certain shapes over others. For example, a picture of the Space Needle is more appealing and natural to be cropped into a long rectangular shape. Choosing shapes that will compliment the layout design does not necessarily mean using circle cropped photos on your circle patterned paper with circle stickers. Try experimenting with contrast when cropping pictures. Use square pictures on that circle paper or ovals with the rectangle embellishments.
Experiment with using more than one shape (both circles and squares) when cropping pictures, but not more than two. Try cutting a free form of a picture meaning cutting an outline of a subject directly. For example, a child jumping, cut out free form and then pop dot it up for added effect.
Before begin cropping pictures, it's important to think about what you want the focus of each to be. Many photos are taken from such a great distance, with distracting background images or that the viewer's eye wanders pointlessly around the picture. You want your scrapbook layout to tell a story and your viewer will be visually taken through that story based upon the pictures.
For example, in a picture with a large amount of background space takes away from the subject and focus of the picture.
Once the distractions of the background isremoved, the picture is now more visually appealing and the focus is on the subject.
When choosing focal points, remember the Rule of Threes. (The Rule of Threes is based upon a triangular shape. The triangular shape could be static or dynamic. To create “visual appeal” using the Rule of Threes, create a dynamic interaction between objects. But a triangle shape doesn’t have to be made. Simply, just odd numbers of things are more appealling) This visual technique is used by professional photographers to create focus with their picture. Although, sometimes a picture is more appealing when the focal point is not cropped and is off center but also in the center of the picture.
When you are cropping pictures, be sure that your cutting tools that are sharp and cut cleanly. When using the dull paper cutter or scissors the edges of your paper are frayed and torn rather than cut cleanly. The same will be true if you crop photos with dull tools.
Always trim less than you'll expect to take off on your first pass. Remember, you can always cut off more if you need to, but if you crop a picture too small you can't put any back on! I highly recommend making duplicates of pictures you plan to crop! Especially irreplaceable such as heritage or professional photos.
Depending on the amount of the picture you are trimming off, consider hanging on to your scraps until you finish the layout design. The scraps that were trimmed off other picture can be used in the layout or complimenting layouts. They work to tie in the theme on this page. For example, you trim of a rose bush, you can mat it as an embellishment for the page.
Remember there really is no “right” or “wrong way to crop your pictures. You make it work for your taste, layout, etc.